Ballina Fringe Festival – A Brand New Festival of Words, Art & Music for North Mayo

It’s “thumbs-up’ from Ballina Arts Centre Manager Sean Walsh as Ballina and its renowned Salmon Festival add yet another dimension to its outstanding community festival programme with an impressive artistic Fringe Festival to be held in junction with the town’s festival week. Attending the launch of the Ballina Fringe Festival – with all its outstanding artistic events – were main sponsors Pearse Farrell and Bernie Keogh of The Ice House Hotel Ballina, pictured with Mayo North’s Anne Marie Flynn, Ballina Municipal District’s Leas Cathaoirleach Cllr. Michael Smyth and tourism & marketing consultant Susan Heffernan. Picture Henry Wills.

Summer is here and it’s festival season again.  And the good news this year is that Ballina has a brand new festival coming to town!  Ballina Fringe Festival is a fledgling week-long arts festival has been curated to run from 6-15 July alongside Ballina’s flagship Salmon Festival, now in its 54th year.

Ballina and North Mayo have a proud heritage in the arts, and our rugged wild Atlantic landscape has inspired countless artists through the years.  Ballina Fringe Festival will channel this creativity and hopes to bring high-quality arts content in Ballina and North Mayo in an ambitious, sustainable way over the coming years, attracting locals, national and international tourists to North Mayo, making Ballina Fringe Festival an unmissable event on the festival calendar.

The inaugural Ballina Fringe Festival has a focus on how North Mayo, its landscape and heritage have set foundations for ambitious and creative arts in many media.  The flagship event of the festival, Crossing the Firebreak: An Exhibition by Donald Teskey is a rare Mayo exhibition of Teskey’s 40-year artistic career, much of which has been inspired by his residencies at Ballinglen Arts Foundations and along the Wild Atlantic Way.  This exhibition, in association with the Oliver Sears Gallery runs 6-27 July at Ballina Civic Offices.

Also in the mix is a diverse and engaging programme of evening entertainment, blending a very special evening of live music by Paddy Casey (12 July) and an eclectic variety performance based on his newest novel Heartland by the always entertaining Patrick McCabe (13 July).  Poets Vona Groarke, Tom French and Eamonn Grennan from the Gallery Press stable will bring their award-winning work to Ballina Arts Centre on 10 Jul.  The inimitable Paddy Cullivan will shine a light on events of 1798 in his show The 10 Dark Secrets of 1798 – we always knew of the extraordinary tale of General Humbert and French Mayo, but what other secrets of that revolutionary year has history been hiding?

Full festival details are available on and Facebook, with tickets on sale now.

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