Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Meath and Louth County Councils and with award-winning production company Curated Place have created the new Púca Festival, celebrating Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween and claiming authentic ownership of this internationally celebrated event. Opening on 31st October the newly established festival will capture the authentic spirit of Samhain across three breathtaking nights of music, food, light and spectacle in Athboy, Drogheda and Trim.
Púca Festival begins with a procession from Athboy, and congregation at the Hill of Ward, one of the ancient homes of Samhain. This is The Coming of Samhain audiences are invited to continue the ritual of Samhain at the ancient Hill of Ward and take part in a historical and spiritual procession in the shadow of this heritage site.
County Meath’s stunning and historic Trim Castle and its surrounds become the spectacular stage for three supernatural nights of music, light & Halloween fun kicking off on the 31st October.
As dusk falls on Halloween night join the Samhain Procession as it weaves its way through the streets of Trim making its way to at the Castle. The very best in contemporary Irish music line-up for three massive Púca Festival nights – the Trim Castle Concerts.
In the big tent three nights of music include Jerry Fish with a specially adapted version of his Electric Sideshow encompassing everything from circus and cabaret to music and mischief. Then there’s KORMAC who brings his hugely innovative project Equivalent Exchange to the Púca Festival joining forces with his Big Band and the Irish Chamber Orchestra for a stunning multimedia show.
3 home-grown bands descend on Trim for a special Breaking Tunes Púca Nite, showcasing the very best of Ireland’s next generation of music-makers: Just Mustard, the exciting 5 piece from Dundalk craft their own unique blend of noise, trip hop and electronica; Pillow Queens were described by Steve Lamacq as “deceptively infectious” and are gathering fans and acclaim rapidly; and Æ Mak, the Dublin based art-pop band whose blend of pop synths and tribal rhythms gives their sound a bold sense of freedom.
The Púca Light Spectacular at Trim Castle comes to life each night with a host of interventions, from aerialists and castle projections to laser shows welcoming passers-by with stunning visuals on the Castle walls and beyond.
Winner of the International Laser Display Association Innovation and Art Award 2018, Seb Lee-Delisle creates Lightning Strikes, a large-scale laser-projection that sees electric arcs crackle and spark and Jacob’s Ladders rise up St. Mary’s Abbey and of course lightning!
The creative production studio based in Dublin, Algorithm will deliver Awaken the Spirits, a series of huge projection maps onto the castle walls, encapsulating the characteristics of each Samhain creature in this year’s festival – a spectacular experience as people arrive in Trim.
The spectacular Irish aerialists Fidget Feet take audiences on a theatrical journey through the mystical world of Púcaas they swing inside and outside the Castle walls as they join forces with the spirits of Samhain – Fionn, Boann, the Morrigan, Fir Dearg and Púca.
Inside the walls of Trim Castle Impossible Arts will create The Tale of Dullahan. As dusk falls, three large translucent heads will appear, each about 2.5m tall, with faces moving, blinking and seeming almost alive. The heads will show the faces of audience members who opt to sit before the face-recognition camera and be added into the mix. The heads speak and sing lip-syncing to Irish poets reciting the Tale of Dullahan.
Bringing the third Festival location to life, the embers of the flames from The Hill of Ward blow east towards one of Ireland’s oldest towns, Drogheda, igniting a haunting three-day programme of music, film and light installations in the centre of town.
Some of Ireland’s most popular singer songwriters, storytellers and composers will create atmospheric evenings of music, dark and light including the seldom shown silent horror movie Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan (The Witches) with a new score by Dublin-based musician Matthew Nolan. At Crescent Concert Hall, David Keenan, Sive and Lisa O’Neill will captivate with their distinctive and arresting performances. At Odd Mollies Candlelit Tales’s unique re-telling of the Shadows of the Tain to the Festival using magical shadow puppetry with live musical accompaniment. And over three nights Drogheda will play Halloween host to a series of de:LUX light and music installations inspired by tales of Irish folklore.
PÚCA – WHERE HALLOWEEN’S STORY BEGINS
31 Oct to 2 Nov 2019 // Co Meath & Co. Louth, Ireland