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The Mad Vibrations of Summer

Posted on: June 13, 2014

It’s all go here at Macnas, as you’d expect, and here is the latest on our upcoming dreams and schemes.


Earlier this month we learned that we had made it through a few heats to the reach the finals in the Best Online PR Campaign category in the Social Media Awards. As many of you will recall, our campaign to promote and raise funds for last year’s parade involved a series of images, a short video and a call for involvement from the public through our ‘flashtag’ initiative which many of you may remember from last year. We’re delighted to have been considered for this award.


This Halloween we are gearing up to present another traffic-stopping, street-hopping parade on the streets of Galway. As you know we don’t do things by half measures, we think big and we give it large out on the streets. The Macnas parade conjures, cajoles and creates creative chaos. A whopping 55,000 of you came out to play with us last Halloween in this unique civic arts event. In Macnas, people are at the heart of everything we do and when we get together anything is possible. This year we need your help to stage the annual Macnas parade. It costs more money than we have here in Macnas, folks, so if you can, we would love you to give us a dig-out.

We’re asking you to give what you can to our Parade Campaign 2014. Every lint-encrusted cent counts and there’s no minimum or maximum on the donations and there are even some rewards! Donating is simple: just click here and choose your amount. Your donation will ensure the Macnas parade takes to the streets this October and will blow the socks off the thousands of people waiting for their glimpse of Macnas madness. We hope we can count you among them.


Áras an Uachtaráin
Last summer, The Boy Explorer was invited to the President’s Garden Party in Áras an Uachtaráin and this year we are honoured to once again be part of such a wonderful event. The Dancing Bear and his band of merry revellers will meet, greet and entertain the children invited to the Áras at the request of President Higgins on 21st June. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for photos and a live presidential feed!

Brigit’s Garden
Following his return from the Áras, the Boy Explorer will be a guest in the beautiful surrounds of Brigit’s Garden just outside Galway city. He is very excited about meeting new people and seeing lovely flora and fauna in these wild, celtic gardens as part of the Teddy Bear’s Picnic on Sunday 29th June which celebrate ten years of Brigit’s Gardens. So if you go down to the gardens that day you’re in for a very TALL surprise 🙂

City of Culture
As you know, Macnas is presenting Rumpus! in Limerick as part of Culture Night later in the year and we’ll also be partaking in a very unique event in the City of Culture programme this September about which we are VERY excited. . . more details closer to the event.

Body & Soul
Macnas Artistic Director Noeline Kavanagh has been invited to speak as part of Journey to the Labyrinth at this year’s Body & Soul Festival which runs 20th – 22nd June. The event will be presented on the Wonderlust stage, a little corner of curiosities nestled in the walled garden at Body & Soul.

Young Ensemble
We’re thrilled to announce that we received funding under the Arts Council‘s Young Ensemble Scheme to run a brand new project with the Macnas Young Ensemble in 2015. This signals a new departure for the company exploring technology in performance with the next generation of performers. Exciting times and new possibilities ahead!

This July we will be offering a master class for our Young Ensemble which will be led by Miquel Barcelo and is titled ‘The Art of Working with Mask.’ It is the first summer master class of its kind at Macnas and should prove an exciting, intensive weekend exploring performance possibilities. As with all of our Young Ensemble initiatives, the workshop is free of charge and may be opened up to Macnas performers should any vacancies arise.


As mentioned in our last post, Macnas artists were invited to facilitate workshops with artists in Hereford, UK last month. Peter Casby and Dave Young spent a week working with local creatives (photographed above) developing skills and ideas ahead of the Wye Valley River Carnival. The venture was a great success and sees a continuation of Macnas partnerships across a range of organisations.

After a recent site visit to the UK, Macnas is even more excited than ever about performing as part of Wilderness this August. Collaborating with pyro-specialists And Now:, Macnas will present a beautiful, surreal, night time parade meandering along the river. With events such as ‘The Sunday Papers Live’, ‘Silent Opera’ and ‘Wild Medicine Walks’, performances from The Royal Court and The Royal Shakespeare Company and music from the likes of Hozier and Burt Bacharach, it has the makings of a very lively and interesting weekend indeed! We would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Culture Ireland for this production.


Photo by Colm Hogan

The Mad Vibrations of Summer