Westport Music & Arts Festival is delighted to announce Westival, the festival’s new brand and identity. After 18 months of research and careful consideration on how to build on 42 years of success, ‘Westival’ was devised as the next big step forward. Westival, will continue to foster the thriving local arts and music scene of Westport, but also help solidify and promote the west of Ireland as a destination for significant cultural events, that will attract international talent and attention.

Fans of Westport Music & Arts Festival can rest assured that the charm of the events unique to the original festival will still be part of the rebranded offering, they will be complemented by new and innovative experiences. “Our aim has always been to work with artists and performers, to nurture the ongoing culture of creativity in the town, county and the region. Westival will become a focal point for artists and musicians, as we work with them to devise and develop a curation of events, that praises and appreciates their works” Willie Walsh, Westival Chairperson.

“The Wild Atlantic Way initiative is all about encouraging visitors to engage with the true essence and story of areas along the West Coast of Ireland. Festivals and events are a very important part of this, particularly as they often drive visitors to regions outside of the usual hotspots in the ‘shoulder seasons’ either side of the summer, and the new ‘Westival’ branding for the Westport Arts Festival will give visitors a real flavour of what Westport has to offer.” says Finnan Nestor, Wild Atlantic Way, Failte Ireland.

Westival also brings with it a date change, formerly running in September, this year’s festival will take place from 24th – 29th October 2018 incorporating the October Bank Holiday Weekend. The change of dates will be advantageous in attracting a new wave of visitors and activity to Westport after the hectic summer season has ended and is more suitable for engagement with school and college students, enabling the festival to nurture bright budding artists in the community and beyond.

The move from September to October also allows Westival to become a cosy and intimate indoor festival, encompassing all the fun of Halloween along with themed events and fireside antics. Unique venues, such as Holy Trinity Church with its gothic architecture and the state of the art Town Hall Theatre, will host some of the festivals’ main attractions. Those seeking a more intimate atmosphere, will find suitable gigs in Westport’s famous pubs, along with other pop up venues throughout the town.

Speaking of the move to ‘Westival’ Conor Wilson, Festival Director says “We are delighted to announce our new name, new dates for the festival. I believe that Westival has a broad appeal, and we are looking forward to attracting new audiences with it. The logo represents a modern and progressive festival, and it serves to be instantly recognisable, and uniquely Westport, as it playfully celebrates the beauty of the town overlooked by Croagh Patrick”.

IDENTITY, the first element of the Westival programme to be announced, will be a significant new sculptural exhibition platform for visual artists in Ireland. Reflecting Westport’s status as a leading eco-town, the theme of IDENTITY centers around recycled and repurposed materials to serve as one of the main visual arts element of the festival. With an expert jury selection and Open Call to practitioners, those interested in participating can show their interest by visiting: www.westival.ie

Westival 2018’s full programme will be released in early August and will showcase a festival filled of local, national and international music, culture and artistic adventures, world premières and free family-friendly performances for all. The ethos of the new festival is to provide entertainment, connection and celebration for the people of Westport and the people who love Westport.

Should anyone like to get involved as an artist, participant, spectator, volunteer or sponsor the Westival team are keen to hear from you, you can send your query to Conor Wilson at director@westival.ie