Portumna is nestled on the banks of the beautiful Lough Derg. It has gained its rightful reputation as home to some of the best hurlers in the country, including a certain Mr Joe Canning. It is also a place of real natural beauty with a spectacular marina and forest park. Here you can spend many happy hours getting away from the madding crowd.
And for one weekend in September it plays host to the unique Shorelines Festival. This is a boutique Arts Festival celebrating all that is wonderful in the arts, our culture and heritage. 2017 sees the festival celebrate its 10th anniversary with the best program yet. From art to theatre, family friendly events to workshops, the organisers have arranged something for everyone from 14th – 17th September. There will be art exhibitions, storytelling and music on every corner throughout the weekend. We have mentioned some highlights here. For the full programme of events check out www.shorelineartsfestival.com or www.inspireme.ie.
The festival shall have its official opening on Thursday 14th with wise words by Fergus Finlay, followed by haunting music by Síomha. This talented Clare lady shall be performing some of her unique jazz and soul-infused songs. Then the ever-humorous Aidan Tierney will have you rolling in the aisles as he imitates some well-known GAA figures.
The Workhouse Centre hosts a unique event on Friday 15th simply entitled Turf. But there is nothing simple about this combination of performance, sculpture and installation. It promises to tell the story of one life within the Irish soul. This is described as a visual and emotional journey. And it will challenge your perspectives of life and of the humble sod.
On Friday night, don’t miss Jack O’Rourke – one of the most prolific Irish songwriters and powerful performers on the Irish music scene today. From Whelan’s and Electric Picnic to Other Voices, he has played some of the best venues in the country. And for one night only, Jack will be enchanting festival goers in Portumna, seated at his piano.
Discover your creative side….
Saturday 16th is jam-packed with so many wonderful events it is going to be hard to choose. For those with an artistic flair there will be calligraphy and ring-making workshops under expert tuition. If you are more literary minded, why not try a writing workshop instead. And for creative kids there is the fantastic Brickz Club, where children from 5-10 are encouraged to work in groups to problem solve, share ideas and stories about their creations through fun. Perhaps a career in engineering may beckon.
Saturday night see’s you running between venues to pack it all in. Mikel Murfi stars in The man in the woman’s shoes, a play set in October 1978 which follows Pat Farnon as we walks to town and back again. Having sold out in the Abbey and toured in the US this is a real theatrical treat. Following this thespian delight you also have time to go see Julie Feeney perform her stunning show. Original songs and performance art combine in perfect harmony.
Supercharged Sing Along!
If you have ever seen yourself as part of a choir á la ‘Sister Act’ then the Singing workshop on Sunday 17th with the Park Singers is for you. All are welcome to sing along in harmony – no previous choir experience is required. Or if making noise is more your style there is a drumming workshop where you can really express yourself.
Of course these are just a few small snippets of the many events taking place as part of this unique festival in a town where community spirit truly lives and celebrates all things cultural. And who knows, if things go according to their plan, a certain Liam McCarthy may even make a guest appearance!
Find Things to Do In Your Locality
Don’t forget to check www.inspireme.ie regularly to find lots of inspiration for things to do in your own locality. And sign up here to receive regular updates on what’s on in your area.
Finally, all information correct at time of publishing. You should always check with the event organiser before you travel.