BY JACKIE KEOGH
HUNDREDS of people are coming down with Friday Night Fever ahead of the opening of Skibbereen Arts Festival.
Chairman Brendan McCarthy promised that the opening night of the 10-day festival will be a special event with the whole town reverberating to the sound of the â70s.
During the day, shops have been asked to display posters and artefacts from the disco decade and staff will be dressed in 70s costumes, but it is in the evening that the whole town gets in on the act.Â
Anyone who remembers the huge success of last year's event will know to come dressed in 70s gear because when the town's Bridge St is closed off to traffic from 7pm onwards, it will be party central.
âBridge Street will become a discotheque for the evening, with music, street theatre, children's games, arts and crafts, graffiti artists, free vintage hair styling and food stalls,' said Mr McCarthy.
âIt's a family event,' he added, and pointed out that the concert of Bee Gees classics by the popular group She Said at 9pm will also be family-friendly because the vibe on the street is so relaxed.
âPart of the appeal,' said Brendan, âis that most people take the time and effort to dress up and, like an actor on stage, they feel they can step out of the norm and let their hair down.Â
âAnd trying to figure out who is who under all that garb is all part of the fun.'
The fact that this year's festival programme runs to 70 pages should be an early indication that it is action-packed with incredible concerts, films, theatre, poetry, exhibitions, installations, workshops, walks, and talks.
For some, the musical highlight will be the sold-out performance by the world-famous group and Paul Simon collaborators South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo on Friday, August 4th, but anyone lucky enough to catch Eddi Reader last year will know that her show is powerful, dramatic and brilliant. Eddi and her band will be performing at Abbeystrewry Church on Sunday night, July 30th.
The 9th annual Canon Goodman Concert is central to the festival and attracts music lovers from all over Ireland and abroad, but there is yet one more musical event that has people talking and that is the Gregorian Chant and Sacred Song at Abbeystrewry Church on Thursday, August 2nd.
Visual art exhibitions this year include an exhibition of the works of William Crozier, Brian Lalor, Tom Climent, Don Cronin and a very special sound installation in a cave by Alan James Burns, and there's even a âCow Up a Tree'.Â
For more, see skibbereenartsfestival.com