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Spraoi Street Festival

The Biggest Street Carnival in Ireland


Spraoi International Street Arts Festival has been staged in Waterford, Ireland, since 1993. For three days each year residents of this medieval city take to the streets and enjoy an international programme of street arts and spectacle. Waterford’s narrow medieval streets, squares, quays and historic buildings provide an atmospheric backdrop to Spraoi’s celebration of contemporary performance culture. The majority of the events are free and suitable for all ages.

Spraoi Time 2021

Spraoi and Waterford City and County Council have been selected to receive In The Open – Faoin Spéir funding from The Arts Council.

With creative partners Garter Lane Arts Centre and WLR FM, Spraoi will install an over-street fabric-based sculptural artwork above Michael Street and the Apple Market, accompanied by online soundtracks.

Project artists include:

  • Magda Karol
  • James Whelan
  • Graham Phelan
  • Bridget Ni Dhuinn Belcher (all visual)
  • Micko Roche (Musician)
  • Hannah Carberry (Writing)
  • John Loftus (Film/Documentation)
  • Peter Vogelaar (Musician)
  • Joe Meagher (Actor)
  • Anne O’Riordan (Actor)

Spraoi and contributing artists will use a pallet of fabrics, visual art, music and spoken-word elements. Garter Lane Arts Centre is curating two accompanying soundtracks each themed for day and evening listening. They will be broadcast on WLR FM and will also be available on mobile phones via a QR Code so people can listen as they stroll through the area.

The artwork will offer pedestrians visual, musical and spoken-word experiences. It aims to start conversations about re-invigorating traditional and modern public realm spaces while enhancing audiences’ daily experiences of Waterford.

In The Open – Faoin Spéir is an Arts Council initiative that encourages a curated programme of multi-disciplinary, inclusive arts activity in public or open spaces in towns and communities around Ireland. Arts organisations and local authorities nationally competed for the funding.

Director of Services for Culture at Waterford City and County Kieran Kehoe added: ”Waterford Council sees huge potential in working with artists to improve and reimagine Waterford towns, villages and city. This is a community-centred approach to re-building our places, our morale and our offering for a post-COVID-19 world. We co-fund many such integrated initiatives in various sectors.”

Visual artists have already begun design work at Spraoi Studios and Garter Lane has commenced the creation of accompanying soundtracks with musicians and a writer.

The installation is expected to be in-situ throughout August and September.

The Guardian newspaper described Spraoi thus: “Spraoi festival is a free urban festival in beautiful Waterford in the south-east of Ireland. It attracts nearly 100,000 people and the city streets act as a stage for acts from around the world.” The Guardian (UK Edition)