At this very minute, a city accustomed to Viking invaders, riverside castles and a rugby team of red-shirted Goliaths, is bracing itself. But for what?
Limerick's reign as Ireland's first City of Culture will last for all of 2014. To say people are excited would be an understatement.
Expect this medieval city to be even more arty, sporty and entertaining than it already is.
Below is what Limerick has planned for its year in the cultural spotlight.
Limerick plans to be spontaneous
During 2014, things will be happening in Limerick city at the drop of a hat. Enter super-cool cultural event organisers Happenings, who will be springing off-the-cuff pop-up events with just 36-hours notice. Be it an outdoor movie screening, an al-fresco exhibition or a play, word will be spread via social media.
Limerick plans to be innovative
Art evolves, and Limerick knows it. Just consider the innovative artists who have been invited for 2014. Words will never adequately describe the energetic thunderbolt that is Fuerza Bruta, a mind-blowing theatrical experience. Richard Mosse’s dramatic infrared film and photography of rebel groups in the Congo has an Apocolypse Now feel, and is moving, sublime and heartbreaking. Or check out the video project Land Locked where the personalities of seven people are explored without a single word being said.
Limerick plans to be happy
What does happiness look, sound and feel like? It’s hard to know, but Invisible Flock is going to try and find out. The immersive and interactive theatre project Bring the Happy will attempt to portray happiness in a yet-to-be-named disused space in Limerick city centre. Expect song, dance, proposals and a giant 3D map of the city.
Limerick plans to be musical
What’s a year-long festival without a song or two? The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s big and little members will be making jaws drop with their classical majesty while Proms in the Park promises orchestral drama in the summer sun. Keep an ear out, too, for the curiously named Pigtown Fling music collective (including former Cranberries band member Noel Hogan), who will be creating a constantly evolving soundtrack for the festival and the city.
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Limerick plans to be fashionable
You’ll have to forgive the strut in Limerick’s step. Being Ireland’s first ever City of Culture has given it a deserved swagger. You’ll see more strutting at Limerick School of Art and Design’s Connecting London and Paris Fashion Show, too. You’ll also see creations from designer Sharon Wachob and a dizzying 30 LSAD Graduate Designers. If that’s what you’ll be wearing next season, here’s something we’ve been wearing for centuries: lace. The Craft Council plans to give this intricate artwork the love and recognition it deserves in March 2014 with A Contemporary Lace Exhibition. Lace masterclasses, workshops and demonstrations are all part of the mix.
Limerick City of Culture Facts
Where: Limerick city, County Limerick
When: All of 2014
Book Tickets: www.limerickcityofculture.ie/placement/buy-tickets
Keep it cultural: The Hunt Museum (Rutland St), Limerick City Gallery of Art (Carnegie Building, Pery Square)