Today is the third part of our look at the backing and sponsorship of some of Ireland’s best ‘smaller’ festivals.

The Independent published a list of what they considered to be Ireland’s best ‘Off-Radar’ Festivals last weekend.

It’s a handy guide on some of the most eclectic ways to engage with the arts this summer.

It’s also an opportunity for us to look at how much partner funding is either going into the world of small festivals or indeed being sought.

Each day this week we will look at five of the Festivals featured through the lens of the financial support they receive either through Arts Council, local authority or in all too rare cases, commercial partnerships.

See our first five from Antrim, Donegal, Cork, Carlow and Kildare.

See the second five in Kerry, Dublin, Clare, Donegal, and Galway.

The Carlow Arts Festival

June 06 to June 10 in Carlow

Music, film, theatre, dance and events from pavilions to the streets of Carlow. Among of the highlights looks to be a live dance inspired by beekeeping and circus-themed event entitled What Am I Worth?

Backing: O’Hara’s Craft Beer sponsors the Festival Pavilion while Hotron is a local electronics company that is also backing the Festival.  The principal funder is the Arts Council and there is backing from Fáilte Ireland, The Department of Culture, Heritage and The Gaeltacht, Carlow County Council and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. A host of other local businesses are credited as backers and donors, showing what is possible when the right programme is put on and local pride is called upon.

West Cork Literary Festival

July 13-20 in Bantry

Hailed as one of the best literary festivals in Europe West Cork has a strong line up again this year, it’s 20th.  Zadie Smith, Liz Nugent and Louise O’Neill are among the headline acts with appearances too from Fintan O’Toole and Caitriona Perry.  There is also an interesting event focused on the West Cork Podcast.  definitely worth stopping by for.

Backing: The Festival is supported by The Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland under the banner of the Wild Atlantic Way.  Cork County Council  County Council are also credited as principal funders with additional support from the OPW and UCC, the Irish Examiner, Cork Airport as well as Zenith Energy that runs the Bantry Bay Terminal and Bantry House and the Maritime Hotel where many of the events are staged.

Dungarvan Summer Music Festival

3rd to 5th August, Dungarvan, County Waterford

Free live music along the Waterford Greenway will be one of the highlights, particularly under the aqueduct as pictured above.

Backing: Food and drink are to the fore with Dawn Pork and Bacon, Eunice Power and The Wine Buff all on board as well as Lawlors Hotel and the local SGC Cinema.  The Arts Council and Waterford county Council are the main backers.

Cape Clear Storytelling Festival

August 31 to September 02 on Cape Clear off Baltimore, West Cork

Once you’ve crossed over from the mainland it is easy to lose yourself in another time, another place.  Cape Clear has been hosting this storytelling festival for 25 years

Backing: It’s a small island and everybody rows in.  Cork County Council and the Arts Council are involved as is the Hungarian Embassy, for reasons that are not immediately apparent but are intriguing.

Sligo Jazz Festival

July 24th to 29th, Sligo

Cork may have the big Jazz weekend but the Northwest version has charms of its own including an international summer school as well as the concerts. 

Backing: The Festival receives Arts Council Funding and from Failte Ireland but is also supported by Music Generation and Music Network.  The Riverside Hotel and Sligo IT chip in as does RTÉ through its Supporting the Arts programme and design house Opqism who give the Festival a strong identity.

Join us tomorrow as we continue our journey looking to unearth the trends this year in sponsorship of Ireland’s many and varied festivals.