Failte Ireland festival investment in Limerick increases five fold in 2017
Nine festivals across Limerick have been awarded Failte Ireland festival investment of €33,500 as part of its 2017 Regional Festivals and Participative Events Programme.
Amounts ranging from €1,000 to €9,500 have been granted to the Failte Ireland festival investment with a view to increasing the number of visitors and revenue.
The festivals being funded by Failte Ireland festival investment are:
Amongst those funded are two of the five Civic festivals run by Limerick City and County Council. In addition to these nine festivals, INY (Ireland New York) Festival has received €60,000 from the Big Ideas Fund, bringing the total amount to €93,500 up from €19,000 in 2016.
The increase in funding is the first signifier of the growth to come following ongoing collaborative work between Limerick City and County Council Arts Office and Fáilte Ireland as part of their capacity building programme and development of Festivals and Events in Limerick.
Fáilte Ireland provides grant funding to local festivals which apply to its Regional Festivals and Participative Events Programme. The programme is reviewed every year with a view to generating incremental visitor growth and revenue. The focus for festivals in 2017 is on growing tourism demand outside the peak season and to spread and grow tourism demand more evenly across the country.
Limerick Arts Office has been working closely with Fáilte Ireland to research and develop opportunities within the sector in Limerick for growth and investment.
One of the beneficiaries, Riverfest, saw massive increases in the number of people attending. Final figures show that total audiences attending events over the four days reached 85,472, with 62,472 of these passing through the Riverfestival Village – an increase of 20% on last year’s figure.
The Limerick Arts Office is currently working in partnership with stakeholders and the festivals and events sector to develop a strategy for Festivals and Events in Limerick, and recently presented to stakeholders and festival and event organisers in Limerick the interim findings of research undertaken to develop this strategy, which includes a public survey of the sector.
The findings were met with positivity from the sector as they show Limerick to be positioned well within a national context, and outlined a number of actions which are currently underway to build capacity and further develop the offering in Limerick.
The presentation made as part of a workshop titled Let’s Talk Festivals was also attended by Colm Croffy CEO of the Association of Irish Festivals and Events (AOIFE) who told attendees: “What is really exciting about this approach by Limerick City and County Council is that from all the work that AOIFE has been engaged with North and South this bottom-up and inclusive strategy appears to be one of the most innovative and tactically astute processes that will firmly place the developing calendar of Limerick Festivals and Events on an upward trajectory to success.”
As part of this strategy development process, it has been identified that the low number of submissions from Limerick festival organisers to the Fáilte Ireland Festivals and Events grant schemes is a key contributing factor affecting investment by the national agency in Limerick.
The Arts Office has since been focused on capacity building within the sector in Limerick so that Limerick festivals can position themselves better to meet the criteria required to attract Fáilte Ireland investment.
Sheila Deegan Limerick City and County Arts Officer said: “A lot of preparatory work goes on behind the scenes for festivals across Limerick. We are working closely with the organisers to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses to help improve the overall level of submissions for funding and ultimately the festival experience.”
“I’m delighted that the work we have done so far is beginning to pay off, with more funding for Limerick being announced this year, than previous years.”
“One of a number of actions taken by the Arts Office was hosting an information session with Marian Leydon of Fáilte Ireland in November 2016. This event provided festival organisers with the opportunity to meet with representatives from the national agency to learn about the grant schemes, how the process works and the criteria required,” she added.
For more information on festivals in Limerick click HERE
To find out more about Failte Ireland click HERE