Hello Cruthú 2018!

The most colourful festival in town is back. Now in it’s fifth year, Cruthú Arts Festival brings a wide variety of art exhibitions, live street art, music, theatre, literature, workshops and family fun to Longford.

There really is something for everyone!


2018 Festival Programme

We kick things off with our Official Opening event in Wards Old Pharmacy on Ballymahon Street at 7:30pm on Thursday evening, as we welcome a collective of artists from SUBSET. They will exhibit The Grey Area Project in the venue across the weekend, as well as adding to our growing outdoor gallery. Responsible for some of the more recognizable street art in Dublin, most notable Stormzy and Donald Trump pieces, which have been a catalyst for discussion surrounding the approach to large format artwork in the public realm.

”We want to transform Dublin in to an open air gallery, we have aspirations of transforming the marketing industry but primarily we want to assist in Ireland’s recognition as a cultural juggernaut.

Through the Grey Area Project the group have invited additional artists to join them in  highlighting the need for clarity around the current system and hope the project will act as a catalyst ”for a cultural paradigm shift which will remove the shackles by which our art form is bound.’’

The Festival Club is a new addition to our programme this year and we will be joined by a duo from the wonderful State Lights in the Longford Arms Hotel for our Thursday night Festival Club from 9:30pm to get us warmed up for the weekend ahead!

Thursday will also see our now famous pop-up art galleries open for the weekend. This year we are joined by a fantastic eclectic mix of artists, who work in all mediums and are at all skill levels. The pop up galleries will make use of vacant retail units around the town, bringing life to some empty spaces and bringing art to the people of Longford.

Get your hands on one of our festival maps from the festival office or any pop up gallery and have fun visiting them all over the four days.

Our street art projects will also be shown on the map, so you can visit the artists and watch our new pieces come to life. This year our artists include Kinmx, Omin and Iljin and of course, artists from the SUBSET collective.


Friday sees the fun begin for the little ones as we are joined by the Exploration Dome from 12-5pm in the Temperance Hall. Explore space, science and nature in this fun 360 degree experience. And that’s not all. The lovely folks in Backstage Theatre will be bringing you some magic with RTEjr’s  Joe Daly Magician at 7:30pm. With  brilliant tricks, animatronics, special effects and illusions, this show will be loved by both kids and adults.

If you fancy a little lunch time stroll, why not join Mairead Ni Chonghaile at 1:05pm. She will guide you along the Battery Road, talk about its architectural gems and heritage and have you back at your desk before 2pm.

Youth Art Zone will take over a vacant allotment on Ballymahon Street from Friday to Sunday and will host live music, the creation of large scale art works and the creation of furniture from recycled materials. The project harnesses the creativity and talent of second level student artists and musicians. Be sure to check it out!

We are very excited to present a screening of The Grey Area Project documentary at 4pm in CoCo Chambers, Market Square, followed by a discussion and Q & A. We will be joined by SUBSET artists, director of Waterford Walls Edel Tobin and Longford County Council Architect Richard Smith to talk about large format art works in the public realm.


Friday evening sees a jam packed schedule of theatre and literature. Longford Writers Group present Torc Tales, an evening of poetry and storytelling from 6pm in  Torc Café. There will even be some musical guests and a delicious meal deal on offer.  Next up we see the return of our ReActor One Act Plays in John Brownes Bar at 8pm. These plays have been written, cast, rehearsed, produced and directed all within the last month. It’s a unique way for writers and directors to come together and after last years successful debut we are looking forward to what this years project brings.

We finish off with Crew Who? Slam Poetry night, upstairs in The Market Bar from 10pm. Our MC will be local legend Kat Mahon and we’ll be joined by a host of poets, rappers and even a musical interlude. Our very special guest will be none other than Nuala Leonard – All Ireland Slam Champion 2018/2019.  Nuala has performed her witty, powerful and honest poetry all over Ireland and will represent us at the European Slam Championships in Hungary this coming December but can see her perform her amazing work in Longford  – this is a night not to be missed.

Our Festival Club for Friday night will be in Andy Byrnes. 


Saturday will be busy busy busy! We have lots more planned for kids, and we kick off with Storytime with Maggi in the Longford Library at 11am. The Temperance Hall will be a hive of activity from 12noon as we host a book reading with Laura Thompson and workshops with Longford Toastmasters, journalist Jessica Thompson and DJ Clodagh. The artists from our pop up galleries will also be joining us between 1 – 4pm with a mix of workshops and activities. You can get your boogie on at 3pm at our silent disco, where everyone can dance to their own beat – literally!

The Market Square will be buzzing too, with Mr. Balloonatic wowing the crowds from 12-5pm, water zorbing, kids zone and we’ll be treated to a special performance from Taiko Japanese Drummers at 4pm. The drummers will also host mini workshops so everyone can get involved and have some fun. Little Folk Music will be getting your little ones singing and dancing in Backstage Theatre at 2pm.

We are delighted to include some film events in our programme for 2018. The first of these will take place at 3pm in CoCo Chambers on the Market Square. Still Voices Short Film Festival, based in Ballymahon, will join us for a screening of their 2017 festival winners and favourites, ahead of their 2018 festival in August.

Our super Saturday line up continues and we head to Backstage Theatre at 8pm for Stephen Garlands Post-Disposed. 

Granard native Stephen Garland was diagnosed with PPMS – Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in 2016. Stephen embarked on a hugely successful fund raising campaign and in 2017, traveled to Russia for non FDA approved treatment that offered the only hope for a ‘No Treatment No Cure’ diagnosis. To share his epic tale, Stephen brought his hilarious live storytelling show ‘ The Pre-Disposed’ to Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, which involved comedy legend Eddie Izzard joining him to laugh in the face of adversity. Cruthú Arts Festival are delighted to welcome Stephen home with the official Edinburgh Fringe 2018 preview of ‘The Post-Disposed’. This audiovisual comic sequel frames the positive attitude that made light of a difficult procedure, driven by the collective support of a wider community campaign. ‘The Post-Disposed’ promises to enlighten and inspire as much as it will entertain, while forming a rehabilitative exercise for getting a life back on track.

We have a fantastic treat lined up for our  Festival Club on Saturday. Valentines Beer Garden will come to life from 10pm as Dr.Mindflip bring a performance you can’t miss. Theatrical and chameleonic, their musical stylings have quickly made them a cult favourite in Ireland and beyond. The playful pyschedelia of a live Dr.Mindflip show is a truly unique experience – no two shows are the same and you don’t want to miss this one!


And a treat for all you night owls – DJ Clodagh will bring her MOOVE dance night to our festival. She will be joined by M Sykes, live vocalist Vali, David Harrington and a special LED Dance performance by The Magician in Room 3 of The Spiral Tree from 11pm till late.


As always, the final day of our festival will start with Bilberry Sunday.

Brendan Farrell of Ardagh Village Landscapes will lead the annual community walk from Ardagh G.A.A pitch at 11am, up Brí Leith to commemorate the ancient tradition of Bilberry Sunday,when the High King of Ireland had rights to the bilberries from the Hill for celebrations at Tara. Creative Ardagh will provide tea and scones and a talk from the famous forager Wild Food Mary, who will partake in the walk, in Ardagh Heritage & Creativity Centre after the walk.

It’s Sunday Funday back in the Temperance Hall and on the Market Square. Face painting, novelty balloons, an epic DJ battle and disco are just the start. You can relax with mindfulness and yoga or you can unleash your inner warrior through Haka with our  workshops in the afternoon.

Our next film event comes at 3pm , back in CoCo Chamber Offices, Market Square.

We are proud to present a special screening of Eat The Peach, the acclaimed British-Irish film based on the true story of brothers-in-law Connie Keirnan and Michael Donoghue from Granard, who built their own Wall of Death in 1977. We will be joined by Connie and Micheal after the screening for a talk about how their story came to national attention, became immortalised in film and how they are currently rebuilding the Wall of Death in Granard with artist Stephen Skrynka.

A thrilling afternoon no doubt! 

Cruthú Arts Festival wouldn’t be complete without an epic live music gig in St. Johns Church. And this year we really mean epic!

We are so excited to have an ensemble of members of Kíla and friends joining us for our closing show on Sunday evening.

Kíla are heralded as one of Ireland’s most innovative and exciting bands. Their unique sound has been ever evolving, rooted in tradition, yet inspired by a myriad of influences and ideas from around the world. Kíla are widely renowned for their live energetic performances and have played in over 30 countries worldwide. 2018 has been another hugely successful year for the band, being awarded Banna na Blianna at NOS Irish Language Music Awards, performing for the President of Ireland and celebrating the 21st anniversary of the seminal album Tog E go Bog E. This will be a very special night of the best of Irish contemporary trad music in the beautiful setting of St. Johns Church, and is sure to close our weekend in style.

Support on the night will come from Edgeworthstown native Aoife Mulligan. Aoife is currently studying music in St.Pats and has been teaching both piano and Séan Nós singing for the past three years. She has performed locally and nationally and is excited to support this special ensemble as part of Cruthu Arts Festival.

Our Festival Club on Sunday night will be in the Tally – Ho and is sure to be a great ending to a fantastic weekend.


We really hope that everyone has a fun filled weekend at

Cruthú Arts Festival 2018!


©Cruthú Arts Festival 2018