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  • Writer's pictureDanny Joyce | Editor

Bealtaine Festival announces full 2024 Nationwide Programme

Today Bealtaine Festival, Ireland’s national celebration of the arts and creativity as we age, officially launches it's highly anticipated programme of events for 2024. The vibrant, fun and contemporary festival is set to unfold across Ireland throughout the month of May, promising an expansive lineup of performances and activities championing generational interdependence and diversity.

Developed by Age & Opportunity, Bealtaine Festival is funded by the Arts Council and the HSE and supported by communities nationwide and a vast and accomplished array of local and national bodies.

From dance celebrations to comedy showcases and immersive storytelling experiences, attendees can expect a diverse array of events that embrace the all-new Bealtaine festival theme chosen by Age & Opportunity, "Lust for Life", inspired by the Iggy Pop classic hit.

Bealtaine 2024 Programme highlights include:

Teenage Kicks: Rebellious Youth, Subculture, and Streetstyle in Dublin (1970’s - 1990’s): An exhibition and panel discussion centred on Garry O’Neill’s archive, ‘Where were you?’. The archive consists of thousands of images of Irish street style and subcultures sourced from the general public, photojournalists, amateur photographers, archives, and print. Photo Museum Ireland, Dublin, 17th May, 7:30pm.

The Bealtaine Tour: VIXEN: Winner of the Bealtaine Touring Award 2024, VIXEN is a compelling psychological drama by Helen Casey of one woman’s resilience, determination, and desperation to name a love that was hers but belonged to another. Featuring actress, Rose Henderson, VIXEN is set to tour theatres nationwide.

Prom Night: 'Prom Night', hosted in partnership with Street 66 and Outhouse at Street 66, offers an inclusive opportunity for older LGBTQIA+ individuals and those who missed out on prom experiences to dress up and relive the magic of Prom. Featuring performances by iconic drag artist Alan Amsby (AKA Mr Pussy), a special photo-booth by photographer Enda Burke, and music by DJ Ruth Kavanagh. Street 66, Dublin, May 17th 7.30pm.

Dublin Comedy Improv: Experience the wit and spontaneity of Dublin Comedy Improv, Ireland's longest-running improvised show. Join Paul Tylak, Michelle Read, Kevin Gildea, and Danny Keogh for a comedy playtime with the grown-ups. For those who’d like to give improv a try themselves, Michelle Read will facilitate a workshop at F2 Building, Fatima, Dublin 8, May 28th, 3:30pm. Dublin Comedy Improv, Fatima, Dublin 8, May 23rd, 8pm.

4 O’Clock Rock! X Sing Along Social: Bealtaine and Sing Along Social present a one off Bealtaine edition of 4 O’Clock Rock! playing a mix of hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, guaranteed to get the happy hormones flowing in the company of family and friends. The Sugar Club, Leeson Street, Dublin 2, May 26th, 4pm.

Bealtaine on Screen x Dublin International Film Festival: Bealtaine partners with DIFF to present several short films curated by their Silver Screen Critics, selected from the official DIFF shorts collection 2024 inspired by the theme, Lust for Life. The screenings will be followed by a panel discussion. Lighthouse Cinema, Dublin, Saturday 11th May, 1pm.

The Dawn Chorus: The Dawn Chorus is a nationwide choral event in which older people come together with a choir in their locality and sing at dawn to welcome the day and the season. Drimoleague, Co. Cork, May 5th 7.30am.

Being: A dynamic intergenerational performance where Dance Limerick's High Kicks group, along with local artists and children aged 7-14, explore movement and emotion in an experimental world created by musician Paddy Mulcahy. Limerick City, May 18th 2pm.

Don’t come running to me!; characterisations of the Irish Mammy figure in Irish culture: Join a lively discussion on the enduring presence of the Irish Mammy in our culture and Ireland’s love-hate relationship with the figure. University of Limerick, May 22nd 3pm.

The 2024 programme comprises a variety of events and workshops across film, literature, music, performing arts, visual arts, and civil society and politics.

Standout events include What a Drag!, an exploration of the life and work of Alan Amsby (aka Mr Pussy) opens at Outhouse on Friday 24th May; Golden Circus workshop, Poetry Line, Making Lemonade screening and discussion, Bealtaine Dusk Chorus, ‘Learn a Tune, Play a Tune’ workshop, and much more.

Welcoming the programme launch, Sabina Higgins, said:“I am very pleased to welcome the return of Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine festival for 2024, an important festival in our cultural calendar with a very exciting programme for this year. Bealtaine Festival is an excellent platform to promote intergenerational solidarity and diversity across Ireland, showcasing artists and nurturing creativity."

Dr. Tara Byrne, Arts Programme Manager & Bealtaine Festival Artistic Director, Age & Opportunity said:"We're thrilled with how the Bealtaine Festival programme has come together, seeing significant interest from organisations and artists who share our enthusiasm. Building on 2023's success, we're excited to entertain even more participants all across Ireland this May, embodying the theme 'Lust for Life', celebrating passion and resilience across all ages. Have some fun and join us in celebrating Bealtaine Festival 2024!”

Bealtaine Festival is an initiative by Age & Opportunity, funded by The Arts Council and the HSE. Bealtaine is a pioneering national arts festival that fosters creativity among older people across Ireland through intergenerational collaboration, showcasing older artists, and promoting skills and experiences that can lead to a rich, creative life.

Tickets and further information on Bealtaine Festival events are now available via

Slán go fóill.


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