Riverfest 2018 launch takes place as the festival is set to draw thousands to Limerick

Riverfest launch 2018: Pictured is Carlos Orcher from Nevsail Watersports testing out the Zorb balls that will make an appearance at Riverfest Limerick 2018. Photo: Oisin McHugh True Media


Riverfest 2018 launch takes place as the festival is set to draw thousands to Limerick

The official Riverfest 2018 launch took place on Tuesday, April 10 in House Limerick. The festival is set to draw over 85,000 to the banks of the Shannon for the biggest celebration yet in the 14th year of a festival that has made this first summer bank holiday weekend of the year its own.

Riverfest 2018 launch promises that the 2018 festival will be a carnival of activity and variety, all based around the great waters of the majestic Shannon, with much of the high jinks on the river itself.

Visitors will travel from across the 32 counties and from abroad for a four-day celebration that includes everything from high-octane water-based activities to the country’s biggest fireworks display of the summer. Activities will also include the country’s largest BBQ cook-off, celebrations of food and fashion, outdoor and indoor concerts and, of course, the Bon Secours Hospital Great Limerick Run.

Riverfest 2018 launch

Pictured at the Riverfest 2018 launch at House Limerick was Cllr James Collins, Laura Ryan, Limerick City and County Council and Aoife Potter Cogan, Limerick Arts Office. Photo: Oisin McHugh True Media

Among the major new attractions, this year will be the first ever visit to Ireland by the Seabreacher Shark. The dare-devil ride comes all the way from Queenstown, New Zealand can and can travel at speeds of up to 80km per hour, and soar 18ft high out of the water.

The water-based activities of Riverfest 2018 will also involve a free Double Zipline across the Shannon, Water Zorbing, Kayaking, and a social swim that will have hundreds getting a different perspective of the great river.

At quayside, there will be annual favourites such as The Riverfestival Village, at Arthur’s Quay – a weekend-long cacophony of foods, crafts, vintage amusements, street performers and live musical entertainment.  The Limerick Food Experience in the Garden of the Hunt Museum will showcase the best quality, locally produced food and drink that Limerick has to offer.

The Saturday will also see one of the annual high points of the festival take place as Ireland’s largest BBQ cook-off takes place with teams representing cuisines around the world competing for honours.

Fashion Friday at Arthur’s Quay will be hosted by Ireland’s leading fashion stylist Celia Holman-Lee and showcase the latest trends from Limerick’s top fashion houses and designers. 

The weekend’s ‘Big Gigs’ will include Jack L on Saturday night and Bell X1 at the stunning King John’s Castle – one of Ireland’s most unique concert venues.

Sunday’s Bon Secours Hospital Great Limerick Run, which is Ireland’s fastest growing participatory event, is another of the top features of the weekend, drawing an anticipated 13,000 people for three events – the full marathon, half marathon, 6 miles. It will also have the HOMS Fittest Company, an Expo at UL on Saturday where the UL Sports Children’s Run for Fun will also take place.

Riverfest 2018 is delivered by Grooveyard Event Management on behalf of Limerick City and County Council and partners include The Limerick Strand Hotel, Mr Binman, Limerick’s Live95FM, Arthur’s Quay and Limerick.ie.

Looking ahead to Riverfest 2018, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Stephen Keary said: “Limerick is a city very much on the up and Riverfest is a reflection of this.  It has grown and grown as a festival over the years to become not alone the biggest gathering in Ireland of the May Bank Holiday weekend by far but also one the biggest Irish summer festivals.  Limerick is the largest urban centre on Ireland’s largest river so it’s only right that we would turn to it for a celebration like this.”

Speaking about Riverfest 2018, Sheila Deegan, Culture and Arts Officer with Limerick City and County Council said, “The continued development and investment in Riverfest shows Limerick’s desire to grow our visitor offering.  Riverfest is one of the civic festivals delivered by Limerick City and County Council to bring the May Bank Holiday Weekend to life in the city and celebrate the river. Festivals are an important way of bringing us together to share and learn about ourselves, our culture, our heritage and give confidence and voice to the creative expression of all kinds. The recent investment by Limerick City and County Council into festivals is a testament to the belief that they can create a sense of belonging as well as an impact on the social and economic life of Limerick.”

Speaking at the Riverfest 2018 launch, Laura Ryan, Head of Marketing and Communications, Limerick City and County Council said, “We’ve had a very long winter, that very much consumed the spring but we’ll be putting all that behind us with Riverfest.  It’s a brilliant mix of different elements and, most of all offer something for everyone. The fact that the last act that many who come here for the festival do as they depart is to book again for next year says a lot about Riverfest.  It’s a great time for Limerick and this festival is a weekend-long celebration of that.”

Riverfest 2018 will take place on the May Bank Holiday weekend from May 4-7. For further details, go here.

For more stories on Riverfest, go here.

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