PRESS RELEASES

23 Feb, 2015

Now is the Time to Celebrate with St. Patrick’s Festival 2015

St. Patrick’s Festival announces four days of exceptional city-wide events to celebrate Ireland’s national holiday from 14th - 17th March

24th February 2015: Vibrant Festival characters and children joined St. Patrick’s Festival CEO, Susan Kirby in Dublin this morning to announce the launch of St. Patrick’s Festival 2015 which will take place this March 14th- 17th. Four days of world-class events, street-theatre and artistic installations will mark our national holiday this year.

St. Patrick’s Festival is presenting a three-year thematic journey of ‘Past, Present and Future’ over the period 2014, 2015 and 2016. This year, leading street theatre and pageant companies will respond to the 2015 Parade theme ‘Celebrate Now’ drawing inspiration for their artistic creations from Ireland’s present, embracing ‘nowness’ and savouring the moment. In 2016 the final installation of the thematic will see the parade look to Ireland’s future and the festival will pose the question, ‘who do we aspire to be in the next 100 years?’

Commenting on the launch of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Festival Minister of State Michael Ring, TD said: “St. Patrick’s Festival is a fantastic showcase for Ireland and acts as the cornerstone of our tourism calendar. The Festival, which is expected to generate over €120m for this economy this year, continues to grow from strength to strength, evolving with the tastes and demands of the ever changing visitor demographic. It is due in no small part, to events such as St. Patrick’s Festival that we have seen visitor numbers to Ireland increase every year for the past four years. The Festival makes the most of the unique international profile of St Patrick’s Day providing a series of world-class events which are celebrated by locals and visitors alike reinforcing Ireland’s reputation as destination of choice internationally.”

Embracing Ireland’s cultural heritage, the Festival’s hugely popular and distinguished cultural programme, ‘I Love My City’ returns to the 2015 Festival programme. The series of events sees artists from a variety of disciplines including poetry, dance, visual art, filmmaking, literature, music and theatre perform in some of the most historical and culturally significant locations in the city.  This year, as part of the programme, the Festival presents The Ultimate Sunday; the Sunday papers are brought to life through talks, interviews, live music, comedy, games, films and more. Diners can appreciate a unique journey into Ireland’s cuisine with Bia Beatha at the GUINNESS STOREHOUSE®.

Enjoy Glenn P. Keating’s electronically driven compositions at the BoNs Synth Ensemble. This year marks the fourth annual series of these intimate and one-off ‘I Love My City’ events offering locals and visitors the chance to experience Ireland’s rich and vibrant artistic heritage in some of the most unique and often hidden spaces the capital has to offer. The full ‘I Love My City’ programme will be announced on Wednesday, 4th March.

Kicking things off on Saturday morning, 14th March the Festival Treasure Hunt in association with Ethiopian Airlines is a free, fun-filled and novel trail through a collection of Dublin city’s landmark buildings and venues and a great way for all ages to discover the city.

St. Patrick’s Festival and RTÉ Radio 1 present Céilí House Live, an evening of traditional music, song and dance in the spectacular setting of the National Concert Hall.  The evening will feature exceptional Celtic musicians TRIAD, with Dónal Lunny, Pádraig Rynne and Sylvain Barou, as well as soulful traditional Irish singer, Karan Casey, exhilarating Irish fiddle trio, Fidil, up and coming traditional musicians The Friel Sisters The Céilí House All-Stars, a specially-assembled group of the finest musicians, will be joined on stage by Sibéal Davit, one of Ireland’s leading sean-nós dancers at this unmissable evening of Irish music at its best!

Merrion Square, the heart of Georgian Dublin provides the stunning setting for the Festival Big Day Out taking place on Sunday, 15th March. This day-long street carnival is bursting with energy, colour, whimsical antics and the truly bizarre. Be wowed by daring aerial shows, sensational street theatrics, mind boggling workshops, rousing music and more.Celebrating Dublin as a city rich in literature, the UNESCO children’s event will also be presented at this year’s Festival Big Day Out featuring the book ‘Danger is Everywhere’ by David O’Doherty (words) and Chris Judge (pictures).

On Monday afternoon, 16th March festival favourite, the Céilí invites beginners and experts alike to lace up their dancing shoes and join in the fun at this outdoor celebration of traditional Irish dance which will take place at St. Stephen’s Green from 16:30. Also on March 16th the streets of Dublin will become the stage for internationally revered Street Theatre. In collaboration with the French Embassy in Ireland, theatre group Transe Express will present three Giant Operatic Performing Dolls sure to capture the imagination of festival-goers culminating in their appearance in the Festival Parade on March 17th.

The Festival’s principal event, the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade, takes place on Tuesday, 17th March where leading pageant companies will bring this year’s theme, ‘Celebrate Now’, to life on the streets of Dublin City. Bands and music ensembles from around the world including Mexico, USA, Germany and Ireland will provide the score for the Parade as it journeys past some of the most famous and historic landmarks of our capital city.

Festival CEO, Susan Kirby feels the 2015 programme will play a significant part in celebrating Ireland’s proud cultural heritage, “St. Patrick’s Festival is one of the largest presentations of its kind in the world and the atmosphere in the city is always electric. The Festival prides itself on a continued commitment to artistic excellence, this year drawing upon significant happenings in the Irish cultural calendar including Irish Design 2015 and Yeats 2015 as inspiration for the programme. 2015 also marks the fourth year of our cultural programme, ‘I Love My City’. It is a testament to the calibre of these events that the series continues to be oversubscribed every year.

Adding, “We are excited to see the second step on the three-year Festival Parade narrative when this year’s theme ‘Celebrate Now’ will see the streets of Dublin filled with artistic installations from leading pageant companies on March 17th.  This year’s programme is packed with music, family events and lots of surprises ensuring that regardless of age or tastes, there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

Other highlights of the St. Patrick’s Festival programme include the Festival 5km road race, music and street theatre performances throughout the city and the stunning ‘Greening the City’ that turns some of Ireland’s key landmarks green each year.
St. Patrick’s Festival will take place this year from 14th – 17th March. For full list of Festival events log on to www.stpatricksfestival.ie, download the app and join the Festival’s official Facebook and Twitter pages for live programme updates.

ENDS
For further information, please contact:
Maria McGrath, FleishmanHillard on +353861653055 or Maria.McGrath@fleishmaneurope.com
Elle Caffrey, FleishmanHillard, on +353872447146 or Elle.Caffrey@fleishmaneurope.com

Noted for the Editor
St. Patrick’s Festival is funded by Fáilte Ireland and Dublin City Council.
The principal 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.
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 2013 St. Patrick’s Festival added over €122 million to the economy in spending by tourists and Dubliners attending the programme of events.