Friday, August 8th, 2014 to Sunday, August 17th, 2014
One of the biggest and longest established festival on the Irish calendar, this its 38th year, there is great variety at Kilkenny and it is known for the high standards of events. The festival completely takes over the city, with official and fringe events taking place in every available space, from shops and offices to hotels and pubs as well as on the street.
While it would be hard to single out any strand as being of particularly high quality, visual arts and classical music are always very strong. But with theatre, dance, literature, crafts and almost every type of music imaginable also on the menu there is plenty to please everyone. There is a strong children’s programme, though events on this tend to book out very early.
The festival organisers have continued and expanded the innovative method of helping visitors to select the events most likely to interest them, by choosing from highlighted events for first time attendees, those who like their events a little on the alternative side, those who want to be inspired and those who like to be surprised and other classifications. It’s an interesting way of looking at things and works very well.
Drama highlights in 2014 include a return visit by the Globe Theatre with a production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Benjamin Bagby's Beowolf at the Watergate Theatre, which mixes songs with dramatic recital and exquisite harp-playing to bring to life the 11th century story.
The classical music strand is as strong as ever, with acclaimed Austrian pianist Alfred Brendel playing at St Canice's Cathedral and the Basini Ensemble from Georgia whose performances include everything from twelfth-century hymns to exuberant dance tunes and rousing table songs.
Barry Douglas and his acclaimed orchestra present a rare cycle of Beethoven’s five piano concertos over two evenings in St Canice’s Cathedral.
As usual there are too many art exhibitions to mention, but the main event in The Butler Gallery is Ireland’s first exhibition of the work of New York-based abstract painter Marilyn Lerner.
The festival takes to the streets with the Fanzini Brothers and their daring acrobatics and Funky Fidelma, an interactive street show filled with clowning, circus skills and amazing acrobatics.
That's just scratching the surface of a festival that could well keep you busy all day every day for the full 10 days.
Details and Location Map
The locations below are the main ones, pick up a copy of the festival programme in the Box Office for a map of all locations.
A. Festival Box Office
B. Set Theatre
C. Kilkenny Castle (and Parade Tower)
D. Watergate Theatre
E. Black Abbey
F. St Canice’s Cathedral