Ireland and Sitges, so Much Art in Common
First of all, when and where. Save the dates: from October 27th to 30th "in the magical town of Sitges". That's how its organizers present it, inviting you to enjoy this festival of creativity, where musicians, writers, dancers and various artists from Sitges and different parts of Ireland will be performing at different venues around the town. For four days, more than 60 different events that you will be able to discover in its official program.
The person in charge of this festival that blends Irish green with Sitgetan blue and white is Caroline Wynne, who is the first to admit that "yes, it's true, at first glance you wouldn't say that Sitges and Ireland have much in common with each other, especially in terms of weather". However, Caroline stresses that you only have to take a closer look and you'll find many similarities: "We share a great pride in our culture and our language, which we fight to keep alive, and in addition, and this is key... we are the friendliest people in Europe!".
The choice of Sitges for this festival, beyond the natural affinity between these two territories, also brings undeniable logistical advantages, such as its proximity to the airport, as well as climatic ones - October in Sitges is warm and wonderful. And to this, we must add the suitability of the dates, as these days coincide with vacations in Ireland. It is expected that close to a thousand Irish people will attend the festival -of them, 66 professional artists and another 400 newcomers. Caroline highlights the spontaneous energy that is generated in Sitges, "both among neighbors and local artists; it's astonishing how creativity flows throughout the course of the whole weekend, whether during informal chats, over coffee or improvising a performance".
As for what's new at this year's festival, the main new feature is that the Mercat Vell will become the stage for the Creative Connexions Ireland Sitges 22's main performances -the other meeting point will be the El Retiro Gardens. Caroline feels that it's fortunate to be able to make use of this "incredible space", also located near Sitges' old town, "which will turn this area into the town's Irish neighborhood". Another new feature will be the ‘Fiddler of Sitges’ contest where Irish and Catalan performers ages 17 and up will be competing for this title on Friday, October 28th.
Would you like to know some of the big names? Oookaaay, here are just a few: Irish blues singer Mary Coughlan and X Factor finalist Mary Byrne will be visiting Sitges for the first time. And take note of the COR Nua choir project, which will bring together 35 vocalists on stage... In fact, the problem for Caroline and her team is in selecting the artists, "because everyone wants to come. Of course, just imagine when you ask an Irish artist if he or she would like to come and perform in one of the most beautiful places in Europe, work together with some of the best Irish artists, get to know some Catalan artists and, on top of all that, almost certainly enjoy a few sunny days...".
So, as you can see, Creative Connexions Ireland Sitges 22's artists have plenty of motivation and inspiration to spare. And that, on a stage, is pure magic. And you know it ;)
* The band on the pic is Stolen Chicken performing in El Mercat Vell @ 22h on Thursday October 27th