Prepare to embrace The Far Side!

Artist Lesley Wingfield will exhibit for The Farside Festival

Artist Lesley Wingfield will exhibit for The Farside Festival

A new event in the Athlone calendar is set to take place later this year - The Far Side Festival. Described as a boutique festival celebrating culture, creativity, and community in Athlone, it takes its name from the well-known local term for the Connacht side of the town.

The organisers also feel it represents a state of mind, a willingness to be really creative and do things a little differently. The festival will take place from September 18 to 20 in a variety of locations around Athlone and will host 15 events over three days. These will include everything from psychology to comedy, history to dancing, music to poetry, and blues music to drama.

Chairperson of the new festival Brenda Burke explained: “We are particularly delighted in our first year to have our opening night on CultureNight and to be joined by the Ireland Chair of Poetry Paula Meehan, the well-known poet whose Inner City Dublin voice has come to speak for all of us who have a story of life to tell. We will have a variety of venues in Athlone including the historic Methodist Church on Northgate Street for a very special evening of music with Electric Picnic Bog Cottage favourites Driftwood Manor, and Rivers and Crows.

“We are making huge efforts to involve as many people as possible in the festival and on the first evening, over 60 students from two sides of the town will unveil a grid drawing in charcoal inspired by Athlone in Burgess’s window. We firmly believe that creativity should be seen, heard, and part of the community.”

The festival is being developed and managed by a small voluntary group which has received some funding from the Arts Council and Westmeath County Council. The festival is now undertaking some independent fundraising by inviting members of the public to become a Friend of the Farside Festival in 2015. For €50, Friends will receive free access to all the festival events.

Further details can be obtained by contacting the festival on [email protected] and on Facebook and Twitter.

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