Athenry MAD Festival 2019

Athenry MAD Festival

Get ready for the second MAD Festival in Athenry, as we present a multi disciplinary event over four days from the 19th-22nd September. This years event is still accessible for all ages and includes a programme of music, exhibitions, writers workshops, children's puppet shows and lots lots more. The event also includes Culture Night which will be held in locations throughout Athenry. Check out our programme and make a date in your diary where Athenry goes MAD!!

Join us this Thursday 19th September as we officially launch the 2nd Athenry MAD Festival in Amicitia at 6:00pm. All are welcome.

Event: Photographic Exhibition: West Impressions

Location: Amicitia Gallery, Old Church Street

Date: Opening Thursday 19th September 6pm- Thursday 13th of October. Hours 11am – 5:30pm

Admission: Free, All Welcome

A reflective collection of photographs from artist/photographers Steve Scott, Ted Turton and Pavel Smal closely observing the places they pass through every day.


Event: Anna Falkenau & Steve Simmons

Location: Athenry Heritage Centre

Time: Doors open 8:00pm

Concert: 8:30pm

Date: Thursday 19th September

Admission: €11.00

Suitable For All Ages

Virtuoso fiddle player Anna Falkenau and wonderful singer and guitar player Stephen Simmonds will present a powerful program of Irish and American music. Anna’s driving tunes and delicate melodies have a strong pull: “Her tone and control are glorious” writes SingOut! There’ll also be some new works: “Falkenau’s compositions are beautifully quirky, full of unexpected twists and turns, and her Apatchy Hunting in the Garden is a masterclass in imaginative playing and tune-christening alike” appraises Siobhán Long in the Irish Times. Stephen Simmonds will treat the audience to some gems out of his large treasure of folk songs from Scotland, Ireland and beyond. Having originally joined force playing at regular sessions in Connemara, these two excellent musicians have grown into a tight and intuitive musical unit.

In the more recent past, Anna Falkenau has released two critically acclaimed CDs, her 2014 solo CD “Féileacán na Saoirse” and “I Can Hear You Calling” in 2017 with five-string banjo player Lena Ullman. Both albums received four-star reviews in The Irish Times. England’s major folk music magazine fRoots described her solo CD: “Imagine Denis Murphy meets Martin Hayes and both win…!”  and Folkworld reviewed “I Can Hear You Calling raises the hairs on my neck at times, that primal edge on the fiddle particularly.” She has performed with Dolores Keane, the late Tony Small, Ged Foley and many more and has appeared nationally and internationally at festivals, folk clubs, house concerts and churches.

Originally from New Zealand, Stephen Simmonds is now based in Connamara. He has been a performing musician for many years and is comfortable in most styles. He regularly backs traditional musicians such as Charlie Lennon, Mary Shannon and Johnny Connolly, amongst others. Stephen also plays with Patrick Bergin and the Dominic Street Ramblers. His travels have led him to pick up songs from New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada.


20th September

Event: Culture Night: Wrap Up In Culture

Location: Athenry Heritage Centre

Time: 5:00pm-9:00pm

Date: Friday 20th September

All Events Are Free To Attend

Experience the best of Culture Night as the Athenry Arts & Heritage Centre presents an evening of free events to celebrate Culture Night 2019. Brought to you by the Dept. of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in collaboration with Galway County Council this national event is one of many being held throughout Ireland on Friday 20th September. All events are free to attend but places may be limited due to venue size.


Event: Ian Bascombe & Katharine Mac Mághnuis

Location: Athenry Heritage Centre

Time: 5:30pm

Date: Friday 20th September

Suitable for All Ages

Ian Bascombe Tin Whistle, Bouzouki, Voice 

Katharine Mac Mághnuis Fiddle, Viola 


Event: Shadow Puppet Theatre Show

Location: Amicitia

Time: 6:00pm

Date: Friday 20th September

Age: 3+

Join us in Amicitia for a unique event with Lanna who presents a shadow puppet theatre show. Her puppeteers will enthrall young audiences with their stories and amazing puppets.


Event: Folding for Fun: Origami Workshop with Tom Cuffe

Location: Athenry Heritage Centre

Time: 6:30pm

Date: Friday 20th September

Age: 6+

The ancient Japanese art of folding paper to create almost anything you want. No glue, no sticky tape just Fold for Fun. From birds to planes to foxes to boxes from wonderfully simple to wonderful geometric. Folding for fun for all the family and great for sharing with your friends. Be careful this art form is very addictive and it’s only paper just any old paper or just any beautiful paper.

Origami:-Art and Geometry merge in the ancient Eastern art form of folding paper. Transform a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques.

 No two are alike

And each one is just the same

People and the cranes


Event: Ted Talks 2: Ollie Jennings & Ted Turton Present The Galway Arts Festival, from humble beginnings to International Arts Festival.

Location: Athenry Heritage Centre

Time: 8:30pm

Date: Friday 20th September

Age: 16+

Ollie Jennings and Ted Turton, both founder members of the Galway Arts Festival in 1978, tell the story of how the festival got off the ground and discuss with the audience the prevailing cultural landscape of the time and what factors contributed to it's success. Illustrated with contemporary photographs.

Ted Turton is a practising visual artist living in Athenry. Ollie Jennings is a publicist, promoter and band manager (Saw Doctors) based in Galway city.


Saturday 21st September

Event: Lougrea Craft Club: Fairy House Workshop

Location: Amiticia

Time: 1:00pm

Date: Saturday 21st September

Age: 5+

Create a cute fairy and a house for her to live in. Make your very own flower fairy and an adorable colourful fairy house. A fun creative drop in workshop aimed at children age 5-12.


Event: Athenry Music School Pop Up Orchestra

Location: Joyce's Supermarket

Time: 1:30pm

Date: Saturday 21st September

Let the Athenry Music School enhance your shopping experience with a performance in Joyce's Supermarket that will delight and calm your Saturday shopping day.



Event: Rince Tine Cnámh / The Bonfire Dance

Location: Athenry Playground

Time: 7:30pm

Date: Saturday 21st September

Free admission and suitable for all ages

Join us for farewell to Summer with a Rince Tine Cnámh. Meeting with our lanterns/candles we make our way to The Walled Garden. You don't need to know the dance, it will be Cheili called so everyone of every age can join in!


Event: Julie Feeney SOLD OUT

Location: Athenry Heritage Centre

Time: 9:00pm

Date: Saturday 21st September

Tickets: €26.00

Join us for a wonderful intimate concert in the Athenry Heritage Centre with acclaimed performer Julie Feeney. she will be accompanied by musician Feargal Murray.

This concert performance has limited seating so book early early to avoid any disappointment.

Julie Feeney’s sell out shows have riveted audiences and critics all over the world including Amsterdam, Mexico, Italy, Germany, France, China, Brazil, U.S.A, Canada, U.K. and Ireland. She performs as a one woman show with ensemble with choirs or with full orchestra; and she composes, arranges and orchestrates all of her own music and words. Her three albums have been widely critically acclaimed internationally, receiving numerous awards and she has created a whole host of stunning music videos to accompany them. Sharp witted unpretentious and fiercely passionate, Julie Feeney is a genuine artist and a hugely enjoyable performer.


Event: Mindfulness In Motion for Teenagers with Sharon Lynch

Location: Athenry Community Hall

Time: 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Date: Saturday 21st September

Ten places available. Cost €10/€8 cons

This 90 minute workshop will show teenagers how to quieten their mind, find their centre and cultivate awareness through mindful movement, meditation and dance. They will learn an active body warm up using colour therapy and the body’s seven chakras as a guide, that can be used daily to promote well-being. The intention is for them to develop confidence and self-esteem by learning to move in sync with their natural rhythm, using music from around the world. Everyone is welcome, you don’t need to be a dancer or in any way experienced in meditation. Ten places available. Cost €10/€8 cons Find more info on Facebook: Sharon Lynch Body Mind Movement.


Event: Art Exhibition 

Location: The North Gate


Sunday 22nd September

Event: Shadow Puppet Workshop

Location: Athenry Heritage Centre

Time: 3:00pm

Date: Sunday 22nd September



Event: Poetry Evening

Location: Arch Bar

Time: 8:00pm

Date: Sunday 22nd September

Calling all budding Poets and lovers of the spoken word, meet in the Arch Bar for an evening of poetry, fiction and non fiction. Its an open mic night so there's plenty of opportunity to present your work.



Event: How Big, How Fast, How Far!

Location: Athenry Heritage Centre

Time: 7:30pm

Date: 22nd September

Athenry Night Sky
How Big, How Fast, How Far” Presented By Scott


Begin with a brief talk in layman's terms of the night sky, with a slide presentation Followed up by a short Q&A.

Time permitting, a VR presentation using various night sky apps

Observation of select evening targets through a Celestron C11 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope


  1. Give attendees an understanding of the expanse of the universe by illustrating the vast distances that exist between celestial bodies.
  2. To give a further understanding of how big these objects are compared to others.
  3. Demonstrate the speeds that are and would be required to travel to other planets, galaxies and beyond.


  1. Saturn
  2. Jupiter
  3. Various stars


Brief talk and slide presentation on the size, speed and distance of our universe Using VR headset, view the universe from a perspective not possible here on earth.

Move outside to observe the evenings targets through an 11”telescope.


Please note that the programme is subject to change and all children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.


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Our Location

Athenry Heritage Centre.

St. Mary's,The Square,
Co. Galway,
Rep. of Ireland

Phone: 091 844661


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