Louth County Council, in partnership with business representative group Love Drogheda, recently announced the launch of Lú Festival of Light, a wonderfully creative urban animation showcase and family festival. This novel and free event will open to coincide with Ireland’s traditional Hallowe’en festivities on the 28th – 31st October and will continue from the 2nd – 5th November.
Drogheda, known as the gateway to the Boyne Valley, was one of the first settlements in Ireland’s Ancient East and is home to many of Ireland’s ancient tales. Locals and visitors from around the country are in for a truly mystical experience with spectacular lighting shows visually regaling the stories of these popular myths and legends including Lú and the Salmon of Knowledge, the Goddess of Bóinn, the love story of Caer and Oengus and the tale of Táin Bó Cúailnge.
Developed in full cognisance of the need to conserve as much energy as possible, the lighting used in the shows will be battery powered LED fixtures, where possible, along with laser projection.
The aim of the festival is to promote the town as a tourism location and attract visitors from far and wide as Major of Drogheda, Councillor Michelle Hall explains:
“We are absolutely thrilled to launch the amazing Lú Festival of Light today. As the evenings draw in, this phenomenal urban animation project will proudly light up Drogheda in celebration of Louth’s role in our renowned mythological heritage. In doing so, it will attract visitors to the town bringing a boost in business to local shops, restaurants, and hotels in the area. Lú Festival of Light has it all and we look forward to welcoming visitors, young and old, to our town.”
Narrated by Mythical Ireland author Anthony Murphy with music composed by Ryan Vail, the visually dramatic and artistic lighting shows, funded by the Fáilte Ireland Urban Animation Capital Investment Scheme, will feature striking animations, music from renowned uilleann pipe musician Cormac Ó’Briain and visual effects projected on to St. Peter’s Church, the Old Abbey, and St. Laurence’s Gate.
A sample of what visitors can expect includes a full-scale building projection of the mythical story of the salmon of knowledge. With bells sounding out from St. Peter’s Church, the legendary story will be narrated as water appears to slowly fill up the church and the salmon swims in and out of details on the building. All these historic and well-known sites will come to life transforming the finer details of the architecture and telling local mythological stories in a way that has never been done before.
The lighting shows, created by lighting and film production company, Visual Spectrum, will take place from 7.00pm to 9.30pm on the 28th and 29th of October and from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on the 30th and 31st October and 2nd to the 5th of November.
Colin Hindle, Festival Officer at Fáilte Ireland said: “Lú Festival of Light is an exciting addition to the visitor offering in Drogheda and adds another unique experience for visitors to enjoy in Ireland’s Ancient East. The festival uses spectacular light animations, part funded under Fáilte Ireland’s Urban Animation Scheme, to tell the many myths and legends associated with the region, tying into the ancient theme of the area. I would like to congratulate Louth County Council and Love Drogheda on their development of this festival, which truly shines a light on the many visitor attractions Drogheda has to offer.”
As well as the incredible lighting shows, there is a busy schedule of satellite events and activities planned to include music, street performers, walking tours of the town, ghost tours and a spooks parade with 100 local school children dressed up for Hallowe’en in association with the Puca Festival.
Thomas McEvoy, Director of Services, Louth County Council, added: “We are proud to be one of only seven counties that received funding under the Fáilte Ireland urban animation capital investment scheme. The Lú Festival of Light is an original addition to Drogheda’s Arts and Cultural events and follows on from several excellent creative attractions in the area including the Highlanes Gallery, Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda Millmount Museum and the DRAWDA urban art trail featuring incredible murals that focus on key figures and moments from our mythological past.”
This is a free event; no tickets are required. Visitors are asked to consider public transport links, where possible, and parking will also be available in car parks in the town. Visit www.lufestivaloflight.com and follow the festival social media pages for a list of parking locations, a full schedule of events, and special offers in local hotels, pubs, restaurants, and stores.