Donegal County Council Logo
Home > Culture > Arts Office > Donegal Bay & Bluestacks Festival

Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival

 

 

 

Over the past 21 years, the Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival has supported artists and engaged communities throughout South and South West Donegal with the best of theatre, music of all kinds, arts for young folk, visual arts, crafts, spectacle and literary events. 

 

Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2021

 

Live Performance Events return at 21st. Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival

This weekend marked the start of the 21st. annual Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival and a tentative return to live theatre and music performances, for the first time in over eighteen months. While last year’s Festival was a totally online affair, this year’s programme of new and revived theatre works, music performance and literary events, may be enjoyed live, in person and safely, in venues in Ballyshannon, Donegal Town and Ballybofey, from Friday, October 1st. to Sunday, October 17th

Festival Covid 19 Protocol

In accordance with current Covid 19 protocols around indoor events, Advance Booking is essential for all live Festival events and audience members will also be required to produce evidence that they are double vaccinated against Covid 19, when they attend a Festival venue.

Opening Weekend with Zandra - Queen of Jazz, Donegal Fiddlers and Drumshee Days.

Zandra - Queen of Jazz

The Festival opened in the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon with ‘Zandra Queen of Jazz’,  actress and playwright Roseanne Lynch’s exuberant interpretation of the extraordinary life and times of Alexandra ‘Zandra’ Mitchell, who although born and raised in Dublin, lived out most of her later years at Coolmore House, Rossnowlagh.  Zandra is fondly remembered by local musicians, including Michael Gallagher of the Ballyshannon Brass and Reed Band, who assisted Roseanne Lynch in her research for this play, and to whom she left her treasured saxophone on her death in 1995.  

Drumshee Days Series 2.

Following on last year’s hugely successful Festival weekly online series, Maura Logue and David Ison returned with Drumshee Days - Series 2. The first of four episodes –The Bingo Bus - aired on Friday night on the Donegal County Council Youtube channel and via the Festival website www.donegalbaybluestacks.com There will be more stories from Drumshee every Friday evening of the Festival.  

Coming Soon.

Over the coming fortnight, Festival audiences can look forward to theatre nights with  Ballyshannon Drama Society – two evenings of one act plays - , a stage adaptation of comic tales from 19th. century Donegal, produced the Balor Rep Theatre Company especially for the inaugural Frances Browne Literary Festival, and a new play – Sister Black - by Ramelton actress and theatre-maker Maggie Hannon, on the life and times of Donegal, World War 1 frontline health worker, Nurse Catherine Black. 

Further highlights over the coming weeks include Mountcharles Opera Festival and The Bluestack Chorale’s Songs For An Autumn Evening at Donegal Town, the Ómós do Billy Finn traditional concert with Rita Gallagher, Gerry ‘Fiddle’ O’Connor and Paul Harrigan and a literary afternoon at the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon featuring current bestselling Derry writer, Seamus O’Reilly.

Further Details.

Full details of the Festival Programme are now available on the Festival website at www.donegalbaybluestacks.com An At A Glance guide to the Festival programme of events is available below.

The Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival is presented by Donegal County Council Culture Division. The Festival is funded by Donegal County Council and The Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaíon.

 

Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2021 At A Glance

Pre Booking and Double Covid 19 Vaccinations essential for All live, In Person events

*denotes Online event.

Friday October 1   Aoine 1ú Deireadh Fómhar 

*Dark Daughter Productions. Drumshee Days Series 2 : Episode 1 The Bingo Bus. Devised and Performed by Maura Logue and  David Ison.  8.00pm. Donegal County Council Youtube

Saturday October 2  Satharn 2ú Deireadh Fómhar 

Glenties October Fiddle Weekend. The Irish Recording Company - A Talk by Harry Bradshaw. Highlands Hotel, Glenties, 1.00pm 

Zandra –Queen of Jazz. Performed by Rosemary Lynch, Darn Skippy Productions.  Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon.  8.00pm.

Glenties October Fiddle Weekend’s Donegal Fiddlers Concert with Jenna Reid, Martin McGinley, Megan Nic Fhionnghaile and Jamsie Wray. Highlands Hotel, Glenties, 9.00pm 

Thursday October 7 Deardaoin 7ú Deireadh Fómhar

Frances Browne Literary Festival & Balor Rep Theatre : The Legends of Ulster, by Frances Browne & Shirley Anne Bonner.  With Cathleen Bradley, Orla Mullan, Jack Quinn and Keith Lynch. Directed by Kieran Quinn. Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey. 8.00pm.

Ballyshannon Drama Society: Two One Act Plays. The Specialist,by Charles Sale & Faint Voices, by John McKenna.  Directed by Rachel O’Connor and Anne McHugh. With Richard Hurst, Audrey Davitt, Sean McLoone, Terence McEneaney and Rachel O’Connor. Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon. 8.30pm.

Friday October 8 Aoine  8ú Deireadh Fómhar

*Dark Daughter Productions. Drumshee Days Series 2 : Episode 2 The Big Day Out To Knock.  Devised and Performed by Maura Logue and  David Ison. 8.00pm  Donegal County Council Youtube

Ballyshannon Drama Society: Two One Act Plays. The Specialist,by Charles Sale & Faint Voices, by John McKenna.  Directed by Rachel O’Connor and Anne McHugh. With Richard Hurst, Audrey Davitt, Sean McLoone, Terence McEneaney and Rachel O’Connor. Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon. 8.30pm.

Saturday October 9 Satharn 9ú Deireadh Fómhar

Ónós do Billy Finn  Traditional Concert with Rita Gallagher (Traditional Singer), Gerry O’Connor (Fiddle), Paul Harrigan (Uilleann Pipes) , Daire Gallagher ( Fiddle) and Cian Sweeney (Fiddle) . Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon 8.00pm

 

Frances Browne Literary Festival & Balor Rep Theatre :The Legends of Ulster, by Frances Browne & Shirley Anne Bonner. With Cathleen Bradley, Orla Mullan, Jack Quinn and Keith Lynch. Directed by Kieran Quinn. Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey. 8.00pm.

Frances Browne Literary Festival & An Grianán Theatre presents Frances Browne - In My Mind’s Eye, by Shirley Anne Bonner.  A Rehearsed Reading, directed by Emily Foran. With Louise Conaghan, Aoife Browne, Megan Armitage, Maggie Hannon and John Ruddy.

 Post show Panel Discussion with author Shirley Anne Bonner, Dr. Charlotte McIvor (NUI Galway) and Rebecca Mairs (Lyric theatre, Belfast). An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny.  7.00pm.

Tuesday October 12  Máirt 12ú Deireadh Fómhar

Frances Browne Literary Festival & Balor Rep Theatre, The Legends of Ulster, by Frances Browne & Shirley Anne Bonner. With Cathleen Bradley, Orla Mullan, Jack Quinn and Keith Lynch. Directed by Kieran Quinn. Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon.  8.00pm.

Wednesday October 13  Céadaoin 13ú Deireadh Fómhar

Frances Browne Literary Festival & Balor Rep Theatre: The Legends of Ulster, by Frances Browne & Shirley Anne Bonner. With Cathleen Bradley, Orla Mullan, Jack Quinn and Keith Lynch. Directed by Kieran Quinn.  Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon.  8.00pm.

Friday October 15  Aoine 15ú Deireadh Fómhar

*Dark Daughter Productions. Drumshee Days  Series 2  : Episode 3 Going Nowhere Fast.  Devised and Performed by Maura Logue and  David Ison.8.00pm   Donegal County Council  Youtube.

Songs for An Autumn Evening : The Bluestack Chorale, Deborah Cunningham, Paul Martin, Evan McGarrigle. Music by Benjamin Britten (Song for St. Columba), Emma Langford and Evan McGarrigle.  St. Patrick’s Parish Centre, Donegal Town. 8.00pm

Slow Place Like Home, The Cantinitas. In Concert . Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon. 8.00pm

Saturday October 16  Satharn 16ú Deireadh Fómhar 3

Sister Black. The story of Donegal WW1 frontline health worker,  Nurse Catherin Black OBE.   Written ands Performed by Margaret Hannon.  Directed by Eoghan MacGhiolla Bhríghde. Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon. 8.00pm.

Songs for An Autumn Evening : The Bluestack Chorale, Deborah Cunningham, Paul Martin, Evan McGarrigle. Music by Benjamin Britten (Song for St. Columba), Emma Langford and Evan McGarrigle.  St. Patrick’s Parish Centre, Donegal Town. 8.00pm

The Ghostlight Sessions: Featuring the Davy K Project, Moon Dust, Ciaran O’Neill (DiG!). Introduced by Dean Maywood. Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey. 8.00pm

*Dark Daughter Productions. Drumshee Days  Series 2  : Episode 4. Toe Tapping. Devised and Performed by Maura Logue and  David Ison. 8.00pm   Donegal County Council  Youtube.

 

Sunday October 17  Domhnaigh Deireadh Fómhar 18

Festival Literary event with NW of Ireland writers Séamus O’Reilly, Jess McKinney and Emily Cooper. Hosted by Denise Blake.  Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon. 3.00pm.

 

EXHIBITION

Donegal Fiddlers’ Portraits, by Dónal Glackin.

An exhibition of photographic portraits of Donegal fiddlers, and their instruments, commissioned by Cairdeas na bhFidléirí.  Featured musicians include Danny Meehan, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Helen Diamond, Ellie Nic Fhionnghaile, Aidan O'Donnell, Paddy Glackin, Martin McGinley and Jimmy Campbell.

Venue: The Helen Allingham Gallery, Abbey Arts & Cultural Centre, Ballyshannon. October 6th. – 17th.   Open 10.00am - 3.00pm  daily, and at Showtimes.

 

Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2020

 

The 20th annual Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival took place from                Friday 25th September - Saturday 18th October 2020.

 

Highlights included Dark Daughter Productions 'Drumshee Days', and wonderful musical performances by Mirenda Rosenburg, Alan Finan, Reevah, and Ego the Jackal.

Our partner artists and venues have come together to create a blend of live and online events that will showcase newly created work, give fresh platforms to old favourites and provide new ways for our communities to access and enjoy the best of arts and entertainment, as the evenings draw in.

 

Preparations are continuing for the Festival which will include a combination of both live and online events, due to current Covid19 restrictions.

 

 

 

Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2019

 

The 19th Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival, which took place 26th September – 6th October, coincided with the inaugural Donegal Connect diaspora festival.

 

 

Highlights included the return of RTÉ Radio 1’s iconic Sunday Miscellany to the Abbey Arts Centre. Two programmes were recorded with a live audience who enjoyed readings and performances by Olive Travers, Brian Leyden, Denise Blake, Conor and Michael Murray and Sarah E. Cullen.

 

Other highlights included Donegal Voices’ beautifully evocative Nelson Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, Ballyshannon and St. Mary’s Church, Stranorlar and a wonderful evening of music, song and storytelling at Halla an Pharóiste, Chill Chartha with Tara Connaghan, Ellie Ní Fhionnghaile, Eithne Nic Ghallchobhair, Mick Brown and Steve Cooney.  

 

Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival 2018 - photo1

 

 

‌‌Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival 2018 - photo2    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Rate this Page

Select an option below

Map Services

Map Portal

  • winterweather Image
  • NWGreenway network icon
  • Donegal Tourism Logo
  • Rennet Image
  • NPPR Logo
  • Donegal Gathering Logo
  • Donegal Diaspora Logo
  • Public Art logo
  • Regional Cultural Centre logo
  • Spaceial logo
  • IrishWater
  • LEO