Details are being finalised for a Sligo Summer Festival, an outdoor carnival of music, sports and culture festival as part of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Borough of Sligo. The Festival will take place in Sligo Borough and its environs in an open air music festival in Stephen Street car park featuring Bessi, The Sawdoctors and many top artists, on the weekend of August 11th and 12th. The two day festival will involve music, sports, art and culture, and featured events will include street performances, adventure races, street theatre, community led street art, and two days of music from some of Ireland’s top musicians.
The Music Hub of the festival will take place on a state of the art performance space located in Stephen street car park, spread over two days commencing on the Friday evening from 6.30pm to 11pm. A top end programme of music is lined up featuring Bressi and the Sawdoctors. Other top artists and many surprises on the main stage. This will also be the format on Saturday evening. Adding to the festivities will be a wide range of trad and a variety of music sessions held through various venues spread around the town. On Saturday, the main stage will feature the Katonahs, the Kanyu Tree, Sunday Mass and the Saw Doctors, and the day’s activities will also see a number of locations where street performances will take place adding to the summer carnival atmosphere in the heart of what promises to be a buzzing Sligo Town for the event.
In addition to the top music performances taking place on the stage, there will be a 5k adventure run race which will include an assault course and will begin in the park in Cleveragh and will finish on Rockwood Parade later in the day.
One of the other exciting events is the Lough Gill swim. This is a 10km swim the full length of Lough Gill in aid of Northwest Hospice, Sligo. It is also the 10km Connaught Swimming Championships which is the swim marathon. It raised over €11,000 last year which went directly to the hospice. It hopes to raise even more this year by expanding the number of swimmers and increasing our fundraising efforts.
In addition to this there will be A Raft Race on the Garavouge river which Sligo Sub aqua are helping to run. This will take place on Saturday afternoon and it is hoped that clubs and sports teams from Sligo will be encouraged to enter this event with Street Acts and a soap box race.
Mayor Councillor Rosaleen O'Grady sees the ‘Sligo Summer Festival’ as a Keynote event for the ‘Sligo 400’ celebrations. ‘We have developed an excellent reputation for the quality and range of our festivals. Sligo will be a hive of vibrant activity on the Weekend of 11th August. Sligo has a wonderfully rich history of community spirit, music, sports and culture. This festival will be an opportunity to showcase all that Sligo has to offer through a unique community led festival.’
- Mayor Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady with members and staff of Sligo Borough Council and members of the participating groups and clubs in the Sligo 400 Summer Festival
The festival Organiser, Councillor Daniel McGarrigle believes ‘The key objective of this festival is to bring people back into Sligo town, to celebrate and showcase Sligo and to develop an event that captures the spirit of Sligo Town. With the excellent support we are receiving from local agencies such as Failte Ireland, we will empower the town to participate and contribute to its own celebration through an event that gives something back to the community, as well as highlighting this towns successes, achievements and talents.’
It is envisaged that this will be the start of an annual event which will build year on year to put Sligo on the map for having a renowned summer music, sports and cultural festival. This would not only provide an outlet for entertainment in the Sligo community but could also develop as a key tourist attraction for the town. Yet again more evidence of a growing community spirit in Sligo