Spraoi: Exciting Street Arts Festival, Waterford, Ireland


Updated On: April 24, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

Summertime in Ireland means festivals are in full swing, from music festivals, art festivals, family events and more, there is so much to enjoy this summer in Ireland. The annual International Street Arts Festival; Spraoi takes places from the 2nd to the 4th of August 2019 in Waterford, Ireland.

Spraoi is one of the hotly anticipated urban street art festivals in Ireland that you don’t want to miss and the best thing of all its completely free to enjoy and take part in all the amazing street art happening. It’s one of those fun festivals that the whole family will enjoy with plenty to see and lots to keep you entertained.

Keep reading to find out more about Spraoi, from the history of the festival and things you can expect to see at this year’s event.

The History of Spraoi Festival

Spraoi was first brought to life in 1993, an idea to add a little fun and madness over the summer period for the people of Waterford. Initially, it was only meant to be a one-day event held on the streets of Waterford City, to bring some excitement to the place. But the success of this one-day event meant the idea grew so much bigger and an annual summer festival came to life. Spraoi has now become one of Ireland’s leading street art festivals.

Spraoi is well-recognised and renown as a street theatre company and its most famous for its annual Spraoi Festival and Parade held on the bank holiday weekend in August that draws in thousands of people to the streets of Waterford. The main focus of the festival is all things street art-related and has become very popular with locals and tourists alike. For three days in Waterford, you can soak up all the arts and culture this festival brings with it.

Nowhere else could be the perfect location for this festival than Waterford with its strong history and culture, medieval streets and inviting atmosphere that will capture your attention from the moment you arrive.

Festival Attractions

The great thing about street art is, it allows people to uncover their own creative experiences and take away different meanings, Spraoi Festival gives people the opportunity to marvel and enjoy art in a variety of ways that will excite and captivate.

The whole point of the festival is to inspire people of all ages and to encourage people to keep street art alive. The exciting theme of this year’s festival is ‘All at Sea’ which explores all the astonishing things and creatures from the ocean brought to life by a variety of talented artists.

“A psychedelic creation, unleashed onto the streets and quays of Waterford City.” Spraoi Festival

Spraoi Parade and Fireworks

This is one of the most popular events that take place during this festival, the street art parade starts at Johnstown and ends in Quay, where you can enjoy a spectacular firework display to end the festival day from the River Suir.

Irish Street Performers and World Acts

A huge focus of this festival is to showcase the best of Irish street art, as well as giving light to new Irish artists. At least four Irish companies will get to present their work during the Waterford festival.  As well as Irish performers, you’ll get to see world-class acts from around the world on the streets of Waterford. The town turns into a huge party and celebration and you are invited to come along and enjoy it all.

The free festival will cover a range of things from street dance, music, theatre, comedy, and of course art.

Acts/activities you can expect to see at this year’s festival include:

  • ‘Always Drinking Marching Band’ – All the way from Spain, a group of nine musicians who will bring a bit of Mediterranean music and passion to Spraoi.
  • ‘Calmast‘ – An opportunity for people to get involved in a variety of workshops, demonstrations and activities over the three-day event.
  • ‘Brass Tracks’ – Enjoy live music from five unique bands on the streets of Waterford before they come together for a show-stopping performance.
  • Company Chameleon – ‘Of Man and Beast’ – An imaginative and entertaining outdoor dance performance exploring the different faces of masculinity
  • Hendrick- Jane de Stuntman meets Merel Kamp – A mesmerising visual show and comedy that will have you laughing out loud.
  • Ockham’s Razor – Belly of the Whale –  A unique circus meet sculpture performance that will captivate people of all ages.
  • New York Brass Band – An exciting seven-piece band inspired by the music of New Orleans including a range of jazz, pop, reggae and funk music.

Spraoi is an unmissable three-day event where fun and art come together through a variety of international street artists, musicians and performers who will make their way to the city to bring it to life with colour and entertainment. The Spraoi Festival needs to be on your list of must-see festivals in Ireland.

Have you ever been to The Spraoi Festival or do you plan on attending this year? Let us know in the comments below.

More blogs that might interest you:

Art Galleries in Belfast: A Local’s Guide to Must-See Attractions | Belfast Pride: One of the Biggest Festivals in the City | Bloomsday Festival in Dublin

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