Artistic Armada to invade Grange in 2014
The Celtic Fringe Festival celebrates artists from the Celtic/Atlantic regions of Spain, England, Ireland & Scotland whose traditions are linked with Ireland through the voyage of the Spanish Armada in 1588.
The first Celtic Fringe Festival took place in 2011 and featured artists from Galicia and Ireland in an exciting programme of music, drama, heritage, dance, gourmet foods & maritime events.
The next festival in 2012 saw a widening of the programme to include a major symposium on the Armada Wrecks in Ireland and the development of Irish Underwater Archaeology.
The festival's artistic events also explored English musical traditions with a programme that included English folk music and dance. Speakers from England also addressed the symposium. The amazing Armada story was the basis of an exciting artistic series of events that included a fascinating account by Capt. Francesco de Cuellar, one of the few survivors from the three Spanish Armada ships wrecked off Streedagh Strand, Co. Sligo in 1588.
The 2013 festival programme saw further exploration of both historical and cultural themes, and 2014 will provide a broad range of talks, lectures, and many interesting and exciting cultural events, details of which can be seen here.
The voyage of the Armada is an epic story in world maritime history that has connected Sligo to Spanish and European maritime regions in a unique way. The Armada's naval encounters off the coasts of England and Holland were followed by the voyage north around Scotland and Ireland where many ships were wrecked in a bid to return to Spain. We believe this history gives unlimited potential for a significant Annual Festival where artists can showcase their countries stories and experiences, brought about by the Armada voyage in a varied artistic programme.
Excavation of the wreckage sites and the development of a dedicated Armada centre displaying any finds is a potentially huge tourist attraction for Sligo. This festival can help create a new awareness and focus towards such a development. We have commenced survey of the wreck sites and we hope to complete this work by the end of 2014. The old courthouse premises is now in our possession. This will be come a focal point for all further Armada developments.