Things to do in County Kerry, Ireland - KFest - YourDaysOut
Killorglin, Castleconway, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Jun 2, 2023, 1:00:00 AM - Jun 5, 2023, 1:00:00 AM
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K-FEST returns to the June Bank Holiday,  2023.

K-FEST has cemented its reputation as Ireland’s most important festival dedicated to celebrating the work of emerging artists.

Each June bank holiday weekend the town of Killorglin Co. Kerry is transformed into a major hub of culture and creativity, with over 60 events taking place including workshops, music events, and craft markets.

With a welcoming atmosphere that appeals to all ages, the town comes alive with numerous pop-up galleries, art installations and exhibitions taking place in disused buildings, empty shop-fronts and non-traditional arts spaces.

K-FEST aims for cultural innovation and artistic exploration, as well as for showcasing fun, eclectic, and thought-provoking events while setting and maintaining high production standards across all our programmes.

But don’t take our word for it. Come and see for yourself.

This June bank holiday weekend (June 2nd-5th) the picturesque town of Killorglin, Co. Kerry, will once again be transformed into a major hub of culture and creativity as K-FEST celebrates its 10th year. 

The event has become known as one of Ireland’s most important festivals celebrating the work of emerging artists and musicians. This year’s programme will incorporate over 60 events, including workshops, music performances and craft markets, with numerous pop-up galleries, art installations and exhibitions taking place in disused buildings, empty shop-fronts and non-traditional arts spaces. The majority of events are open to the public and free to attend.

Special celebrations are underway as festival organisers’ prepare to welcome the 1000th emerging visual artist to exhibit in the town. Speaking at this year’s programme launch, the festival’s art director, Rochelle Lucey, explained how K-FEST has become a major platform for visual artists:

“After a decade of growth and evolution, K-FEST is on the verge of a remarkable milestone. Next month, the event will welcome its 1000th artist. K-FEST has become synonymous with celebrating emerging talent in Ireland. Visual artists converge on the idyllic town each June Bank holiday. There, they can exhibit, perform, and mingle with like-minded creatives. What started as a mission to reinvigorate the town's emptiness left by the recession has evolved into something much bigger. It's a truly immersive arts experience, appreciated by visitors and locals alike.”

Visual Arts

The work of 60 emerging artists has been selected out of more than 300 applications to form this year’s art programme. Their artwork will be displayed in pop-up galleries and installations across the town. Visitors can look forward to experiencing an array of visually stunning artwork.

Cork-based, Pakistani-born artist Amna Walayat will have her work exhibited at the event. She is a former winner of the Arts Council of Ireland's Next Generation Award. The self-taught artist Ronan Crowley from West-Limerick will showcase a series of surreal pen and ink drawings that are sure to impress. The multidisciplinary designer and visual artist, Úna Quill, hailing from Killarney, will bridge the gap between design and visual art through her work. 

Attendees can also look forward to viewing screen prints created by Clare Blackwell, a talented Limerick-born artist and printmaker who has been commissioned to design this year's festival poster.  Clara Planelles whose most recent film, "First Date," was funded by Film in Limerick and screened this year at the Irish Film London Festival will also be exhibiting. 

Two special collaborations will take place at this year’s festival. Firstly, a partnership with Limerick School of Art and Design will see the work of ten of the college's undergraduates showcased. Additionally, the "Peggy's Angels of Hope" project will feature enormous 8ft angel sculptures, transformed into stunning works of art by local community organisations and businesses.

Performing Arts

While K-FEST’s roots are in exhibiting visual artists, the festival also has an ever-expanding line-up of emerging music acts who are scheduled to perform in venues throughout the town. Festival Chair and music director Tim Clifford remarked:

“Alongside our visual arts programme we’re incredibly proud to be hosting a specially curated line-up featuring some of Ireland’s most important emerging musicians and performers. Both locals and visitors alike are encouraged to explore the vast exhibition spaces, gain inspiring insights from artists at fireside chats held in the town’s iconic pubs, enjoy poetry recitals or discover their new favourite punk rock band!”

Among the music acts attending this year’s festival in Killorglin are Cherym, the three-piece pop-rock outfit from Derry. They’ll be joined by the alt-rock and minimal post-punk-influenced band Grave Goods, Dublin artist Cruel Sister, Cork singer Alicia Olaniran and Limerick singer-songwriter Abe Soare.  The Dublin punk duo Vulpynes, Limerick band His Father's Voice, punk producer Meryl Streek, and Galway band Adore will also be playing. The Love Buzz who have just been confirmed for Glastonbury will also be performing, they'll be joined by Jason Deery, The Dream of Horses, Rita Lynn and Louis Cormack. 

A collaboration with the music college BIMM sees Anie Valentine, Georgia G and Grooveline making the trip to perform at K-FEST. The festival will also host an array of local talent including E-Train, Jade O, Kate Dineen, Faux Mystic, Queenless Kings, PNJ, Colin Andrew and Simple Things. 

On the Friday night of the festival (June 2nd) the award-winning theatre and cabaret performer Xnthony will be hosting a 4-hour long “big gay ball” and on Saturday for younger musicians there will be open-mic sessions. The music is rounded off by the Let’s Glow Crazy and Funktion DJ sessions featuring George Feely and Kaycee along with local DJ’s 

K-FEST is powered by a dedicated team of volunteers, made possible by the generous support of Fexco, Rockshore, Tweak and other local businesses, and kindly funded by The Arts Council of Ireland in tandem with Kerry County Council, Failte Ireland, Creative Ireland and BOI Begin Together Arts Fund. 

K-FEST will take place from June 2nd-5th at various locations in the town of Killorglin Co. Kerry. Most events are free. For further information visit www.kfest.ie

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