Elements of Limerick, interactive walking tour

Photo: Lawrence Collection George’s Street, Limerick

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE to walk through any street or lane in Limerick without stumbling upon years of history. From its earliest Viking origins, to the beautiful Georgian architecture. From the thriving docks, which were a major artery of industry, to the famous Limerick characters who made their mark internationally in their respective fields. For a relatively small city, Limerick could certainly pack a punch with its layered history. But just how much of this are you familiar with?
Each year, as part of the Elemental programme, we try to shine a light on some of this rich and diverse past. What’s behind all that PVC signage and the plate glass facades? We’re delighted this year to have local historian Sharon Slater on the case again, to inform us and open our eyes to sights we probably pass each day. The interactive walking tour, Elements of Limerick, available on Android, is self-guided and can be downloaded to stroll and listen throughout the weekend of Elemental. The historical locations and places of interest are brought to life thanks to local historian Sharon Slater, built by Black Bear software.
We also have a screening of archive footage, which will run right through the weekend, after dark, naturally, showing a selection of everyday Limerick scenes from past generations. This is provided by Limerick Film Archive and will be projected on Thomas Street. Both events are free, so why not check them out.

Mingling the old with the new, merging the lines between indoor and outdoor, structured and not structured, free and ticketed. We’ve really strived this year to create a weave throughout the festival, which we hope you will sense, as you participate in the various events. Nearly all the pieces of the jigsaw are in place – now we just need you!

Calling all Elementalists!

TAPAS image

Illustration by Jacob Stack

With just over a month to go to Elemental, Limerick Arts Festival, it’s all systems go, making sure the cogs are oiled and the wheels are turning efficiently. A huge wheel in the tiny engine that is Elemental, is our volunteer team. Known collectively as the Elementalists, they greet attendees, hang signage, distribute programmes, man venues, mind exhibitions, assist artists, offer helpful advice and friendly smiles, and all with seemingly effortless and limitless enthusiasm. In short, they’re amazing!

If you have a burning desire to be amazing, for at least one weekend of your life, we’d love to hear from you. It doesn’t matter how little time you have. What might be ‘just an hour’ to you could be a well-earned lunch break for someone else. We have a variety of roles available, so we do our very best to match your skills to the best-suited roles.

We just need you to be over 18, with a fair to middling level of spoken English, though additional languages would be wonderful too! We want you to enjoy your time being an Elementalist, so we won’t ask you to do anything dangerous. We’ll schedule your timeslot, so once you’ve hung up your figurative Elementalist hat, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the festival as a member of the public (safe in the knowledge you’ve done your bit to make the world a better place, of course).

If you feel it’s for you, just click the link below to get all the details you need. And thank you for helping Elemental to happen this year!


ABC of Elemental…G for Green!

The Green Awards are the long-standing benchmark for excellence for those demonstrating best green practice in Ireland. We are happy to say that, in Elemental’s short life, it has been short-listed twice for this national award!

We firmly believe, for Elemental to keep taking place in the long-term, having a low carbon footprint is key. We can achieve that through waste management, water conservation, recycling, upcycling and raising awareness of biodiversity – key areas we endeavour to weave into the build of the festival year to year.

ABC of Elemental…F for Fundraising!

As any festival or event organiser will know, without a budget to pay for everything, there is no show. We aim to keep many of the events on our programme as reasonably-priced as possible, to ensure they are accessible to all who wish to attend.

This does mean however, a lot of fund-raising is needed throughout the year to cover the costs of paying the artists, performers, technicians and facilitators, as well as all the other expenses involved in keeping the show on the road.

We appreciate all the funders and supporters who keep Elemental going year in and year out…

ABC of Elemental….E for Elemental

Elemental: forming an essential or typical feature; fundamental.

Elemental is a multi-disciplinary arts festival. In other words, it encompasses a broad mix of all the good stuff that makes life worth living – that uplifting piece of music, the visual art you can’t get out of your mind, a dance piece which triggers an emotion, a rollercoaster theatrical experience, an absorbing film, the literature which has you devouring page after page. Not to mention all the technology in the arts which has joined the party in recent years. There are stories which can only be told to their fullest through the arts.

By showcasing the arts, Elemental aims to shine a light on so many other facets of life, making them a bit more sparkly and magical.


Elemental is underpinned by a green ethos, so we like to keep our events as sustainable as possible. It’s also got a social antenna, collaborating and engaging with various groups who are doing brilliant work throughout Limerick.
The best way to figure out what Elemental means, of course, is to come along and experience it all for yourself – this September!

Limerick Arts Festival, ‘Elemental’ -Funding News

Elemental, Limerick Arts Festival, is delighted to announce it has been awarded funding under Strand 1 of the Festivals & Events grant from the Arts Council, the national agency for funding, developing and promoting the arts in Ireland.


Now in its sixth year, Elemental is pleased to receive financial backing to assist in delivering the multi-disciplinary festival. Run on a voluntary basis, Elemental is almost a year in the making. Alan Hogan, co-founder of Elemental, says: “There are substantial costs involved in running such a varied programme at numerous venues citywide. We spend most of the year trying to access funding from multiple sources, to cover those costs. Having the backing of the Arts Council takes away some of that pressure.”

Jennifer Allen, co-founder, continues: “The funding itself is hugely helpful, naturally, but getting such a significant national endorsement is really gratifying too. In such a competitive funding stream, it’s proof that we’re doing something right!”

The three-day arts and culture festival will take place citywide from the 8th-10th September 2017


Collaboration…is a big aspect of what drives Elemental.

ABC of Elemental…C!


Collaboration…is a big aspect of what drives Elemental. The Limerick Arts Festival was, after all, set up to help animate Limerick city and contribute to a rejuvenated sense of community. There are multiple groups doing amazing work throughout the city who have featured in the festival line-up to date, too many to mention here.

And the good news is that we are already busy planning further collaborations for this and the coming years’ Elementals…watch this space…

Books – we love books!

Books – we love books! Books have featured in multiple ways throughout Elemental’s short history. Readings from books, craft-making workshops featuring books, performances inspired by books and exhibitions revolving around books.

ABC of Elemental…B!

You can get lost in a book…not literally, we hope. You don’t need to plug in to read a book. In fact, it works even better if you can plug out. If you don’t feel like reading, you can just look at the amazing pictures. Or relish the smell of the pages. Or admire the binding. Or listen to the swish of the pages. Or start dreaming up your own book…I did say we love books!