Seaside Art Extravaganza – Ballybunion Arts Festival 2024

BAF 2024 Main Banner by Ewelina Wu

Seaside Art Extravaganza - Ballybunion Arts Festival (BAF) 2024

From visual art exhibitions to live music performances, there’s something at Ballybunion Arts Festival to ignite your passion for creativity. Picture this: a charming seaside town buzzing with excitement as artists from near and far come together to showcase their talents.

The Ballybunion Arts Festival is a vibrant celebration of culture nestled in the picturesque coastal town of Ballybunion, Ireland. This annual event showcases a diverse array of artistic talent, ranging from visual arts to music, theater, literature, and more. With its stunning seaside backdrop and welcoming community spirit, the festival has become a highlight on the cultural calendar of both locals and visitors alike.

The event offers a rich program of events designed to engage and inspire audiences of all ages and interests. Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of literature through poetry readings, book launches, and author talks, or experience the magic of live theater productions staged in unique venues across the town.

BAF 2024 - Our Own Tongue

2024 Theme: Ár dteanaga féin (Our Own Tongue)

Ballybunion Arts Festival is an independent, homegrown bilingual festival celebrating traditional and indigenous art and performance.

The Dingle Druid – Julí Ní Mhaoileóinwill be opening the festival. She is a transpersonal therapist and ceremonialist who weaves spiritual traditions, indigenous plant lore, and rituals into her heartfelt ceremonies.

A Drum Circle by Drum Dance Ireland welcomes everyone wishing to share a night of rhythm and song around the fire with likeminded people and it will be spiced up by Kate Mitchel’s fire performance.

Áine Gallagher, Ireland’s offbeat guerrilla Irish language enthusiast, will bring her unique “cup of focals” (cup of full words), creating an engaging and accessible Irish language experience for all.

Practice A Cúpla Focal With The Kerry Cowboy (Séaghan Ó Súilleabháin) during a free event for Irish speakers to chat and enjoy music on Sunday. Kerry Cowboy began sharing farm life on social media in 2020 with his sheepdog Braindí, gaining over 200,000 followers and launching a TV career. He promotes the Irish language and heritage at events nationwide and beyond, offering insights into rural life.

Local historian Martin Moore will discuss the historical ruins of the Ballybunion district.

Aedín Ní Thiarnaigh, a broadcaster, writer, and folklorist, known for presenting RTÉ’s ‘Faoi Bhláth’ and running the popular Instagram account @BlathannaFiaine, will offer a popular Wildflower Walk highlighting the link between Irish wildflowers and Irish heritage, sharing tips how wild plants can be used in cooking, medicine and art.

Eco Trek at the Barna Way & Supper With Danny Hoolihan, will allow you to stroll and share a song or creative offering relating to nature in return for food from the land.

Enjoy your asanas with the sound of the sea and sign up for Yoga, Swim, Cake With Cathy Healy On Men’s Strand.

Niall Breslin, a prominent mental health advocate, bestselling author, musician, and former professional athlete, brings his captivating live podcasts and shares his expertise in mindfulness to diverse audiences, including global organizations like Apple and Google. With degrees in Economics and Sociology, a Master’s in Mindfulness, and recognition from the Royal College of Surgeons, Niall is a leading voice in mental wellness.

The Community Centre will host the two main music acts:

Hamsandwich – a popular indie rock band from Kells will play on Saturday, promoting their fifth album. They are well known for their incendiary live performances which has established them as one of the top touring acts in the country.

Folk duo Ger O’Donnell & Trevor Sexton, renowned for their distinctive vocals and instrumental talent, are set to captivate their home audiences with an upcoming Sunday show following their successful US and European tours.

BAF 2024 Music Acts HamSaswitch and Ger O' Donnell & Trevor Sexton

Unleash Your Creativity - festival’s competitions:

This year organisers prepared 3 competitions focused on Irish culture and tradition, and if you hurry up you can still submit your work:

The Shahidah Janjua Poetry Competition: Honoring the memory of the internationally acclaimed poet, feminist, and activist Shahidah Janjua, this English language poetry competition celebrates her remarkable legacy. Shahidah, who spent her last 15 years in Castlegregory, Co Kerry, was known for touching the lives of everyone she met.  Info/Submissions

Comórtas Filíochta – ‘An Trá’: Embrace the theme “Power of the Sea” in this Irish language poetry competition inspired by the stunning beaches of Ballybunion. Reflecting on the memories of sandy sandwiches, pots of tea, rock pools, and family gatherings along the Atlantic, this competition welcomes poems as Gaeilge on any subject.

Narrative Photography Competition: The 2024 photography competition theme is “Narrative Photography: A Story of Celtic Culture in a Photograph.” Capture the essence of Celtic culture in a single, stunning image. Judges will be looking for creativity and the best use of artistic and technical techniques to depict an aspect of Celtic heritage. Show us your story through the lens and let your photograph speak volumes about the rich Celtic traditions.

BAF 2024 - Power of the Sea

Spirit of Ballybunion

One of the defining features of the Ballybunion Art Festival is its emphasis on community involvement and participation. Throughout the event, there are opportunities for attendees to get involved through workshops, interactive art installations, and collaborative projects. This inclusive approach fosters a sense of belonging and creativity, making the festival a true celebration of local talent and culture.

The diverse range of workshops will give you a chance to:

  • Learn the art of carving and printing linoleum with Darragh Kinch.
  • Unleash your creativity in a poetry workshop led by Eileen Sheehan.
  • Dive into movement in “Elementary,” a workshop by Hannah Emroy.
  • Join Godfrey Coppinger for a family storytelling playshop suitable for all ages.
  • Explore the world of photography from micro to macro with Rena Blake.
  • Experience theatre through the Irish language with Richard Walsh & Timmy Creed.
  • Engage your kids in a fun workshop led by Marie Brennan.
  • Get your hands dirty in a pottery workshop led by Marjorie Cunningham.
  • Add humour to your writing in “Lighten Up!” with Seán Lyons.
  • Dive into the art of novel writing with Pat Sheedy.
  • Connect with nature through biodiversity and nature journaling with Susan Browne.

Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply looking for a fun and enriching way to spend your time, the Ballybunion Arts Festival has something for everyone. Bring your family and friends along for an unforgettable experience. We look forward to seeing you there and sharing in the joy of the arts with our wonderful holiday home community!

BAF is fab!

Get ready to immerse yourself in a whirlwind of creativity and culture. Whether you’re
an art aficionado, a music maestro, or just someone who loves to soak up the joy of life, the Ballybunion Art Festival is your ticket to a joyful experience in breathtaking surroundings.

We are delighted to invite you to join us at the Ballybunion Arts Festival, a celebration of creativity and culture and the Irish language that promises to be a highlight of the season. This vibrant event will take place from 18th July to 21st July right here in our beautiful town of Ballybunion.

For more information, please visit website at or contact Katie at [email protected].

BAF 2024 - Ballybunion Holiday Cottages

Your Festival Accommodation

Experience the best of Ballybunion during the event! Nestled near the village’s vibrant cultural scene and breathtaking beaches, Ballybunion Holiday Cottages offer ideal accommodations for your festival stay. These semi-detached holiday cottages are bright and spacious making them the ideal base for a seaside family holiday or group holiday in County Kerry, they have 3 bedrooms and sleep 6 guests comfortably.