A Celebration of Creativity: Smithwick’s & The Kilkenny Arts Festival 2023

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A Celebration of Creativity: Smithwick’s & The Kilkenny Arts Festival 2023

The Kilkenny Arts Festival 2023

The Kilkenny Arts Festival, held annually in the charming medieval city of Kilkenny, Ireland, has become an essential gathering for art enthusiasts, artists, and performers worldwide. Starting from the 10th and continuing through until the 20th of August, the festival has earned a reputation for showcasing both established talents and emerging voices in various art forms. Here we explore the rich tapestry of the Kilkenny Arts Festival and the historical connection to Smithwick’s.

A Brief History

For 50 years, the Kilkenny Arts Festival has grown to become one of the leading festivals in Ireland. What began as a modest music and arts event has blossomed into a vibrant, multi-disciplinary festival featuring visual art, classical music, theatre, literature, dance, and more.

The festival fosters a sense of community by involving residents in various activities. From volunteers to participating artists, the connection between the festival and the community is undeniable.

Highlights of the Festival

1. Visual Arts:

The Kilkenny Arts Festival has become a platform for both local and international artists to display their works. The city's galleries and unconventional spaces turn into temporary art exhibitions, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in contemporary art.

2. Music Performances:

Whether you're a fan of classical, jazz, or folk music, the festival offers something for everyone. Renowned musicians and orchestras grace various stages throughout the city, from historic churches to open-air venues.

3. Literary Talks:

As a gathering place for writers, poets, and literary critics, the festival hosts a series of talks, readings, and workshops. These events provide an opportunity to engage with literary giants and rising stars in intimate settings.

4. Theatre and Dance:

The festival's theatre and dance productions are among the most anticipated events. Innovative performances often take place in unique venues, making for unforgettable experiences that push creative boundaries.

5. Family-friendly Activities:

The Kilkenny Arts Festival is not just for adults. With an array of workshops, performances, and activities designed for children and families, it’s a celebration that everyone can enjoy.

The Impact of the Kilkenny Arts Festival on Kilkenny

The Kilkenny Arts Festival not only enriches the cultural landscape of Ireland but also has a significant impact on the local economy. The influx of visitors during the festival creates opportunities for local businesses and highlights Kilkenny as a tourist destination.

The 2023 Kilkenny Arts Festival is Extra Special

Celebrating 50 years of presenting outstanding national and international artists in Ireland’s Medieval City, Kilkenny Arts Festival announces a special initiative designed to celebrate and preserve its rich and vibrant history. The Festival is calling upon artists, audience members, volunteers and the local community to share their cherished memories of the festival, as part of our 'Echoes of a Festival: Celebrating 50 years of Kilkenny Arts Festival' initiative.

Smithwick’s Support of the Arts Festival Through the Years

From the very beginning, Smithwick’s have played a key role in the festival with workers helping to set up the very first stage in St. Canice’s Cathedral, through the 1970’s and 80’s when Smithwick’s was the main sponsor of the festival welcoming some of the world’s finest musicians and artists from across the globe to Kilkenny. Below we have shared some of our very own “Echoes of a Festival” showcasing Smithwick’s historical connection to the festival.

St. James's Gate newsletter Dec 1978

This year, we are continuing our support of the festival by sponsoring and hosting a DJ session on the 12th of August in our very own barrel yard. Join us to celebrate this momentous occasion surrounded by the rich history of the Smithwick’s Experience. The event is free admission; however we recommend turning up early to secure your spot.

The Kilkenny Arts Festival is more than just a series of events; it's a celebration of creativity, culture, and collaboration. By bringing together a diverse array of talents and art forms, it offers a unique experience that resonates with both residents and visitors from around the world.

If you're planning a trip to Ireland or simply looking for an enriching cultural experience this August, the Kilkenny Arts Festival is not to be missed. Come and be part of history and a tradition that continues to inspire and innovate, year after year.

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