Press Releases

Great things will happen this St. Patrick’s Festival Thursday 14th – Monday 18th March;

Full Festival Programme to be announced on 20th February - January 2013: This year, Ireland will get together for another St. Patrick’s Festival in celebration of our country’s national Holiday. The five-day festival programme is packed full of events celebrating all things Irish. This year’s theme, ‘Great Things Happen When We Get Together’, is inspired by ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’, and will see the Festival throw open its arms to thousands of friends and families from all over the world to enjoy the best in Irish culture, art, street theatre, music & heritage. From 14th – 18th March, the streets of Dublin will come alive with a host of pageantry, carnivals and free entertainment showcasing the best of both Irish and international talent.

On 17th March, for the first time ever, friends and family from abroad are being invited to march in the Festival Parade. The People’s Parade welcomes guests from countries across the globe to march through the streets in this unique experience in the year of ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’. Visitors from Mexico to India will be cheered on by hundreds of thousands of spectators and participants will pass some of Ireland’s most historic landmarks including the GPO, Trinity College and Dublin Castle.

Edelle Moss, Acting CEO of St. Patrick’s Festival, feels the 2013 programme of events will have something for everyone: “St. Patrick’s Festival is one of the largest international artistic presentations of its kind and the atmosphere in the city is always electric. This year, in celebration of the Gathering Ireland 2013, we will welcome friends from abroad home to our shores and the Parade will bring The Gathering theme to life. Throughout St. Patrick’s Festival visitors can enjoy some of the best events that the capital has ever seen for free, with something in store to suit all ages, nationalities and tastes!”

Kick start this year’s Festival celebrations in the heart of Dublin city at Trad Stage.  On 14th March, Meeting House Square in Temple Bar will come alive with the sounds of this rousing gig when Liam O Maonlai presents the best of contemporary Irish Culture and Music. Other Festival favourites, such as the Festival Céilí are back on the line up for 2013. On Friday 15th March, visitors will be immersed in Irish culture and craic at this outdoor celebration of traditional Irish dancing.  This popular event offers a unique and fun-filled way to spend an afternoon dancing on the streets of Dublin. Expert callers will lead the crowd through dances such as the Siege of Ennis, the Walls of Limerick and lots more.

For a true taste of Irish culture and music, be sure to get to Céilí House Live in Concert (in association with RTÉ Radio 1) on Saturday evening, 16th March in the spectacular setting of the National Concert Hall. The evening will be headlined by Irish fiddle virtuoso Martin Hayes with guitarist Dennis Cahill and a specially assembled All-Star Céilí Band from Co. Mayo. They will be joined by other special guests on the night to complete the stellar line-up. Céilí House’s presenter, Kieran Hanrahan, will host what will be an atmospheric musical evening, too remarkable to be missed. Tickets are available priced from €18-35 at the National Concert Hall box office (01 4170000 or www.nch.ie).

The Festival Big Day Out (Saturday March 16th), set in the heart of Georgian Dublin in Merrion Square offers a rousing celebration of Irish and international street arts and more for all the family to enjoy from 12pm-6pm.

Another Festival stalwart, the Festival Treasure Hunt takes place on Monday, 18th March. This free fun trail through a collection of Dublin city’s landmark buildings and venues will see street-theatre and outdoor performances dotted along the route to add to the celebratory atmosphere.

Introduced last year, the ‘I Love My City’ cultural programme continues; offering people a chance to experience a variety of free cultural events across Dublin City throughout the Festival. The special programme will see 11 headline events take place over four days (Thursday 14th – Sunday 17th March). The free events offer something for everyone from an evening with ‘Crash Ensemble’ cellist Kate Ellis at the National Gallery to a Gathering themed installation at the Hugh Lane Gallery to ‘The Wonder of Snakes’, a storytelling workshop for children at the Natural History Museum.

The Gathering Ireland 2013 kicked off in style with the NYE Dublin Festival. To date there are over 2,600 confirmed Gatherings for 2013 with the people of Ireland reaching out to our many millions of friends, family, loved ones and connections overseas, inviting them to Ireland next year to celebrate with us. To see what’s planned, visit www.thegatheringireland.com.

St. Patrick’s Festival will take place in 2013 from 14th – 18th March. See www.stpatricksfestival.ie.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Maria McGrath, Fleishman-Hillard, on 01 6188420 / 0861653055 or maria.mcgrath@fleishmaneurope.com
Kevin Moore, Fleishman-Hillard on 01 6188499 / 0868252611 or Kevin.moore@fleishmaneurope.com

NOTES FOR THE EDITOR:
The principle aim of St. Patrick’s Festival, since its inauguration, is to develop a major annual international festival around the national holiday over which the Irish people would stand proud. It sets out to reflect the talents and achievements of Irish people on many national and world stages, and it acts as an exciting showcase for the manifold skills of the people of Ireland, of every age and social background.
As the one national holiday that is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other, St. Patrick’s Day is the day when everyone wants to be Irish.

Why was it started? 
• To offer a national festival that ranks as one of the greatest celebrations in the world
• To create energy and excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity and grassroots involvement, and marketing activity
• To provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations
• To project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal.

The first St Patrick’s Festival was held over one day, and night, on March 17th 1996. The live audience for the day was estimated to be 430,000.
In 1997, we dropped the word “Day” from our title and it became “St. Patrick’s Festival”, a three day event. The festival has since grown to become a 4 - 5 day festival and in 2001 was enjoyed by 1.2million people.

Preparation for the first St Patrick’s Festival used to take only 5 months, but with the growth of the Festival, it now takes 18 months to plan for Ireland’s biggest annual celebration.
The 2010 St. Patrick’s Festival added €43.7 million to the economy in spending by tourists with the number rising to a staggering €50.5 million when the spend by Dubliners attending was included.