Delve 17: Spraoi Waterford Festival
Galway Community Circus
4-6th August 2017
I was delighted to have been chosen as a participant on the DELVE programme at Spraoi, Waterford on August Bank Holiday weekend. It was a welcome escape from race week in Galway to the sheer wonder that is the International Street Arts Festival, Spraoi, Waterford.
I arrived on Friday afternoon and Lucy introduced me to my fellow DELVEr Sharon and other delegates. We attended our first performances that evening at the NEST Stage which present new work from emerging artists. Seve’s (Im)Balances, in particular, struck a chord with me because of the beauty of her movements the voiceover which explains how she uses performance to take her mind off her anxiety, worries whilst also using a delighted audience member to interact with her on stage. Later that evening we listened to the Dead Goat Beat Project and watched Bandart – Dancing Graffiti.
On Saturday morning, we were lucky enough to get a tour of the Spraoi Studios (where the magic happens!) Mike and TV gave us a guided tour explaining the history of Spraoi and from humble beginning in a warehouse in Waterford city it moved to a purpose-built space outside Waterford city that is the current Spraoi Studios. We got to see some of the Spraoi creations and marvel at the fantastic space.
On Sunday Morning we participated in ISAN on the road a professional gathering organised by the Independent Street Arts Network at Spraoi Festival to discuss building international relationships. This was really interesting as it gave a great insight into how our European colleagues work, the challenges and also the opportunities for circus and street art.
Saturday and Sunday we spent taking in the various music and street art shows from The Big Bang band, Scotch, Buffalo Soul, Lords of Strut, The Spurring Man, The Foolhardy Three, Quatuor Stomp, Sulky M, The Silent Brass Band, Jones & Bernard. The weekend was brought to a close with the Spraoi Parade through Waterford city called “Source to Sea” featuring the most fantastic creations, costumes, floats and the happiest people I’ve ever seen in a parade all topped off by a magical fireworks display over the Quays.
What struck me again and again through the course of the weekend was the atmosphere, how happy everyone from the performers, organisers, audience and delegates were and how incredibly lucky we were to be here to experience all this culture. I would strongly recommend DELVE to others in the future as it gives you an insight and access to the performers, organisers and international delegates that you would not normally be exposed to. Affording you the opportunity to directly engage and network with them directly and discuss the work. Thank you Lucy from ISACS and Miriam, Mike & TV from Spraoi, I had a weekend that I will never forget. I saw so many great performers, learned so much from both the performers and Spraoi organisers and delegates. I got a chance to network and have made some good connections as well as some friends along the way. I've come back to Galway inspired and so looking forward to taking up my new role as Development and Marketing Manager for Galway Community Circus in September.