• Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2009
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Festival of World Cultures

For the last weekend in August the town of Dun Laoghaire, Dublin will be immersed in cultures from across the world. The Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Festival of World Cultures is back again on the 29th and 30th August 2009. This year it promises to bring with it the usual mix of folk, world music, outdoor markets, fairs, exhibitions and street performances. Over the past nine years, Dun Laoghaire has played host to the Festival of World Cultures where people come together from all over the world and bring a sense of cultural diversity to this County Dublin town. This summer festival is a celebration of traditional cultures from across the globe. Most of the Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures offers free events, with many free family events. The Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Festival of World Cultures brings the world of arts, music and culture right on to Ireland’s doorstep and is a must-see for all those living in or visiting the area.

This year’s Festival of World Cultures is packed full of free events as well as some ticketed ones, and has many free family events also. There is plenty to see and do throughout the day with many of the events taking place outdoors.

Festival of World Cultures - Markets and Fairs 

Festival of World Cultures There will be many different types of markets and fairs included in the list of free events such as Feast Americana, Cool Earth Café and the popular Mela Market. The Feast Americana takes place in Clarinda Park on Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 7pm and is a brand new feature of the Festival of World Cultures. The Feast Americana is a typical American Fair offering plenty of traditional music, food and drink, and a lot of folk, arts and culture. Meanwhile, the Cool Earth Café is located at the Concourse, County Hall and runs from 11am until 6pm on both days. This area offers you a chance to sample fair trade produce and supports Amnesty’s work. And if you want a taste of Asia at this year’s Festival of World Cultures then head no further than to People’s Park for the Mela Market with its colourful stalls decorated with everything from traditional jewellery, incense, clothing, spices, crafts and aromatic food. These markets and fairs, plus the many more that will be set up around Dun Laoghaire over the weekend, will bring you a true taste of cultural diversity.

Festival of World Cultures - Workshops

Festival of World Cultures This year’s Festival of World Cultures is showcasing a great variety of world music and is almost like a music festival in itself with some of the ticketed concerts playing host to acts like Jane Birkin, Sain Zahoor, Steve Cooney and Tarab. Saturday night sees Jane Birkin take to the stage of the Pavillion Theatre. Jane Birkin has been a popular singer for many years, and although London-born, she is an adopted daughter of France. The singer has always been a media sensation with her work that pushes boundaries and often faces censorship.

Festival of World Cultures - World Music

Another highlight of world music at this year’s Festival of World Cultures is Sain Zahoor. This concert will be a special and unique collaboration as Sain Zahoor welcomes Morocco’s Bachir Attar of the Master Musicians of Jajouka for an inspiring performance that has been commissioned especially for the Festival of World Cultures. This is a unique experience to see two of the world’s greatest Sufi musician’s play.

There’s also a lot of great world music talking place at free concerts over the weekend. Highlights of these include Dub Colossus, Adesa, Nell Bryden and Danu. Dub Colossus will be headlining on the Newtownsmith Main Stage on Saturday evening at 6.30pm. This band brings together some of Ethiopia’s best musicians in a project that showcases an extraordinary but little known African musical heritage. Also, Adesa will be bringing their ritual, rural and early Ghanaian court music to the Kingston Hotel Ballroom for a free concert on Sunday at 10pm.

Festival of World Cultures Another free event in the world music category that is a must see is Nell Bryden. This talented singer has had major success internationally with her debut album and has a beautiful voice along with some excellent songs. One of Ireland’s leading traditional ensembles, Danu will also be performing for a free concert at the Kingston Hotel Garden Stage on the Saturday of the Festival of World Cultures. Danu are a unique live act that combine the old with the new in both their music and performance. These are just a handful of the acts playing over the weekend at this music festival. So whether you want to pay for some world music or sample the free events, this year’s Festival of World Cultures has music to suit everyone’s taste.


Festival of World Cultures The Festival of World Cultures also has a lot of free events in the form of exhibitions and street events happening throughout the weekend. Most of these are free and many are family events and cater for all world art and culture tastes. This year’s programme features Aikido at the Royal Marine Hotel Gardens on Saturday from 12.30pm. Here this group will be showcasing the Japanese martial art of Aikido. Also on Saturday there is a chance to attend a free book launch and hear a reading from one of Ireland’s leading poets and haikuist. Gabriel Rosenstock will be launching two new books ‘Haiku Enlightenment and Haiku’ and ‘The Gentle Art of Disappearing’ at this free event. He will also do a reading from his latest work after the launch. Sunday is also packed full of free events when it comes to exhibitions and street events. The Ma Samba Circus Party is on at Newtownsmith Green from 12pm. MaSamba’s ringmaster will introduce you to its awe inspiring magicians, strong men, acrobats and clowns all performing to the backdrop of MaSamba’s signature, energy fuelled Brazilian rhythms. Also, pay a visit to the Asian Impressions – Flag Installation exhibition. This free exhibition is a Festival of World Cultures outreach art project created by children from the local Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown community.


Festival of World Cultures If you’re coming to the Festival of World Cultures this August and want to take a more hands on approach to the events and different cultures, then why not partake in one of the many workshops on offer. There are many classes and groups from all walks of life offering you a chance to experience a new culture and learn something new. Workshops include an African Drum Circle along with drum making, African Hair Braiding, Fijian Dance, Native American Tipi Making, Russian Beadwork with Stacey Neilson, Samba and Salsa Dancing and a lot more. So why not take this opportunity to learn a new skill as well as a new culture.

The Festival of World Cultures is all taking place on the 29th and 30th of August 2009 in the town of Dun Laoghaire. If you are visiting Dun Laoghaire, Dublin or even if you are in Ireland at all for this weekend then do not miss out on this amazing celebration of cultural diversity with the atmosphere of a great summer festival. The Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Festival of World Cultures is a must see for all ages and a great way to spend this last weekend of summer. Also, Dun Laoghaire is easily accessed by various forms of public transport from Dublin city centre. Take a look at some of the great hostels we have available in Dun Laoghaire and around Dublin city centre for your stay during the Festival of World Cultures.


By: Tracy Lynch


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