Culture club: Keeping arts festivals afloat

Arts festivals, big and small, are not only at the heart of Irish cultural life: they’re also a significant driver of our economy. Niamh Mongey talks to festival producers about what it takes - financially and otherwise - to make big things happen

21st July, 2019
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Noeline Kavanagh, artistic director of Macnas: ‘Culture has become a commodity’ Pic: Andrew Downes

Ancient festive celebration has made a mark on our cultural consciousness. We’re well-known for our pagan traditions, and we’re not shy of a good shindig. From Samhain, the festival of fire, when our ancestors lit up the hills to mark the end of harvest, to Imbolc, honouring St Brigid, the goddess of birth and fertility, the Irish have a great reputation as storytellers, makers and artists. Revelry and ritual are in our DNA....

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