Van Events Our Tours

Where we're going and what we're doing

HIGHLIGHTS

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 promoted here. But here's a taste of what we're up to over the next while!)

Saturday 22 June | Co. FINGAL

2PM - Rolestown Housing Estate

6pm - Millennium Park Blanchardstown

Performances by Asha Ari and Sophie Meehan

Sunday 23 June | Co. FINGAL

1pm – Lusk Bandstand

4.30pm – Skerries – Floraville Public Park

Performances by Hazel Hogan and Niamh Bury

Friday 28 June | Co. FINGAL

11am – Balseskin Reception Centre

4pm – Dun Saithne Estate in Balbriggan

Performances by Kiruu and Rhythm Africana

Saturday 29 June | Co. FINGAL

1pm – Dromheath Estate

5pm – Corduff Community Resource Centre

Performances by Trudie Gorman and Jyellowl 

Sunday 30 June | Co. FINGAL

1pm – Deerpark Ukrainian Centre near Howth Castle

Performances by Maryna Odolska and Indeceltic

5pm – Baldoyle Community Garden

Performances by Paula Meehan and IndeCeltic

The Sounds Like Summer: Fingal Festival in a Van tour is proud to be funded by Creative Ireland and Fingal County Council in partnership with Creative Fingal and FCC Community Office.

Saturday 6 July & Sunday 7 July | Dublin

We're teaming up with Narrative4 and Mud Island Community Garden for a half-day story exchange workshop celebrating the moments that have brought hope to the people who make Mud Island bloom.

This story exchange will culminate in a live event at Mud Island Community Garden on Sunday 7 July at 2pm. All welcome!

Supported by Dublin City Council Arts Office

Recent Events

SUNDAY 16 June 2024 | CO. TIPPERARY

To celebrate the conclusion of the Songlines workshop series focused on engaging those living with dementia and cognitive impairment through poetry and music, Festival in a Van hosted a live celebratory event at Rathkeevan Nursing Home in Clonmel.

Led by our two Tipperary artist facilitators Margaret Galvin and Peter O'Toole, we sang, danced, and shared stories and poems together, from staff to residents to friends and family members.

Songlines is proud to be funded by the Arts Council with support from Tipperary County Council, Mayo County Council, Réalta, and Poetry Ireland. 

Thursday 30 May 2024 | Co. KERRY

Festival in a Van is delighted to be visiting three locations as part of Listowel Writers Week. We'll be bringing some festival magic to two private community residences in Listowel.

We'll also be popping up with a free public performance in Listowel Square at 14.15 with music from Molly O'Mahony and poetry from Annemarie Ní Churreain. All welcome!

SUNDAY 26 May 2024 | CO. TIPPERARY

To celebrate the conclusion of the Songlines workshop series focused on engaging those living with dementia and cognitive impairment through poetry and music, Festival in a Van hosted a live celebratory event at St. Martha's Nursing Home in Cahir.

Led by our two Tipperary artist facilitators Margaret Galvin and Peter O'Toole, we sang, danced, and shared stories and poems together, from staff to residents to friends and family members.

Songlines is proud to be funded by the Arts Council with support from Tipperary County Council, Mayo County Council, Réalta, and Poetry Ireland. 

SUNDAY 19 MAY 2024 | CO. MAYO

To celebrate the conclusion of the Songlines workshop series focused on engaging those living with dementia and cognitive impairment through poetry and music, Festival in a Van hosted live performances in two care homes in Belmullet and Castlebar.

Led by our two Mayo artist facilitators John Hoban and Isabella Hoban, we sang, danced, and shared stories and poems together, from staff to residents to friends and family members.

Saturday 18 May 2024 | Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Trí Mhionlíne le hIMRAM, ina raibh Liam Carson agus Maeve O’Sullivan ag léamh haiku le tionlacan ceoil ó Sheán Mac Erlaine. Ina dhiaidh sin,  thug muid cuireadh don lucht féachána teacht linn ar ginko (siúlóid haiku), aghus deis acu a gcuid haiku féin a scriobh agus á léamh os comhair an phobail. Bhi am ar dóigh againn go léir!

Three Little Lines invited audiences of all ages to embark on an artist-led springtime gingko walk in beautiful Dun Laoghaire. Inspired by their surroundings, participants were guided in composing their own haiku in Irish and English, and had the opportunity to read their three little lines on the Festival in a Van stage.

To get creative juices flowing, the afternoon kicked off with performances by two haiku poets accompanied by music. Liam Carson and Maeve O'Sullivan read haiku with music accompaniment by Seán Mac Erlaine.

Presented by Festival in a Van and IMRAM with funding from Foras na Gaeilge and DLR Arts Office and An Ciste Spreagtha

Tuesday 7 mAY 2024 | WEXFORD

This second outing of the Jukebox Project headed to three private community residences in Wexford with live performances from Jim Maguire and Rachel Grace. Staff and clients at each location built the bespoke setlist, which was then performed live by Jim and Rachel.

Funded by the Arts Council in partnership with Mental Health Ireland

FRIDAY 26 APRIL 2024 | OFFALY AND LAOIS

We headed to three private community residences across Tullamore and Portlaoise with the Jukebox Project. Ahead of our visit, clients of Mental Health Ireland had the chats with staff about their favourite poems and stories.

After much anticipation, our two artists, musician Darren Brown and poet Gerry Boland, rocked up to their door, whisking these requests into a live collaborative Jukebox session.

This day brough the joy of live performance directly to people experiencing mental health difficulties who might not ordinarily be able to attend a traditional venue.

Funded by the Arts Council in partnership with Mental Health Ireland

TUESDAY 9 APRIL 2024, 12PM – 1.30PM | UCD

On stage as part of this special visit to UCD was Rhythm Africana performing traditional songs from all over Africa sure to get you dancing.

The main event was an outing of a new specially commissioned spoken word theatre piece by acclaimed group WeAreGriot which explores themes of migration and home. We also heard from UCD students Beth Corcoran, Robert Power, Isidora Durán Stewart, and Rachel O'Sullivan.

Funded by the Arts Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Arts Office and made possible through the support of members of UCD’s Creative Futures Academy and College of Arts and Humanities and UCD Estates.

 

SATURDAY 23 MARCH 2024 | WICKLOW

We honoured Elimination of Racism Day with our friends at the African Irish Society of Wicklow. We visited two locations in Wicklow with music, spoken word, and dance. Featured performers included Rhythm Africana, Kayssie K, and No Wahala Dance Crew.

12pm - 13.00: Bay Hotel Car Park, Arklow

17.00 - 18.00: Burnaby Park, Greystones

Rhythms of Africa is supported by the International Decade For People Of African Descent Fund

SUNDAY 17 MARCH 2024 | CARLOW

The Van celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Bagenalstown and Tullow with free lively music performances for the whole family from Fiach Moriarty, Megan McDonald, Niall McNally, and Eric Butler.

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.

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.