Popular CATDIG festival set to return to the streets of Limerick this May

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

LIMERICK’s Catherine Street is again to be transformed by a riot of colour and artistic endeavour as the ‘CATDIG’ - Catherine Street Cultural Dig - returns for a third successive year this May.

LIMERICK’s Catherine Street is again to be transformed by a riot of colour and artistic endeavour as the ‘CATDIG’ - Catherine Street Cultural Dig - returns for a third successive year this May.

The street festival takes place in and around the shops, bars, and spaces of one of Limerick’s oldest streets and consists of a range of artistic and creative events which are hosted by the businesses and traders. Events in the past have ranged from poetry, music and dance to installation artwork, photography and craftwork.

Paul Tarpey, acting as curator of the event, officially sponsored this year by drinks company Beamish, says it is open to all to get involved and for “everyone to enjoy themselves”.

“The event has been taken over by the street,” said Mr Tarpey proudly this week of an initiative he was instrumental in establishing three years ago as part of the SpiritStore Arts Group collective.

“The traders have bought into it and understand it. Their enthusiasm is amazing. The idea makes sense, that creativity doesn’t automatically have to go in a gallery, it can manifest itself on the street as well,” he added.

Jerry Flannery of Flannery’s Bar has thrown his considerable weight behind the project and has been involved since day one, even hosting a personal Q&A session in his premises and a poetry depot over previous years.

Lorcan Bourke of Bourke’s Bar is also keenly involved and has booked music acts such as Choice Music Prize winner Jape, local bands Moscow Metro and Windings and top Dublin band The Minutes to perform over the three nights of CATDIG - entry for which will be free each night.

But it is the events taking place on the street during the day that has drawn interested onlookers in the past, with impromptu theatre, music and street performance adding a dash of colour to Catherine Street over the past two years of the festival.

“We are getting submissions from various artists after we let it out there on the internet rather than being too hands on,” explained Paul. “We want young artists to get involved. There are a lot of great vibes around about Limerick and the art scene here and I see ourselves slotting into that.”

“There will be an informal fringe element to it as well, we want to put that out to people that we would welcome anyone to turn up. It is wide open for participation and people can submit ideas through the website - we have even had international submissions,” he added.

CATDIG takes place May 11-12. See http://catdig.eu for more details.