IT WAS apt that the launch of the AKA Festival was held in what was formerly a garden centre.
The 100 plus guests gathered at Sullivan’s Brewery, John Street as Green Party Councilor Malcolm Noonan spoke about the growth of the alternative arts festival in August.
The biblical proverb ‘As you sow, so shall you reap’ and ‘As a man sows, so shall he reap’ would not have been out of place.
The festival, now in its fourth year, has grown in leaps and bounds since 2015.
The launch, in what once was Eamon O’ Keeffe’s Garden Centre, began with a performance by local group Sola.
The easy listening and soft music set the scene for the rest of the evening.
There was a relaxed atmosphere as representatives from various organizations heard details of the 2018 programme.
Music, theatre, film and poetry makeup what should be a jam packed festival.
There will also be historic tours and art exhibitions.
Among those present were Arthur Drohan, Roots Festival, Vincent Dempsey, Barnstorm, Dee Gibney, Kats, Delia Lowery, Kats, Mags Whitley, Barn Owl Players, Gerry Cody, Lake Productions), broadcaster Martin Bridgeman. Cathy Hogan, Watergate, Sandrine Dunlop and actor, writer, Nuala Roche.
A concert at St Canice’s Cathedral featuring Yorkston, Thorne, The Lost Brithers and Malojan will remember the much loved Willie Meighan of Rollercoater Records who did so much to promote artists for many years before his untimely death last year.
It was lovely to see Willie’s wife Aisling present. The festival runs from August 2 to 19.
When the festival started four years ago the committee printed a one-page leaflet advertising the shows.
It certainly backs up the committee’s claim of growth when you see this year’s 40-page brochure.
Committee member Catriona Dowling thanked all groups for their ongoing support and for working so hard to make the festival work and grow.
“It is when we work together with one goal that we can achieve so much,” said Catriona.
With some garden centre stock still visible at the new brewery site, perhaps the lines from W B Yeats are appropriate:
‘If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches on the same tree’.