By Kieran O’Mahony
NOW in its third year, the Clonakilty Organic Arts Festival (COAF) will run from June 15th to 18th.
This year it is amalgamating with the Clonakilty Street Carnival on Saturday June 17th for art, poetry, drama, music, dance, literature and children’s events.
‘The COAF aims to give local and national talent a creative space and environment, and hence the term “organic” is central to its philosophy of also encouraging home-grown artists and performers alike,’ said Niall Fitzpatrick, one of the festival organisers.
‘Naturally, this cannot happen without the continued support of businesses in the town, especially the hotels, pubs and cafés which kindly host the variety of performances and art installations,’ he added. ‘We hope that this festival will grow into something that will benefit all of West Cork, as tourists who put it in their diary, and see what’s on offer in the surrounding regions and towns too.’
Over the three days of the festival, the people of West Cork and visitors alike will be treated to a wide range of artistic delights, from writers such as Dave Lordan and Tina Pisco, to music including the Clonakilty Folk Group and the Jazz Collective. There will also be drama from groups like Tadhg an Astna players and the town will also have a range of temporary galleries.
‘The festival prides itself on being an inclusive and community event and those who turn up will see evidence of this when they witness events by school children, the elderly, some from the Cope Foundation and the Irish Wheelchair Association.’
This year’s festival will also be covered by Clonline Radio, a local online radio, which was created for last year’s festival, and has proved to be a resounding success since. The station will cover the events of the festival while also interviewing guests.
‘This three-and-a-half day event is run on a shoestring and funded by Cork County Council, supporters and local businesses in Clonakilty. We must also thank the O’Neill family of Fernhill House Hotel who have been our main sponsor for the second year running,’ said Niall.
See www.clonartsfest.com for updates and events.