Ballina Fringe Festival 2021 - Visit North Mayo

Ballina Fringe Festival bursts back to life from 9th-17th October 2021

Ballina Fringe Festival returns to the North Mayo capital for a fourth year from Saturday October 9 to Sunday, October 17. The annual arts festival this year, with a theme of ‘The Past’ will include live music, literature, circus performances, visual art exhibitions and workshops, film, and the return of the ever-popular community street art programme, Pure Ballina. This year, the festival will also incorporate a Literature in Schools programme, supported by Creative Ireland and featuring poets Kevin Higgins, Terry McDonagh and Alice Kinsella.

The programme will feature readings from Galway author Lisa McInerney and Mayo County Council’s current writer-in-residence Elizabeth Reapy, a film exhibition by internationally-celebrated film-maker and artist, Vivienne Dick, live music from Billow Wood, Greg Pearle, David Munnelly and Shane MacGowan, circus performances and workshops in Belleek Woods, a drag and dinner performance afternoon with Miss Neon Love, art workshops with Kiera O’Toole, a local artists’ exhibition curated by Nuala Clarke. Season 2 of the Pure Ballina podcast series will also launch, featuring artists from the festival.

Street art project ‘Pure Ballina!’ returns, supported again by Mayo County Council, Dulux and Archers, and this year, it will bring two renowned street artists to the town. Maser will return to complete work from the 2020 programme with the Foroige Neighbourhood Youth Project, and Canvaz, a street artist and muralist based in Dublin but with strong family connections to Killala and North Mayo will work to create a unique street artwork of his own and will also collaborate with St Augustine’s Community Nursing Unit and the Jackie Clarke Collection on for a community street art wall. Self-guided walking tours of the entire Pure Ballina street art collection will be launched on Sunday, October 17th as part of the festival. 

Ballina Fringe Festival is one of very few along the Western seaboard to proceed in its entirety this year and builds on the success of the previous years which have seen growing participation and audience numbers establishing the festival firmly on the arts events calendar with the support of the Ice House. As in 2020, events will be pandemic-friendly, outdoors and socially distant, with self-guided events and online options available. At all times, safety and adherence to Covid-19 guidelines will be a priority for festival organisers. 

The festival is now seeking volunteers to assist with social media and event management during the course of the festival, and all enquiries can be directed by email to [email protected] or to the festival’s Facebook page.

Ballina Fringe Festival has been developed in partnership with Ballina Arts Centre and Mayo North Tourism, in association with lead sponsor the Ice House Hotel and funded by Creative Ireland, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Mayo County Council. The festival is also generously supported by a number of local businesses.


Contact: Anne-Marie Flynn, 0879848459 / Susan Heffernan, 086 8093965 / Sean Walsh, 086 3080511

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