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Things to do & Leisure

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Rhythm& Roots Festival

Friday 4th to Monday 7th May 2012

Since 1998, The Kilkenny Rhythm and Roots Festival has attracted some of the finest names in the Americana canon; acts like Calexico, Giant Sand, Ryan Adams, Alejandro Escovedo, Mark Eitzel, Guy Clark, Chuck Prophet, Ray LaMontagne, Richmond Fontaine, Rodney Crowell… the list is very long, and these are but a small few names who have been drawn to the magnet of the Marble City Mardi Gras in the past. All forms of what we like to call Americana are well represented over the four days.

From midday to midnight audiences wind their way through the medieval streets sampling the huge range of music in the 30 plus venues, hosting over 30 acts from Ireland, USA, Canada, UK and Sweden, with over 80 ticketed and free shows. There’s a mixture of old and new acts on the free pub gig trail and all styles will be catered for, from swing to bluegrass, rockabilly to cajun, folk and the blues.

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The Cats Laugh Comedy Festival

Thursday 31st May 2012 to Monday 4th June 2012

Rated as one of the five best comedy festivals in the world The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival has become an annual diary fixture for both comedy fans and comedians alike. The festival has consistently showcased world-class comedians and captivated comedy fans for 15 years and has grown from a small event in 1994 comprising of a handful of shows to an internationally acclaimed festival which showcases the very best in renowned Irish and international comedy acts as well as newcomers and break through acts.

The fact that no shows are recorded and there are no competitions means the performers are relaxed, there for the fun and usually on top form. The 2011 line-up included Tommy Tiernan, Jason Byrne, Ardal O’Hanlon, David O’Doherty, Sarah Millican, Bo Burnham, Paddy Courtney and Barry Murphy. Annually the festival attracts in excess of 30,000 visitors to Kilkenny.

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Kilkenny Arts Festival

Friday 10th to Sunday 19th August 2012

For 10 days each August, Kilkenny comes alive with a feast of artistic entertainment. This festival now draws more than 80,000 visitors annually to enjoy 10 days of cutting edge art. The festival is committed to the presentation of a unique, distinctive and inspiring programme in a range of artistic disciplines to as wide an audience as possible.

Now in its 38th year, the festival showcases the following art forms; theatre & dance, classical music, jazz/new world & trad, visual art, film, literature, street and a young people’s programme, each discipline being curated by an expert in their individual field. So come to Kilkenny, be part of the festival and experience the arts in a way you will never forget!

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Kilkenny Gospel Choir

International Gospel Choir Festival

Thursday 30th August 2012 to Sunday 2nd September 2012

The medieval city of Kilkenny is the backdrop for the Europe’s’ first International Gospel Choir Festival. Gospel Choirs from all over the world will converge on the city from Thursday 30th August 2012 to Sunday 2nd September 2012 for a festival of outstanding music combined with workshops on various aspects of gospel music and singing.

A host of international gospel artists will share their music and experience in the field of gospel music that will gather together choirsters and musicians for an experience of gospel choral, solo and instrumental music never before experienced in this country. This will not only be a sharing of gospel music and stories from around the world but also a cultural exchange in gospel singing.get!

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Savour Kilkenny

Savour Kilkenny

Thursday 25th to Monday 29th October 2012

Savour Kilkenny is about celebrating the whole of Kilkenny’s food heritage. Set against the dramatic backdrop of Kilkenny Castle, the festival centre piece will be a bustling open-air market on the Parade plaza where visitors can taste and buy the best of local and regional produce while street performers, musicians, and face-painters provide the sights and sounds.

In the heart of the open-air market will be a spectacular food marquee where visitors can experience the journey from farm to fork through a variety of events for all the family from wine tastings, food talks and cookery demonstrations to workshops on apple-pressing, cheese-making and other artisan skills to fun events such as a local celebrity Ready Steady Cook-off. The event will give people a chance to appreciate Kilkenny's heritage, culture and personality through its food, with something for all the family.

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