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Westport Arts Festival 2008, which will take place from Friday 3rd – Sunday 12th October, is brimming with an exciting and diverse range of musicians, actors, comedians, author and writers and with over 60 acts to choose from over ten days, there promises to be something to suit  all visitors to Westport this year.

Music enthusiasts will not be disappointed with the wonderful music line up set to rock Westport this year including some of Ireland’s best loved and renowned musicians. High voltage heroes of contemporary Irish music, Kila, will give an engaging, energetic and enthralling performance on Saturday 11th October in the Wyatt Hotel at 9.30pm, admission to which will be €20. The Greg Felton Jazz Quartet will give a beautifully arranged concert at the Knockranny House Hotel on Saturday 4th October at 8.00 p.m. The quartet delivers high calibre music that blends intensity and complexity with lyricism and fulfillment. Greg’s compositions are finely crafted pieces that reveal the composer’s broad musical understanding. Primarily jazz-based, the focus shifts from folk music to freely improvised to modern classical. Playful and rhythmic, adventurous and open-minded, these musicians will reward audiences with an uplifting experience. Tickets, €15/€12.

Cork native, singer-songwriter John Spillane, who fought off other huge competition such as Sinead O’Connor, The Chieftains and Christy Moore in 2002 to win the much coveted Best Act/ Folk and Traditional Meteor Music Award, will be appearing on Monday 6th October at 9.30pm in Matt Molloy’s Bar, admission to which will be €15. Ireland’s premier Salsa and Latin King’s, Cuba Libre, will ensure that every toe is tapping when they play in the Wyatt Hotel on Saturday 4th October at 9.30pm. Their culturally diverse line up, featuring musicians from Cuba, Italy, Mexico and Ireland, promises a sound like no other with a powerhouse brass section, no fewer than three percussion players, piano and bass, is one not to be missed! If laid-back, easy listening soul is more your idea of music then look no further than Soul Power, whose 8 piece band will deliver all the Motown classics from Stevie Wonder, Bobby Womac and James Brown in exceptional style on Friday 3rd October in The Wyatt Hotel at 9.30pm, tickets for which are €15.

Impressive comedians will also have audiences in fits of laughter with hilarious routines from Kevin Gildea and Anne Gildea in their show of sibling rivalry. Kevin has appeared on every major stand-up show in Britain and was the winner of the 2008 PJ O’Connor Award while Anne has toured worldwide and appeared in the sell-out season of the female version of the Odd Couple. Their show Me and Gildea will take place on Sunday 5th October in The Wyatt Hotel at 8pm, tickets for which can be purchased at €15.

There will be an abundance of literary and poetry readings and performances throughout the festival. Gerald Dawe, who has published seven selections of poetry to wide acclaim since 1978 will give an intimate and free reading from his latest collection Points West on Thursday 9th October in The Creel, Westport Quay at 8pm. Author Brian Keenan, who became headline news when he was captured and held hostage in the suburbs of Beirut for four and a half years, will read from his harrowing and first novel since being released, The Evil Cradling, on Friday 10th October in the Westport Library to which admission will be free. Children will be particularly catered for at Westport Arts Festival with a number of workshops, exhibitions, street theatres and Lamberts Puppet Theatre set up to keep little ones entertained and happy. A whole host of free lunchtime gigs will also take place in venues throughout the town for the entire week.

As one of Ireland’s most popular holiday destinations and winner of the Irelands Tidiest Town Award for 2008, Westport offers visitors adventure activities to leisurely strolls along the beach, and with a wonderful Arts festival fast approaching it is the ideal time to discover what the West of Ireland has to offer. “ We are delighted that it is festival time again in Westport. Westport Arts Festival always brings with it a great atmosphere and lovely holiday-makers from all over the country” says Ciara Joyce of accommodation and activity providers, Destination Westport. “We are delighted to support the festival by offering the very best in accommodation options to cater for a broad range of budgets” she added.

For more information on Destination Westport and Westport Arts Festival, visit

Permalink - Posted: September 19, 2008 at 12:48 pm