Van Events Our Tours

Where we're going and what we're doing

HIGHLIGHTS

VITAL SIGNS TOUR

Curated by poet and editor Martin Dyar and guided by the poetry anthology Vital Signs, this tour is bringing poets and musicians to staff and clients in care homes, community hospitals and day care centres across the country.

This project is in partnership with Poetry Ireland and is supported by the Arts Council.

Shared Music Sessions

The Shared Music Sessions utilise our shared love of music to forge connections between musicians and audiences from Ireland, Ukraine, and a hugely diverse array of other newly arrived migrant and refugee communities. Presented with the generous atmosphere of the traditional Irish seisiún, the Shared Music Sessions are delighted to be supported by Creative Ireland, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media's Local Live Performance Programming Scheme.

With thanks to our partners in Creative Ireland, Mother Tongues, Music Generation, and the Local Authority Network around Ireland.

Upcoming Events

Festival in a Van often visits specific communities and groups around Ireland which means our events aren't always advertised here. However, we love keeping people in the loop about our whereabouts , so here's a sample of what we're up to over the next while.

Sunday 17 March 2024 | Carlow

Join us in celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Bagenalstown and Tullow with free lively music performances for the whole family!

11.30 - 12.15: Fair Green Park, Bagenalstown

14.45 - 15.45: Tullow Civic Office Car Park

Funded and supported by Carlow County Council and Creative Places Bagenalstown in association with Develop Tullow Association.

Recent Events

Wednesday 31 January | Wexford 

We celebrated the hope, renewal, and heritage of St. Brigid’s Day with free live performances exploring Enniscorthy past and future through stories, poems and songs. This event was the final culmination of The Enniscorthy Time Machine Project which invited different generations in Wexford to write nostalgically and imaginatively about the town in the 1570s, the 1970s, the 2070s, and the 2570s.

12pm - 1pm: Colaiste Bride, Enniscorthy

4pm - 5pm: Peace Park, Enniscorthy

Funded and supported by Wexford County Council in partnership with Creative Ireland. Presented by Festival in a Van in association with Wexford Arts Centre, Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy Library, ​Coláiste Bríde, and Creative Places Enniscorthy

Tuesday 5, 6 December, Tues 16, 23 January | Wexford 

The Enniscorthy Time Machine Project: Creative Writing Workshops with Billy Roche

Remembering Enniscorthy 50 years ago and imagining the town in 50 years’ time.

What are your memories of Enniscorthy in the 1970s? Through poems and songs and short stories and essays, participants were encouraged to invent and to remember: to look to the future and what Enniscorthy might be like 50 years from now; to hark back and recall what it was like growing up and growing older here – the buildings, the fashion, the people and the pastimes and the changes we’ve all seen along the way.

Funded and supported by Wexford County Council in partnership with Creative Ireland. Presented by Festival in a Van in association with Wexford Arts Centre, Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy Library, and ​Coláiste Bríde.

Sunday 17 December | Carlow

With the support of Carlow County Council, Develop Tullow Association, and Creative Places Bagenalstown, we made two stops in Tullow and Bagenalstown on Sunday 17 December to spread some holiday cheer and give people a welcome respite from last-minute Christmas shopping.

Wednesday 22 November, 1pm - 2pm | ZOOM

Our online lunchtime Songlines seminar explored the benefits, challenges, and key learnings of engaging people with dementia through the participatory arts.

We were joined for this seminar by Liam Merriman (musician) and Margaret Galvin (poet) as well as Paul Carey (Manager, Grantstown Daycare Centre) for a conversation hosted by Joe Brennan about the benefits and challenges of bringing the participatory arts into healthcare settings. Discussions ranged from ethical considerations to expectations versus reality to what sort of investment and preparatory work is necessary to make a programme such as Songlines successful.

Friday 17 November, 3pm - 6pm | DUBLIN

As part of Inclusion Week supported by Fingal County Council, we got Dublin 15 up and grooving from 3pm - 6pm for Mulhuddart Winterfest, taking place at Mulhuddart Community Centre. Taking to the stage were S.t Jaé, Fin Furey, and Sophie Doyle Ryder.

SATURDAY 4 NOVEMBER | CARLOW

We made two stops in Carlow to round out our Vital Signs tour with Poetry Ireland funded by the Arts Council. The first was a private visit to St. Lazerian's House.

At 3.30pm, we were in Fair Green Park Bagenalstown with an hour of free poetry and music from Ali Comerford, Fiach Moriarty, and Mark Roper.

Tuesday 31 OCTOBER | Cavan

Healing Poetry with Noel Monahan writing workshop at Cootehill Library.

Taking place as part of VITAL SIGNS in a Van in partnership with Poetry Ireland and supported by the Arts Council and Cavan Arts Office.

Tuesday 31 October 2023 | OFFALY

The Van joined Creative Places Edenderry for an afternoon of family friendly Halloween fun outside Edenderry Town Hall from 12pm - 4pm. There was Halloween-themed tunes with RADAR; Retox Dance Entertainment; spooky fun storytelling and a li'l goblin music with Danna Daly; and dance with Sideshow Drama.

OCTOBER BANK HOLIDAY TOUR

We toured to six locations in Kerry for the October Bank Holiday weekend thanks to the support of Creative Ireland and the Kerry Arts Office and working in partnership with our friends at Music Generation Kerry. All were welcome to join and dance with us at these county-wide outings of our Shared Music Sessions, which bring together Irish musicians with Ukrainian musicians and others from asylum seeker background.

SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER 2023 | KERRY

Ballybunion, 12pm: Playground carpark

Listowel, 4pm: The Square, Listowel

SUNDAY 29 OCTOBER 2023 | KERRY

Killarney, 12pm: KDYS

Tralee, 4pm: Island of Geese

MONDAY 30 OCTOBER 2023 | KERRY

Derrynane, 12pm:  Derrynane Hotel

Cahersiveen, 4pm: Cahersiveen Pier

FRIDAY 27 OCTOBER | DUBLIN

Writing the Body - Poetry and Disability Workshop with Trudie Gorman at Ballyfermot Library

Writing the Body was a free two-hour creative writing workshop facilitated by award winning writer and community development worker Trudie Gorman. The group worked together to connect back to our bodies, to welcome our spirits into our soft homes. Expect writing prompts meditation and awakening to your presence.

VITAL SIGNS in a Van in partnership with Poetry Ireland and supported by the Arts Council and Waterford City & County Council.

Saturday 21 October | DUBLIN

The Van pulled up to the public square of Tallaght Library as part of the Red Line Book Festival's Family Fun Day. Picture book enthusiasts and early readers were welcome to come along with their friends, parents, grandparents, and brothers and sisters for a day of family-friendly music, storytelling, and spoken word.

Three 50-minute performances took place throughout the day at 12pm, 1.30pm, and 3pm featuring stories from Jack Lynch and Seosamh Ó Maolalaí, music and words from Catherine Ann Cullen, and Ukrainian songs from Maryna Odolska.

Monday 16 October | MONAGHAN

Mairéad Donnellan hosted a Poetry SOS Clinic at Carrickmacross Library.

Taking place as part of VITAL SIGNS in a Van in partnership with Poetry Ireland and supported by the Arts Council.

VARIOUS DATES IN OCTOBER | LOUTH

Translating the Painting - Poetry and Healing with Enda Coyle-Greene took place in several libraries across Louth, inviting workshop participants to explore the intersection of creativity and healing.

VITAL SIGNS in a Van in partnership with Poetry Ireland and supported by the Arts Council and Louth Arts Office.

Wednesday 4 October | WATERFORD

Frank Farrelly facilitated a Poetry SOS Clinic in the Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan.

VITAL SIGNS in a Van in partnership with Poetry Ireland and supported by the Arts Council and Waterford City & County Council.

Friday 22 September | CULTURE NIGHT IN LOUTH, CAVAN, ROSCOMMON

Nithy Kasa delivered a Poetry SOS Clinic at Louth County Museum.

Mairead Donnellan delivered a Poetry SOS Clinic at Bailieborough Library, Cavan

Gerry Boland delivered a Poetry SOS Clinic at Roscommon Arts Centre

Friday 22 September | DUBLIN

Trudie Gorman facilitated two free writing workshops at Pearse Library as part of Culture Night.

14:30: Everyday Revolutions: Writing Working-Class Stories
18:00 Healing Words: Writing our Stories

VITAL SIGNS in a Van in partnership with Poetry Ireland and supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Libraries.

Friday 15 September | GALWAY

On our second day at the Shorelines Arts Festival, the featured act was Bog Bodies.

11:00 - 11:45: Portumna Community School (PRIVATE)
14:00 - 14:40: Portumna Retirement Village (PRIVATE)
16:00 - 16:45: Castle Harbour Marina

Thursday 14 September | GALWAY

The Van returned to the fantastic Shorelines Festival with featured musicians Strings & Things.

11am - 12pm: Portumna Castle Cafe
14:00 - 14:45: St Brendan's National School (PRIVATE)

17:00 - 17:45: Portumna Library

Mon 21 August 2023  | MONAGHAN

The Van visited Rossmore Park with poet and fiction writer Mary O'Donnell with music from Stephen Doherty and David Doocey.

VITAL SIGNS in a Van in partnership with Poetry Ireland and supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Libraries.

Saturday 19 August 2023 | FINGAL

Festival in a Van visited St. Catherine’s Estate, Rush, Floraville Public Park - Skerries, and Garristown Garda Station as part of our two-day tour of Fingal. Featured artists included Enda Coyle-Greene, Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin, Londiwe Queens, and a number of local performers

Supported by Creative Ireland and Fingal County Council

Friday 18 August 2023 | FINGAL

Festival in a Van visited St Ita’s Resource Centre and Donabate Portrane Community Centre. Featured performers included Tony Curtis, Esosa Ighodaro, Leila Jane, and a handful of local artists.

Supported by Creative Ireland and Fingal County Council

Monday 15 August 2023 | LOUTH

The Van visited Dundalk Market Square with poetry from Tom French and music by Seán Mathews.

VITAL SIGNS in a Van in partnership with Poetry Ireland and supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Libraries.

Wed 16 August 2023 | WATERFORD

The Van visited Cappoquin Community Centre with poetry from Clodagh Beresford Dunne and music by Tadhg Williams.

VITAL SIGNS in a Van in partnership with Poetry Ireland and supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Libraries.

Sunday 6 August 2023 | DUBLIN

WeAreGriot premiered their newly commissioned piece DEITIES at Balseskin Reception Centre.

Supported by the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund in partnership with Business to Arts

Sunday 23 July 2023 | DUBLIN
Chinese Cultural Celebration in St. Anne's Park and Herbert Park featuring traditional Chinese dancers and musicians

Thursday 22 June 2023 | CITY WEST
Community Jukebox Session with the residents of City West Transit Hub

Tuesday 20 June 2023 | DUNDRUM
World Refugee Day Singalong with AkiDwA

Saturday 17 June 2023 | ENNIS & LISDOONVARNA, CO. CLARE
Shared Music Sessions featuring Kseniya Rusnak, Paul Dooley, Katie Theasby Trio, Mariia Minina, Varcara Husarova

Supported by Clare County Council

Saturday 10 June 2023 | KENMARE & TRALEE, CO. KERRY
Shared Music Sessions as part of Cruinniú na nÓg featuring Katya Globa, Kirrill, Maddie Courtney, Yaromyr, and Micha Dimov

Supported by Kerry County Council for Cruinniú na nÓg 

Wednesday 17 May 2023 | ENNISCORTHY & WELLINGTONBRIDGE, CO. WEXFORD
Songlines with Margaret Galvin and Billy Roche at Grantstown Community Village and St. John's Community Hospital.

In partnership with Poetry Ireland, and supported by the Arts Council and the Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT)

Tuesday 16 May 2023 | DUNGARVAN, CO. WEXFORD
Songlines with Lani O'Hanlon and Liam Merriman at Dungarvan Community Hospital and Care Choice Dungarvan

In partnership with Poetry Ireland, and supported by the Arts Council and the Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT)

Friday 5 May 2023 | CITY WEST
Community Jukebox Session with the residents of City West Transit Hub

Monday 24 April 2023 | LEIXLIP, KILDARE
Shared Music Sessions featuring Seana Davey, Maryna Odolska, Savage Jim Breen Band for Older Voices Kildare

Friday 14 April 2023 | CO. LONGFORD
Juke Box Project with Mary Melvin Geoghegan and Emma Warren at Glenavon Community Residence, Longford Day Care Centre, and Ashford Community Residence

In partnership with the HSE and Mental Health Ireland funded by the Arts Council

Thursday 13 April 2023 | MULLINGAR
Juke Box Project with Fin Furey, Sean Regan, Michael Flemming, and Rachael Hegarty

In partnership with the HSE and Mental Health Ireland funded by the Arts Council

Monday 6 March 2023 | RED COW
Shared Music Sessions with Import/Export and Justine Nantale

Wednesday 1 March 2023 | CITY WEST
Shared Music Sessions with Import/Export and Kiruu

Friday 24 Feb 2023 | RED COW
Shared Music Sessions with Fin Furey, Tommy Keane, and Kiruu

Wednesday 22 February 2023 | CITY WEST
Shared Music Sessions with Fin Furey, Tommy Keane, and Justine Nantale

Tuesday 14 Feb 2023 | RED COW
Shared Music Sessions with Import/Export, Tommy Keane, Fin Furey, and Kiruu

Friday 10 February 2023 | RED COW
Shared Music Sessions with Import/Export, Tommy Keane, Fin Furey, and Kiruu

making vans happen where you are

If you would like Festival in a Van to visit your local area or community, or if you are planning a festival or event and would like to hold performances somewhere that there isn't a stage, please contact us for more information.