PRESS RELEASES

12 Feb, 2015

St. Patrick’s Festival 2015 Announces Four Days of Culture and Fun

Full Festival Programme to be announced on 17th February

January 2015:
Celebrating the very best of Irish and international talent, St. Patrick’s Festival, Ireland’s national holiday celebrations, will take place this year from 14th to 17th March with the full, four-day schedule of exceptional daytime events, followed by unmissable night time experiences, to be announced on 17th February.
For the first time ever in 2014, St. Patrick’s Festival announced a three year theme and narrative for the Festival Parade of ‘Past, Present and Future’ adopting the commemorative era In Ireland’s history as its inspiration. The 2014 Festival Parade themed ‘Let’s Make History’ marked the first step on this exciting, creative journey.  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?’
Returning to the 2015 line-up is the Festival’s hugely popular and distinguished cultural programme, ‘I Love My City’. 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 marks the fourth annual series of these intimate and once-off events offering locals and visitors the chance to experience some of Dublin’s rich and vibrant artistic heritage in some of the most unique and often hidden spaces the capital has to offer.
Kicking things off on Saturday morning, 14th March the Festival Treasure Hunt 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.
The Festival Big Day Out takes place on Sunday, 15th March. Set in Georgian Dublin, this family event is bursting with colour, street performances, theatrics, Irish language events, workshops, fun zones, music and open air shows.  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.
The Festival’s principal event, the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade, takes place on Tuesday, 17th March where Ireland’s 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.

St. Patrick’s Festival CEO, Susan Kirby said: “St. Patrick’s Festival prides itself on a continued commitment to artistic excellence. This year, the four-day programme will embrace significant happenings in the Irish cultural calendar including Irish Design 2015 and Yeats 2015 as inspiration for the world-class series of events with the full Festival programme to be announced on 17th February.”
Adding “We are excited to see the second step on the three year Festival Parade narrative when this year’s theme ‘Celebrate Now’ is sure to allow for creative interpretation and colour on the streets of Dublin on March 17th.  The Festival continues to grow from strength to strength, generating €122 million* for the Irish economy and we are delighted with this year’s programme which includes favourites such as the Festival Céilí and Big Day Out along with our much anticipated cultural series, I Love My City. The programme is packed with pageantry, music, family events and lots of surprises ensuring that regardless of age or tastes, there is something for everyone to enjoy.”
Speaking in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Festival, Ciara Sugrue, Head of Trade and International Media marketing with Fáilte Ireland stressed the benefits of the event as a showcase for Irish tourism, emphasising:  “We, in Ireland, are incredibly lucky to have an event such as St. Patrick’s Day, which consistently succeeds as an attractive magnet for publicity and visitors.  This year’s four day festival will provide us with the perfect opportunity to invite key overseas media to come to Dublin and to film, write and blog about one of the most popular festivals in the world. In essence, the festival provides a timely window on Ireland just as our tourism season gets into gear.”
Other highlights of the St. Patrick’s Festival programme this year include Céilí House Live in Concert at the National Concert Hall, the Festival 5km road race, daily music and street 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 details on the programme log on to www.stpatricksfestival.ie, download the app, or join the Festival’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.
ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Maria McGrath, FleishmanHillard, on 01 6188420 / 0861653055 or Maria.Mcgrath@fleishmaneurope.com
Elle Caffrey, FleishmanHillard on 01 6188435 / 0872447146 or Elle.Caffrey@fleishmaneurope.com

NOTES 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.