New geodesic domes arrive for five Offaly festivals

New domes arrive for five Offaly festivals

Members of five festivals in Birr welcoming new geodesic domes last week

Members representing Birr's five festivals welcomed the arrival of the festival geodesic domes at the Formal Gardens in Birr Castle.

The four domes are from Poland and were ordered about a year ago, costing €25,000. The festival members said the domes will prove very useful.

Maureen de Forge said she was delighted to witness their arrival, pointing out their practical value in an inclement climate.
Gary Hoctor said the domes can fold neatly away and are in storage in a private premises on Green Street.

“All going well they will first be used during the three festivals planned for August.”

Scripts will take place from August 12 to 14. It's a festival dedicated to new Irish plays - the writing of them, the development and nurturing of them. Submissions for Scripts have now closed. The playwrights selected will benefit from a professional development process where they will be mentored by professional playwright Eugene O'Brien in an exciting workshopping process.

The 53rd annual Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival will take place from August 14 to 20. The Vintage Week committee says a hybrid mix of in-person and online events are planned this year. The programme will be released in early August.

Birr Festival of Music will take place from August 20 to 22. The festival aims to: expand the profile of and enjoyment of classical music for all; support emerging professional musicians and singers; and to continue the support of a children's choir.
Last year, in October 2020, the committees of the town's five festivals very wisely decided to band together. They formed the Birr Festivals Collective and launched the Birr Festivals Development Strategy.

This strategy set out six goals, including -

1. The continuation of the Festival Steering Group (known as Birr Festivals Collective);

2. Engagement of professional services to provide shared executive supports to the Birr festivals;

3. To procure equipment to support the live streaming of events;

4. Development of a strategy for audience development and engagement;

5. Position Birr and its festivals prominently in national strategies and campaigns;

6. Explore potential for developing an action research project with Offaly County Council for submission to the Arts Council's Invitation to Collaboration Scheme.

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