Colm Tóibín, Mike Hanrahan, Cathy Dunne and Colm Mac Con Iomaire get ready for Bealtaine Festival’s first in-person instalment since 2019
Tickets are now available for Ireland’s national festival celebrating the arts and creativity in older age, with 80% of events free of charge.
We are proud to present this year’s Bealtaine Festival. For the first time since 2019, the majority of Bealtaine 2022 will be held in-person, with many events also taking place online. This year we are giving attendees the chance to reconnect and celebrate once again! Taking into account how tough the past couple of years have been, we wanted to make this year its most inspiring celebration of diversity, culture, age, and life yet.
For Bealtaine’s grand return to in-person events, we have a star-studded lineup to bring the festival back with a bang. Some of this year’s stand-out events include; Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, in association with the International Literature Festival, Dublin, where Rathbone Folio Prize winner Colm Tóibín and Padraig Regan will read and discuss their work; and An Evening with Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Guests, with the founding member of hugely successful Irish bands The Frames and Kíla, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, bringing an intimate evening of live music with his own choice of guests to Kilmuckridge Memorial Hall, Co. Wexford.
Being a festival celebrating all aspects of life, we have ensured the lineup of events at this year’s festival is varied and vibrant, drawing on themes and stories from the LGBTQ+ community in Flikkers – Come As You Were, a series of events remembering and celebrating the Flikkers Disco era at the Hirschfeld Centre, inviting all, especially older, members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community to dance and celebrate this seminal period of social and cultural activism; to insights from various communities in Love Song Part 1: Communities of Dissent, which sees Dublin-born singer-songwriter, composer, writer, and theatre-maker Seán Millar, with a choir of performers and guest singers, perform and contextualise a curated song-cycle of pieces from his decades long engagement with communities going through profound change.
With tickets for the festival events available from today, Bealtaine invites all to come and revel in culture and togetherness. We want to highlight the idea of inclusivity and accessibility and will offer both in-person and online events that cater to the differing abilities and preferences of attendees while also taking into consideration their health and wellbeing in the midst of the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s festival, Bealtaine Festival Artistic Director Dr. Tara Byrne said: “Over the last few years we have witnessed a monumental shift in the nature of society caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. While it’s hard to comprehend the full extent of our losses as yet, many of us have gained a new appreciation of the role that personal resilience plays in our lives. As part of this, our collective sense of in(ter)dependence has strengthened and fittingly, this represents our current Bealtaine theme. As we enter Spring/Summer and hopefully transition out of the worst of Covid-19, we reach a ‘threshold moment’ once again where we can turn towards each other and look to the ‘sure promise of oncoming summer’ (From Theo Dorgan’s Bealtaine-commissioned essay, We Have Each Other Still). I like to think of Bealtaine as our link to that summer.”
This year’s Bealtaine events also bring to light more serious topics of discussion including: This is my Beautiful House: Culture, Dignity and Future Models of Home Care, a discussion panel that aims to take a cultural look at how we can develop and support more creative, personal, and sensitive models of home care in Ireland, chaired by Professor Eamon O’Shea from NUI Galway; or Cathy Dunne’s film “Where Do All The Old Gays Go?” which explores intersectional identities and will premiere at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin with a post-show discussion chaired by producer and director Bill Hughes. Topics of racism and intergenerational relationships are tackled in Dylan Tighe’s free listening event, No Love Lost which explores racism through the prism of a love story between a young Traveller man and an older woman from Dublin 4.
Bealtaine is Ireland’s national festival which celebrates the arts and creativity as we age. With 80% of this year’s events being free of charge or giving you the option to ‘pay what you can’, we welcome you to dance, sing, and celebrate at any of our 70 plus events taking place in every province of Ireland. One regional event not to be missed is Bealtaine Voices with Mike Hanrahan in which singer, musician, producer, and proud Ennis man Mike Hanrahan of Stockton’s Wing will lead a free community event for all generations with local choirs, taking place at Ennis Courthouse Grounds, Co. Clare.