“Festival in a van” to visit Wicklow nursing homes

Wicklow County Council supported by the Keep Well Initiative through Healthy Ireland, Sláintecare and the Creative Ireland Programme is delighted to present a series of “Festival in a Van” concerts at nursing homes in Wicklow. 

Residents and staff alike will be able embrace the season in a safe way with Christmas Carols and other works performed live in their nursing home grounds by Irish musicians. 

Mr Frank Curran, Chief Executive,  Wicklow County Council, said: “We hope that in a very difficult year for older people and nursing homes in particular, that this will bring some joy and good cheer to their homes.  This is being brought to Wicklow through the switch off and be creative strand of the Healthy Ireland Fund.”

The Van is visiting locations in Kilcoole, Wicklow Town, Dunlavin and Baltinglass.  Musicians include Niall O’Sullivan (Trumpet) and Shóna O’Sullivan (Voice) and Dr Eamonn Sweeney. 

The Keep Well initiative is part of Government’s resilience and recovery plan for Living with COVID-19 2020 – 2021.  This campaign is aimed at showing people of all ages how we can mind our own physical and mental health and wellbeing by adding healthy and helpful habits to our daily and weekly routines.  Most importantly it is also designed to foster connection and safe engagement with friends, family and neighbours as we try to live with Covid-19. 

“Festival in a Van” is new mobile live outdoor venue that brings the magic of live COVID safe performances to community settings around the country. Supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, the initiative offers local audiences and event organisers with a completely mobile and flexible solution to the current restrictions of live performance.

Three vans have been transformed into mini mobile pop-up venues, with drop down staging and full sound and lighting rigs. Led by a group of theatre professionals,the  “Festival in a Van” team have re-configured the indoor performance experience to an outdoor setting with a mission to support artists and give small communities access to live cultural experiences.

The team of sound technicians, stage and production managers, all with full COVID safety training, will travel with the vans, thereby providing welcome employment to events support industry.

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