Imagine Festival launched as excitement builds at the return of live events

The 20th annual Imagine Arts festival runs from October 15th to 24th. It's a hybrid event, but organisers say it'll be about "80/20"  terms of in-person vs online. The festival will be run in accordance with current government guidelines, right up until the last day of the event.

The launch

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Councillor Joe Kelly officially kicked off proceedings in front of a small group of attendees at Theatre Royal. Speaking to WLR, he said it's exciting for people to have live events back..

The launch also saw performances from Minnie Marley, who'll perform at this year's festival, accompanied by Red FM DJ Stevie G. You can watch a snippet of that performance here...


The Waterford Writers Weekend

The festival showcases a multi-disciplinary range of arts events which also includes Waterford Writers Weekend. Some of the big-name authors lined up include Waterford native and one of 2021’s most celebrated debuts, Megan Nolan. Megan will read from Acts of Desperation and speak about the process of writing her second novel. Writer and podcaster Sophie White will speak about her bestselling essay collection, Corpsing: My Body and Other Horror Shows. The Observer columnist Séamas O’Reilly will discuss his memoir Did Ye Hear Mammy Died.

Visual Art

The festival’s visual art listing will feature an exhibition by renowned artist John Shinnors at Goma Gallery from October 15th. John is best known now for his three-tone colour scheme on a large scale. In addition, an Arts Trail and Art Shop featuring ten different artists will also be on offer showcasing a variety of techniques from sand artists to printmakers to surfboard graffiti artists and more.



Diverse Creatives will also be unveiled. This is a showcase of the potential of the arts to celebrate the richness of culture and experience of migrants who have made Ireland their home. These cultural performances feature dance, music, and crafts from the Igbo Community Waterford, Dance Group. Minnie Marley, Singer-songwriter, Intercultural Quilt created by the women of the Shakti Programme and Murka Murcury who is an Artist, DJ, and Producer.


Theatre events include Spliced, a Timmy Creed Production, Sylvan from Tinderbox Theatre Company, and Marbleface, which was the winner of last year's Imaginings competition.


Four headline music events include gigs with Dublin-based singer-songwriter Aoife Nessa Frances, and singer and songwriter Junior Brother. Chosen as one of RTÉ's Rising Irish Stars of 2018, Junior Brother has built a huge following thanks to unmissable live shows. Rapper Nealo will perform at the Theatre Royal in the City and he will be supported by Waterford’s very own Carrie Baxter. Dublin-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin will also take to the stage. Eoghan’s musical roots lie in the sean-nós style of his father.


Best-selling and critically acclaimed broadcaster and comedian Colm O’Regan will take to the stage for a much-needed dose of comedy at the Theatre Royal Waterford. Colm will be supported by Sean Murphy who won the Imagine Arts Festival comedy competition for the paid spot to support Colm on October 23rd.


A number of workshops will also be on offer from Mini Musos to a DJ workshop to a surfboard graffiti art workshop. Waterford Youth Dance will host a re-imagined online event due to the pandemic. They have commissioned five youth dance companies to collaborate with local filmmakers and videographers, together with musicians, poets, and spoken word artists to create short dance film pieces in a show titled New Horizons.

To find out more

The Imagine Arts Festival will take place online and in-person in Waterford this October 15th to 24th, further details and tickets can be found at