Ireland’s foremost festival for the emerging arts takes over Kerry this summer with great new acts and visual artists from throughout the country.
K-FEST 2K19, a three-day festival that celebrates emerging artists and musicians, returns May 31 through June 2, with an all-new roster of events, featuring a gallery trail of over 100 visual artists, 30 live bands, slam poets, spoken word artists, theatre performers, buskers, dancers, street entertainment, and a myriad of family activities. The majority of the nearly 80 events at K-FEST are offered at no or low cost to the public.
In its seventh consecutive year, K-FEST will once again take over the town of Killorglin, exhibiting approximately 100 visual artists across all disciplines, including paint, print, sculpture, performance, textiles, fashion, graphic design, photography, film, and audio-visual.Selected artists show their work in curated, bespoke pop-up galleries throughout the town’s disused commercial and private spaces.
This year, there’s an emphasis on performance art, which moves K-FEST into the realm of a truly multi-discipline arts festival.
“We expect to see as much varied work in 2019, which will elicit a different experience and drive interactions between artists and attendees that really heighten the sense of community and inclusivity during the weekend,” explained Artistic Director Neil Browne. “We may even see a new gallery or two pop up in 2019, which always gives the festival – and the works on display – a new flavour.”
The arts strand will once again include a seminar by Visual Artists Ireland, in partnership with Kerry County Council, as well as artist-led workshops open to the public throughout the weekend, including one in woodcutting and one on zines.
The festival opens with ‘The Poetry of Women’ Friday night, in which audience members are invited to recite from verses about their favourite vices. Slam poets, writing workshops and presentations by Banshee Literary Journal, a one-woman play, A Different Kettle and local and short films will also grace pop-up venues around town.
The head of IFTA Áine Moriarty returns this year, this time with special guest, Patrick Bergin – an actor best known for his leading role opposite Julia Roberts in ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’ and for his stint playing villainous Aidan Maguire in the BBC soap EastEnders.
K-FEST looks forward to packing out numerous pubs, and the K-Kids programme this year is all about connecting with the senses, and involves arts and crafts, balloon modelling school, book reading, fairy trail, plus many other activities throughout the weekend. In addition, kids will be invited to participate in the first art workshop for a kid’s art project to be unveiled at K-FEST 2020.
New this year is a dance strand, which sees Killorglin native Jade O’Connor, who will give a special performance at the Screaming Pope Prize on Sunday evening. Selected by a panel of judges comprising acclaimed artists and critics select the winner, with a top cash prize of €1,000.
Also for dance, Céilí Afro Dabke, A World-Music Céilí, will grace K-FEST’s stages on the Friday of the festival with The Welcoming Project.