Clonmel Junction Festival

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Clonmel Junction Festival
Genre Live Music Visual Arts Food Comedy Dance Theatre
Begins First week in July, 03-09 July 2017
Frequency Yearly
Location(s) Clonmel,Tipperary, Ireland
Years active 15
Inaugurated 2001

Clonmel Junction Festival is an annual festival held in the town of Clonmel, Ireland. The festival starts on the first week-end of July and runs for seven days. It is a multi discipline arts festival mixing theatre, circus, dance, music, food and visual arts.

Clonmel Junction Festival was established in 2001 and has grown to be one of the most significant cultural celebrations of the Irish summer festival season.[1] The festival has been described as punching well above its weight for a town with no committed performing arts venue.[2]


Early years[edit]

Raw by Fidget Feet, Junction 7.08

Clonmel Junction Festival was established in 2001 by the now defunct Galloglass Theatre Company. It featured four theatre shows, one comedy performance and a small number of Traditional Music performances in local pubs. The highlight of the event being Cracked by Quare Hawks Theatre Company.

In 2002, the festival expanded its format to include Rock Music featuring Damien Rice and Kíla. A participation programme was also introduced this year. The programme involved local school children creating street art that was put on display for the duration of the festival. This has since become annual program which engages over 300 children every year.[3]

2003 featured the premiere of Des Dillon's Teac a Bloc. This was also the last year that the festival was run by the Galloglass Theatre Company.


2004 saw Clonmel Junction Festival became an independent organisation run by a board of directors. The success of festival lead to its expansion in 2005, increasing from a six-day event to nine-day event.

2006 saw the festival bring Nofit State Circus to Clonmel for five sell-out shows. As part of this year festival, there was also a celebration of newly established Polish community within Clonmel, in a mini Polish Festival.

The 10th Clonmel Junction Festival took place in 2010,the focus of the event shifted to circus.[4] The festival featured circus acts from Ireland and abroad, including Fossett's Circus and Les Parfaits Inconnus. The music line up included Cathy Davey, Republic of Loose and Mick Flannery. It also featured the premiere of Me Seeing You 2, by the Iseli Chiodi Dance Company commissioned by the Festival, South Tipperary Arts Office and The Excel Centre.[5]

Artistic Projects[edit]

Mudfire by the Carpetbag Brigade, Junction 7.08

The Participation Programme made it possible to transform Clonmel into a "forest" in 2006. The villages in the forest were set up by the programme. Several acts brought their villages with them in their own way. There was also a celebration of the emerging Polish village within Clonmel, in a mini Polish Festival.

Followed by the success of the Space Time Machine in 2007 the Festival organised Da Fair deadly Pirateswarm, 2008 youth project. The same year a collaboration was organised between Body Mind & Soul, visiting artists from Malawi and Maslow, a young local band.[6] Sensazione, an eco-theatrical fun fair was the headline event in 2008. Along with this several other theatre world premières took place during the nine days including 'Raw', a creation of the aerial dance company Fidget Feet in collaboration with the festival and made possible by funding from the Arts Council.[7]

Highlights over the years[edit]

2001Cracked by Quare Hawks Theatre Company
2002Gorilla Goes Beautiful by Lieber Gorilla, Moze Fan Fan, Damien Rice
2003 – The premiere of Des Dillon's Teach a Bloc
2004Tom Crean Antarctic Explorer by Aidan Dooley,
Romeo and Juliet by The Daylight Players
2005KT Tunstall, Yair Dalal, Máirtín O'Connor
2006Nofit State Circus, Liam Clancy and Odetta
2007The Syringa Tree, Foy Vance, Mary Black
2008 – Nicole and Martin, Paul Brady, The Blizzards, Fidget Feet
2009 – Cafe Carte Blanche
2010Cathy Davey, Republic of Loose, Kíla, Mick Flannery



External links[edit]