Arts Over Borders – the northern literary lands


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!

Thank you.

Seán Doran & Liam Browne
Festival Curators – DoranBrowne

Arts Over Borders ~ Artist Honorary Patrons

Laurie Anderson
John Banville
Kevin Barry
Ciaran Carson
Roma Downey
Adrian Dunbar
Lisa Dwan
Roy Foster
Philip Glass
Nick Laird
Eimear McBride
Lisa McInerney
Sinead Morrissey
Paul Muldoon
Ohad Naharin
Glenn Patterson
Tom Paulin
Fiona Shaw
Raja Shehadeh
Colm Toibin
Robert Wilson

Arts Over Borders ~ Board of Trustees

Mary Heaney
Paul Sternberg

Carlo Gebler
Oliver O’Connor
Peter Espenhahn
William Morrison
Tess Maginess
Jer O Mahony
Orla Constant
Nessa McGill

Arts Over Borders ~ Festival Staff

Festival Manager (Happy Days): Sally Rees
Festival Manager (Lughnasa FrielFest): Jonathan Burgess
Music Manager (Happy Days): Matthew Murphy

Programme Design: Keith Connolly, Tonic Design

Our thanks to

Monsignor Peter O’Reilly
Dean Kenneth Hall
John Graham
Barbara Johnston
Heather White
Enniskillen Royal Grammar
Lord Brookeborough
Jimmy Rogers
Ian Davidson
Bryony May
Hazel Johnson & the Jolly Sandwich
Marty Melarkey
The Sandwich Company
Warehouse Café
Mark Lusby
Karen Friel
Others: Orla Constant,
Nessa McGill
and a BIG thank you to all our volunteers.
Fr. Donoghue, Glenties
Patricia McBride
Traolach O’Fionnain

Previous Festivals

Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival 2012


Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival 2013


Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival 2015


Lughnasa International Friel Festival 2015