A Festival for Children? We’re all Ears and So Interested!

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Children sitting down with colourful posters, paintings as a part of the Children's Festival

Did you hear about Right Here, Right Now? It’s a festival. To be more precise, it’s the Festival of Children 2023, and being held at The Ark.

On from February 23rd to the 25th, it promises three days of art, theatre, music and dance. Plus there will be, according to the festival, a “raucous Children’s Rally.” Sounds like a lot of fun, isn’t it? Happy kids means happy parents, and happy families.

The festival is about celebrating children’s rights, arts and culture. All events are free but ticketed.

There are many events, but you may want to start with the Right Here, Right Now Rally being held on February 24th. It also helps that the festival team have created a Rally Activity Pack to help children get ready for the rally. It can be used in schools, or at home “to explore the topic of children’s rights and the importance of children’s voices being heard by grown-ups.”

Children from all over Ireland will rally together in Meeting House Square in Temple Bar (just behind The Ark). Expect speeches and banners, flags and songs. Hurray!

There’s also Plock! and Right Moves, and much much more. Plock! is about joining Camiel the acrobatic painter as he twists, jumps, and rolls in paint in an attempt to recreate a Jackson Pollock masterpiece. On the other hand, Right Moves is about getting together with DJ Donal Dineen as he hits the decks for a very special disco.

Camiel the acrobatic painter as he twists, jumps, and rolls in paint and children in space suit costumes look on - a part of the Festival of Children 2023
Camiel the acrobatic painter

You can check out the very tempting Butterfly and Mockingbird (what a beautiful name, isn’t it?) too. It’s described as a “delightful music performance from an outstanding duo featuring traditional, classical and other world music.” Starring musicians Zoë Conway and John McIntyre who will – armed with acoustic arrangements of traditional Irish music, compositions and songs, both old and new – provide great entertainment for children (and parents) alike.

Together, Zoë and John have been described as “simply one of the best folk duos on the planet” (BBC), and audiences in Ireland and beyond keep coming back for more. They have performed for rock stars and dignitaries around the world, including Irish Presidents Mary McAleese and Michael D. Higgins.

Musicians Zoë Conway and John McIntyre standing outside an arched doorway and passage, with musical instruments in their hands - posing for the Children's Festival promotions
Zoë Conway and John McIntyre

If the sound of it all is like music to your ears, do check out the full programme of events for the Festival of Children 2023 here.

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