Welcome to Arts over Borders (Ireland’s presenting body for cross-border arts festivals) & welcome to its 3rd Lughnasa FrielFest and 6th Happy Days: Enniskillen International Beckett Festival.
Our bio-festival model is a bespoke format which takes its inspiration fromthe genius of a single artist and is curated with a strong sense of place, both rural & urban, throughout border communities and landscapes – what we now call the northern literary lands.
Over three weekends in August (Gaelic, Lughnasa), this year’s projects extend across six counties from Ballycastle in Co. Antrim to Portnoo in Co. Donegal, from Omagh in Co. Tyrone to Magheroarty, from Derry~Londonderry city to outside Blacklion in Co. Cavan and from Magilligan in Co. Derry~Londonderry to Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh, taking place in underground caves, islands on a lake, beaches, the Walls of Derry, village halls, cafes, arts centres, schools, a crypt, a roadside, a pier and a mountain! First and foremost though our heightened site-specific experiences are
there to underpin the artist’s work.
For six years, we have presented festivals on Beckett, Friel and Wilde in Ireland’s border counties but August 2018 will be our last festivals before Brexit. And so we offer two experiential Beckett Border projects: Three (or more) Billboards Outside Enniskillen & Sligo and Purgatorio: Walking for Waiting for Godot in the Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Geopark.
We have chosen Homer’s two great poetic epics to sit either side of the border: the Odyssey being to Donegal – the county with Ireland’s longest coastline – as the Iliad, epic of all epics, is to Derry – the city with the longest siege in British and Irish history.
We thank all our artists – local, national and international – our small but resourceful compliment of staff, our ever supportive and enabling Board of Trustees and all our courageous partners and funders, most particularly our Principal Partner the T S Eliot Foundation without whose culturally freeing and enlightened support these Irish borderland bio-festivals would simply not be around today for you all to enjoy.
‘Never neglect the little things of life’ (Waiting for Godot)
If you would like to support us for our 2018 Festivals with a donation we would be very grateful, no matter how small your donation – click here
Each year, in helping to make the festivals happen, we carry the spirit of a Beckett cliché ‘We can’t go on. We’ll go on’
Help us go on!
Seán Doran & Liam Browne
Festival Curators – DoranBrowne