Ireland’s largest multi-disciplinary national arts festival and a major innovator in the area of arts and creativity globally.
What is the Bealtaine Festival?
Bealtaine is a month long festival in May featuring performances, exhibitions, discussions, workshops and readings by artists working in different art forms all over Ireland.
How does it work?
Bealtaine Festival engages people from all over Ireland to foster and inspire creativity among older people and to promote the skills, experiences and exposure that can lead to a rich creative life. You can enjoy all that Bealtaine has to offer whether you are an audience member, an artist, or participating in creative projects in your community.
We also inspire and train other artists to engage in the area of creative ageing and intergenerational work.
Bealtaine works on two parallel and interdependent strands:
- The in-house programme, curated by Age & Opportunity’s Arts and Culture team, aimed at addressing key strategic priorities
- The national programme, made up of hundreds of events organised and curated locally by a wide variety of groups.
In 2018, Bealtaine hosted over 1,400 co-operative events and 56 Age & Opportunity curated events and attracted over 80,000 visitors nationwide. Events took place in 23 counties, and included: theatre tours, choral performances, intergenerational story projects with schools and care settings, workshops in dance, literature, writing, drawing, artist residencies, craft workshops, storytelling projects, visual arts commissions, film screenings, exhibitions, museum tours and projects and much much more.
Our 2019 programme of events has just ended and we are already looking forward to next year’s programme and our 25th Birthday.
How can I get involved?
Anyone can organised a Bealtaine event in their own community and there is lots of helpful info, resources, and inspiration on the website festival resources page here.
We have a number of call outs and opportunities which we publish on the festival website so sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date on these.
We currently have open calls for our Bealtaine Flagship Choir, our Bealtaine Tour. You can find out more about these opportunities and how to apply on the festival website here.
For more information and to get involved in Bealtaine 2020 visit the bealtaine.ie.
We believe that, whether you are 8 or 80 years old, we all should have access and opportunities to attend and participate in the arts and to realise our creative potential. Fresh thinking, bold experimentation and creativity are all fundamental to delivering a high quality of life for older people.
Research shows that arts programmes involving music, visual arts and drama, among other activities, have a profound influence on the quality of life of older people, with positive impacts on health, psychological well-being, confidence and autonomy as well as other benefits such as:
- mental wellbeing
- reduced stress
- improved cognition
- sense of identity and personhood
- increased self-esteem and confidence
- reduced boredom.