Donegal Bay & Blue Stacks: Donegal County Council

Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival: Donegal County Council

Donegal County Council initiated the Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival in 2001 to provide an annual celebratory focus for the arts in the South and South West of the county, mirroring the success of a previous Donegal County Council initiative, the Earagail Arts Festival, in the North and North West. The Festival usually runs from late September to the end of the first week in October. It presents a rich and varied programme of contemporary, classical and traditional music, theatre, carnival, opera, visual arts, street arts, literary events, events for children – both within and outside of school – in a host of towns and villages including Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Ballybofey, Pettigo, Donegal, Mountcharles, Dunkineely, Killybegs, Cill Chartha, An Carraig, Gleann Choilm Cille, Ardara and Glenties.

The Festival provides a valuable platform for work commissioned and/or assisted by the Arts Service. Examples include the ‘Turas’ contemporary dancework by Letterkenny choreographer Aoife Toner in response to the Turas Choilm Cille pilgrim path at Gleann Choilm Cille, An Grianán Theatre’s production of Pat Mc Cabe’s ‘Frank Pig Says Hello’, Gort a’Choirce traditional dancer and choreographer Nora Kavanagh’s revival and performance of the ‘The Donegal Weavers’ set dance, Little John Nee’s ‘Songs from The Lough Swilly Delta’ project, and a series of productions of classic operas, including ‘La Bohème’, ‘Die Fledermaus’ and ‘Carmen’, by NorthWest Opera Company. The Festival is also home to the annual Carnival Ballyshannon Project which culminates in a night time Carnival Parade of over 400 children, young people and adult participants, alongside professional performers from Donegal, Sligo, Galway and Belfast.

The Festival programme is delivered in partnership with a number of prominent Donegal arts and community development initiatives including the The Abbey Arts Centre and Erne Enterprise Development Company Ltd. in Ballyshannon, Cairdeas na bhFidléirí The Donegal Fiddlers Asssociation, the Inishowen-based LUXe landscape theatre company, Dark Daughter Productions of Bundoran, The Balor Arts Centre and The Balor Rep Theatre Company in Ballybofey, County Donegal ETB Music Education Partnership, Donegal Drama Circle in Donegal Town, the Meitheal Ealaíne visual artists group in Gleann Choilm Cille, the Johnny Doherty Music and Dancing Festival (Comhaltas Cheoltóirí éireann) in Ardara and Coiste Chultúrtha Dhún Cheann Fhaola, with additional input from the Regional Cultural Centre and An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny.

The Festival is funded by Donegal County Council and The Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaíon, with additional support towards the Carnival Ballyshannon project from Donegal ETB.

The Festival programme is co-ordinated by Donegal County Council Arts Service. For further and all Festival Information, please contact Donegal County Council Arts Service.

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