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Take your front row seat at this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival

Dúisigh Éire! Awaken Ireland! is the theme of this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival, March 12th-17th

See stpatricksfestival.ie for the full Festival programme and keep an eye out for more additions in the coming weeks.

 
When the team behind St. Patrick’s Festival began to work on this year’s edition, they knew they were going to have to look at it a little differently. It’s been a difficult year for us all, so they knew that providing some much needed positivity and celebration was surely needed. And so, the theme of Dúisigh Éire! Awaken Ireland! was created, a clarion call to the Irish across the world to throw off the long, dark months and rise to embrace the brighter days ahead. 
 
Dúisigh Éire! Awaken Ireland! promises to be a positive and uplifting celebration of our incredible people, our beautiful island, our community bonds, our young people, artists, creators and makers, and our diaspora across the world. The Festival will connect our global family, to mark our national day, through remembrance and celebration, song and story, laughter and tears, exploring the unique ties that bind us as a people.
 
For this year’s online Festival, a rich and dynamic series of events have been safely created and recorded by hundreds of artists, musicians, performers, makers, creators, arts and live events workers and community organisations across Ireland. These events will run on St. Patrick’s Festival TV (SPF TV), a dedicated online TV channel at stpatricksfestival.ie, which launches on March 12th and runs over six great virtual days and nights, and will be accessible globally, connecting our family of 80 million through music, theatre, art, performance, poetry, storytelling, traditional arts, virtual tours, food, culture and much more. As well as SPF TV, people will also have the chance to view the festival at RTÉ’s dedicated culture website rte.ie/culture and on TVs across Ireland on Oireachtas TV, which can be found on all TV provider platforms. 
 
The Festival will tell the stories of our dynamic, modern, diverse culture, and uplift and celebrate our proud ancient traditions. With over 100 events taking place across six great virtual days and nights, there is something for everyone. SPF Óg offers a boisterous collection of events, performances, workshops and fun experiences for families and young people; Sounds is a packed programme of contemporary and traditional music from Ireland, recorded by our finest artists and musicians; Stories invites the world to explore Ireland through the lens of film, poetry, literature, performance and art; while Living Ireland is a reflection of Ireland now, how we live and love, work and play, make, create, remember and celebrate.
 
Gemma Dunleavy
Gemma Dunleavy
While we strongly recommend taking some time to sit down and go through the full programme, we’ve pulled out a few “not to be missed” events;
 
For one of St. Patrick’s Festival’s most cutting edge and exciting contemporary Irish music line-ups to date, join Pillow Queens, hot off their US TV debut on the Late Late Show with James Corden, along with songwriter, producer and Choice Music Award nominee Gemma Dunleavy and spoken word poet and artist Adam Mohamed who took the internet by storm toward the end of 2020 with the release of his first official project "Untitled", live from The Guinness Storehouse.
 
Adam Mohammed
Adam Mohamed
We can’t take to the streets this year for the Festival Parade on March 17th but fear not, the #RTÉVirtualParade is back. People all over Ireland and the world have the chance to share their home-parade with the world, using the hashtag #RTÉVirtualParade on their preferred social platform. Last year, the hashtag was the #1 social trend for much of St Patrick's Day, including periods as a global trend. 
 
Celebrating Pat Ingoldsby - known to a generation of children for his 1980s Pat’s Hat and Pat’s Chat television shows, as well his storytelling on Bosco and writing for the Wanderly Wagon. Join the Festival as it celebrates the prolific storyteller, poet and playwright and offers a unique opportunity for everyone to discover or delve into his poetry. Three pieces, written in 2020 and reflecting on the ‘unprecedented times’ we have collectively and individually experienced, have been passed to three of Dublin’s finest illustrators and animators for their interpretations.
 
Panti Bliss
Take a break with one of Ireland’s best-loved broadcasters for Comhrá le Marian Richardson, a series of five lunchtime chats from the National Gallery of Ireland with some of our best minds - actress and political activist Sabina Higgins; the Queen of Ireland Panti Bliss; chef Cúán Greene who has trained in many kitchens around Europe including over four years at Noma Copenhagen; lecturer, barrister and campaigner for Magdalene Laundries survivors Dr Maeve O’Rourke; and award-winning writer of psychological suspense novels, Liz Nugent.
Niall Breslin
Niall Breslin

Teenagers and anyone with an interest in mental health should check out Teen Spirit with Bressie, a spoken word piece by Niall Breslin that brings him back to his secondary school classroom. Sparked by the moment when he found out that one of his musical heroes, Kurt Cobain, had died by suicide, Breslin talks about how the adults around him reacted to the news and the stigma that surrounded Kurt's death.

Breslin asks himself, knowing what he knows now, what he would do differently today so he can show this generation of teenagers how they can be the ones to stop the stigma around mental health.

Barróg Lá Féile Phádraig

And round things off with Barróg Lá Féile Phádraig, a huge St. Patrick’s Night trad set to bring 6 great virtual days and nights to a spectacular close. Entitled The Patrick’s Day Hug and pre-recorded at the legendary Whelan’s venue in Dublin, enjoy performances from Lisa O’Neill, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Caoimhe Ní Fhlatharta, Seamus and Ronan Ó Flatharta, Diarmuid and Brian Mac Gloin, Cormac Begley, Ronan O’ Snodaigh and Myles O' Reilly, Doireann and Siún Glackin and Mohammad Syfkhan.
 
See stpatricksfestival.ie for the full Festival programme and keep an eye out for more additions in the coming weeks. Oireachtas TV is available throughout Ireland on Saorview Channel 22, Virgin Media Channel 207, Sky Channel 517, eir Vision Channel 504, and Vodafone Channels  201, 207 and 208.