From May 4 to 7 2012, the 15th Kilkenny Rhythm and Roots Festival will be taking place at over 30 venues around Kilkenny. Irish, American, Canadian and British acts (more than 30 in total) will all be playing here. Country, blues, rockabilly, Cajun, folk, bluegrass, it is all here. Every day the music will start at midday, and continue right up to midnight. Over the four days, 80 shows will be performed. More than 60 are complimentary, while others are ticketed. The ticket price has not been increased for five years now.
From May 31 to June 4 2012, the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival will be coming to town. This is a showcase of the best in home grown and international comedy, and will feature famous names as well as developing stars. This will be the Festival’s 18th year, and oh how it has changed from those humble beginnings. Whereas before it was only known about within Ireland, these days visitors come from all over to see the comedians do their thing. It is testament to the expert management of the Festival, which has seen it go from strength to strength, year after year.
From August 10-19 2012, the 39th Kilkenny Arts Festival will be switching the city on with stage productions, dance, music of all genres, street performance, readings and art. There is something here for all the family at Kilkenny’s oldest and biggest not for profit festival. It was established by a bunch of classical music fans, and has grown to attract over 23,000 spectators each year.
From August 30 to September 2 2012, the first International Gospel Choir Festival will be taking place in Kilkenny, which is by now generally recognised as Ireland’s main city of Gospel music. The Kilkenny Gospel Choir will join other international choirs to exchange music, experiences and stories on a global scale. Ireland has never seen an event quite like this before, and it is not to be missed. Not only will soloists, musicians and choristers be performing, there will also be workshops and lectures about Gospel singing and music. The program of events will be released in the next two weeks – check back at www.kilkennygospelchoir.com for updates.
On October 28 2012, the Irish Conker Championships will be taking place at The Square, Freshford, Co Kilkenny. This unique festival takes pride in being the antithesis of the musical, cultural and comedic festivals and events which have taken place in Kilkenny during the rest of the year. It encourages participation from spectators, and there are events for both children (minimum age 8) and adults (no maximum age). Take turns pitting your skills against amateurs and champions alike, either after or before sampling the mulled wine and other tasty food at the stalls on the village green, which will be refreshing attendees throughout the day. This is a national tournament event, with a number of rounds which will reduce the participants to a hardy bunch who know how to handle their conkers. The winner will be crowned the King or Queen of Irish Conkering. Handicrafts will also be on sale at the various stalls, if you want to take away a reminder of the day.