Clonmel Junction Festival organiser Mary Hickson
Organiser of Clonmel Junction Festival Mary Hickson has claimed that the line up for this year's festival is its “most ambitious to date” in the 17 years its been running in Clonmel.
Hickson, who joined the Junction team last year, has spent the last year building a line up of acts she believes will appeal to "everyone in the county and beyond" and in turn she hopes will draw the biggest crowd to the festival since its inception in 2000.
"I want the people of Clonmel and Tipperary to see the town differently," she says enthusiastically describing the theme of this year's show #Betheblacksheep.
“The way we've planned it you can't be in town and not know the festival is going on,” she smiles.
Hickson had only intended on joining the Clonmel Festival for one year after a highly successful stint as CEO of Cork Opera House. However the lure to put her own stamp on an arts festival like the Junction Fest was too great a offer to turn down.
“I couldn't say no and I had such a great time organising last year's festival that I agreed to stay on for this year,” she says.
The act she's most proud of securing is the famed Loch na hEala/ Swan Lake which runs for four nights across the festival and will be the only Irish dates for the show this year. Hickson began lobbying to bring the dance and theater group to Tipperary over 18 months ago and says she is "ecstatic" to have landed the act that sold out its run in Dublin theaters last year.
Pic: The famed Loch na hEala/ Swan Lake runs for four nights over the festival
“Because the programme is so diverse we have something for everyone. There are plenty free events and ticketed events and the audience can access it at whatever level they want.”
Interspersed among the strong line up of music and theater acts is Clonmel's own Joanne Condon from Kyle Lane furniture upcycling company. The talented artist and upcycler is currently creating an outdoor installation entitled Balloon Herd that will see buildings around Clonmel decorated with large-scale balloon installations.
Another large scale art installation to entertain the thousands who are expected to flock to the town is Donnacha Cahill's 12-foot Gramophone which will be moved around the town over the seven days.
"It will be a sight to behold. All in all I think Clonmel Junction Festival will be one of the best festivals in the country," she adds.
Clonmel Junction Festival runs from July 3 -9. For full list of events see www.junctionfestival.com