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Home > Your Council > Communications Office > Press releases from July 2019 > Time for Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival

23/09/19 Time for Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival



Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival is set to kick off this weekend for what promises to be a splendid 10-day celebration of the arts in South and South West Donegal.   With a packed programme of theatre, music, spectacle and literary events, the festival, now in its 19th year, promises to inspire, engage and entertain.


The festival is set to run from Thursday September 26th to Sunday, October 6th and Traolach O’Fionnan Arts Officer with Donegal County Council says that “the festival will once again support artists and engage communities throughout South and South West Donegal and we are particularly happy this year to be associated with the inaugural Donegal Connect initiative, ten days of special events for returning members of the Donegal Diaspora.”


New Theatre

The Festival has excelled in recent years as a platform for showcasing new drama in the county. This year, the festival will host two more new works to engage and entertain audiences - actor and playwright Maura Logue’s new play, The Housekeeper, set in 1960s South West Donegal and the Balor Rep’s presentation of Martin Jim McFadden’s autobiographical drama, Don’t Go There.


The festival is proud to present two new shows by two of Ireland’s finest comic actors – Jon Kenny in Katie Holly’s brilliant Crowman and Kevin McAleer in his own inimitable creation, Guru. Donegal Drama Circle’s 19th show for the Festival is a production of David Mamet’s China Doll.


Get Involved in Carnival

This year’s Carnival Project takes place in association with the Donegal Connect initiative. Under the title Coming Home, it will celebrate Donegal’s Diaspora by offering visitors the opportunity to dress up in carnival costume and participate in the Parade on the night. Carnival partners - the ESB and Irish Water - will offer science workshops and tours at Cathaleen’s Fall hydro electric power station, Ballyshannon, for primary and second level school students.



This year’s music programme is one of the Festival’s strongest yet. Audiences will thrill to the contemporary sounds of In Their Thousands, The Henry Girls, Slow Place Like Home, Lemoncello, Pine The Pilcrow and Session Americana, while the traditional programme is no less exceptional and features the likes of Patsy Hanly, Roisín McGrory, Tara Connaghan, Steve Cooney, Peter Campbell, Ellie Nic Fhionnghaile, Claire Friel, Shauna Mullin, Brian McNamara, Mick Brown and Stewart Hardy.


Choral Highlights

The festival will welcome back the operatic stylings of The Bluestack Chorale and the wonderful Donegal Voices ensemble, who this year will perform Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece, The Nelson Mass, in Ballyshannon and Stranorlar. RTÉ Radio 1 Sunday Miscellany RTE Radio 1’s iconic Sunday Miscellany programme makes a welcome return to the Festival this year. Two editions of the programme will be recorded at the Abbey Arts Centre on Sunday, October 6.


To find out more download the festival programme from or follow @BluestacksFestival on Facebook.

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