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Official Launch of Púca Festival 2024

PÚCA FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SPOOKTACULAR RETURN FOR HALLOWEEN 2024


Celebrating Ireland as the origin of Halloween Returns to Co. Meath from 31 OCTOBER – 3 NOVEMBER 2024. Experience Spectacle and Storytelling, Music and Mischief, Comedy, Feasting & Much More


Martin Nolan, Director of MPI Artists and Púca Festival Director was thrilled to be joined by Minister Catherine Martin for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for the launch of our Púca Festival 2024 programme today in Dubh Linn Gardens at Dublin Castle.


Martin was also joined by Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals & Events at Failte Ireland, Kieran Kehoe Chief Executive of Meath County Council and Des Foley, Director of Services, Meath County Council, as well as the full Púca Festival Team and our dazzling talent Pyro Collective & Broken Theatre.

Join us in celebrating Ireland as the origin of Halloween in Co. Meath from 31st October – 3rd November 2024.


(Subject to licence)


Experience Spectacle and Storytelling, Music and Mischief, Comedy, Feasting & Much More.🔥See full details on www.pucafestival.com


Tickets on sale Friday, June 28th at 10am.⏰



Trim and Athboy to play host to visitors as the 2024 Púca Festival hubs



Confirmed acts include:


Bell X1, The High Kings, Dermot Whelan, Panti Bliss, Mary Coughlan, Deirdre O'Kane, Neil Delamere, The Dirt Birds, Davina Devine, Tom Dunne, Fiachna O'Braonáin & Alan Connor, Emma Langford, Ruaile Buaile, Qween and Dublin Gospel Choir, The Classic

 Beatles and The Hans Zimmer Experience.


Additional headline acts to be confirmed soon.


This Halloween, folklore enthusiasts and festivalgoers can look forward to the highly anticipated return of the Púca Festival to Co. Meath. Developed by Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Meath County Council, Púca celebrates Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween with an authentic, immersive, and otherworldly festival. Vibrant, fun, and contemporary in feel but strongly rooted in tradition, Púca will take place in festival hubs Trim and Athboy in County Meath, from Thursday 31st October to Sunday 3rd November 2024.





Working in partnership with Irish artists, seanchaí storytellers, and the local community

Púca will showcase the best in contemporary Irish music, spectacle, and performance over four days and nights in Ireland's Ancient East.





Púca Festival tells the origin story of Samhain or 'Summer's End'. In Irish and Celtic traditions

Samhain is the end of the harvest season, when all the crops have been picked and stored for the 'New Year'. This was historically a time of celebration, involving lighting fires, feasting on the crops of the harvest, music, gathering, and storytelling. A familiar character in Ireland's narrative of Halloween, Púca (pronounced poo-kuh) is a shape-shifting character from Celtic folklore that comes alive at ancient new year to roam the night and change

the fortunes of those that cross it.





Púca Festival was devised to encourage more international visitors to visit Ireland during October and November, and to encourage domestic visitors to explore different regions of Ireland, outside of the traditional tourism hotspots.






Speaking at the launch in Dublin Castle, Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, said: 

"I am so pleased to officially launch Fáilte Ireland's Púca Festival 2024, a key moment in our annual tourism calendar. Halloween is a globally recognised holiday, and Púca provides an excellent platform to showcase Ireland as the birthplace of this tradition. It's a chance to celebrate and share our unique Celtic heritage and culture, attracting both domestic and international visitors to visit Meath which will bring economic benefits to both local businesses and communities."



Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals and Events at Fáilte Ireland said:

"Fáilte Ireland is pleased to announce the launch of this year's Púca Festival, which celebrates Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween. Festivals and events like Púca present an excellent opportunity to showcase the rich heritage and unique culture that Ireland has to offer to both domestic and international visitors. They are also important drivers of tourism revenue across the country, particularly in areas that are outside of the traditional tourism hotspots. We look forward to once again collaborating with Meath County Council, and local tourism and hospitality businesses in our festival hubs of Trim and Athboy to create an

unforgettable experience for Púca Festival 2024."


Kieran Kehoe, Meath County Council, Chief Executive added: 

"Meath County Council is delighted to support the Púca Festival again in 2024 and we look forward to welcoming visitors to celebrate the origins of Samhain in Meath with a diverse and exciting programme of events.  Working with Fáilte Ireland, the Púca team and local businesses to create an international festival from the story of Samhain will place the Boyne Valley and Ireland's Ancient East centre stage, support the tourism economy of County Meath and share this unique folklore with the world.  As Meath County Council's new Chief Executive I'm looking forward to working closely with our partners and welcoming domestic and international visitors to County Meath."


Martin Nolan, Púca Festival Director and Founder of MPI Artists said:

"This is MPI Artists' third year rolling out Púca festival and we're delighted with how the programme is coming together at this early stage. There's been huge interest from music artists, comedians and creatives who feel as strongly about the Púca Festival as we do. Given the fantastic feedback from almost 44,000 visitors in 2023, we're looking forward to entertaining even more international and domestic visitors this October."



PÚCA FESTIVAL HUBS 2024


This year's festival hubs are Athboy and Trim, both steeped in Samhain legend and tradition.




Trim, Co. Meath


Four supernatural nights of music, comedy and Halloween spectacle will take place in the heritage town of Trim and its stunning castle grounds, including the The Púca Procession: The Gathering of the Spirits on Saturday 2nd November, a festival highlight not-to-be-missed. This authentic procession will blend outdoor theatre, street performance and music in a wild celebration of Samhain lore, nature, ancestry, and the looming darkness. As light

turns to darkness and the veil thins, so too will the visions of otherworldly, shape-shifting spirits on their journey through the original home of Halloween.



Athboy, Co. Meath


The Púca Festival town of Athboy is an important hub of Halloween tradition, with ancient manuscripts telling us that Tlachtga (pronounced Clackda) or The Hill of Ward was a site of great Samhain gathering. As the sun sets and the ceremonial fire is lit on Thursday, 31st

October, visitors will gather at the Fair Green in Athboy to join the Lighting of the Samhain Fire to honour their ancestors. This symbolic event connects the landscapes of Tlachtga, Tara, Loughcrew, Tailteann and Uisneach, to a central Púca flame, laden with messages to our ancestors. As the flames ignite, the stage will be set, and a night of music and celebration will ensue.


While Trim and Athboy are serviced by a strong public transport network, there are plans to add a number of Púca Bus services to bring visitors from Dublin, Drogheda, Navan, Mullingar and Kells, in addition to a regular shuttle bus running between Trim and Athboy. 




PÚCA PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS


Púca will comprise four breath-taking days and four nights of music, myth, food, folklore, fire, feasting and merriment in the country where Halloween began, with a range of events on offer. In addition to the traditional ceremonies, celebrations, and offerings across Trim and Athboy, the Púca's proclivity for mischief and entertainment will be brought to life with high profile contemporary acts in music, comedy, and performance.




Confirmed acts include:


Bell X1, The High Kings, Dermot Whelan, Panti Bliss, Mary Coughlan, Deirdre O'Kane, Neil Delamere, The Dirt Birds, Davina Devine, Tom Dunne, Fiachna O'Braonáin & Alan Connor, Emma Langford,Ruaile Buaile, Qween and Dublin Gospel Choir, The Classic Beatles and The Hans Zimmer Experience.


More musical, comedy, storytelling and folklore acts will be announced shortly.



Events will take place across various venues in Trim and Athboy and tickets go on sale on

Friday, 28th June 2024 at 10am.



Feasting


As Samhain historically marked the end of the harvest season, Púca Festival embraces the enormous wealth and quality of the local produce on its doorstep in the Boyne Valley.

Visitors can expect to indulge in traditional barm brack, colcannon and baked apples as they immerse themselves in the local offerings at the Harvest Market, in what promises to be the most spirited Púca Festival to date, casting a lasting spell on all the senses.




Myth & Mischief


Hosted in various locations in both Trim and Athboy daily will be various events involving immersive games, storytelling, workshops, talks and walks. These immersive experiences will bring visitors on a spirited journey through time to experience the Home of Halloween in Ireland's Ancient East



Many more acts will be added to the line up over the coming weeks, and festivalgoers are advised to keep an eye on www.pucafestival.com for news and tickets. *Subject to license.

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