FUNDING OF OVER half a million euro has been approved for 175 regional festivals and events taking place this year.
The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring today announced the funding of just over €537,000 which was approved by Fáilte Ireland.
Minister Ring said that last year regional festivals were a great success, adding that he wanted to build on from the legacy of The Gathering to ensure that 2014 is even more successful.
“The funding announced today will allow local communities to broaden their appeal to overseas visitors who will be able to experience everything from culture and sport, to festivals and fun,” said Ring.
Fáilte Ireland research indicates that in 2011 there were 10,836 people in paid employment in festivals.
Additionally, 48,692 people around Ireland were engaged with festivals in Ireland on a voluntary basis.
The huge range of festivals being supported by Fáilte Ireland under the Regional Programme of the Festivals and Events Initiative includes music festivals like the Shannonside Winter Music Festival, Sligo Jazzfest, New Ross Piano Festival and Masters of Tradition in Cork.
Sports events such as the Dingle Adventure Race, the TriAthy in Kildare and the Pig n Porter and the European Mountain Biking Marathon both in Limerick will also benefit from funding.
Food events covered under the funding include Savour Kilkenny, Dalkey Lobster Festival and the Westport Festival of Music.
Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival, Kilkenomics in Kilkenny and the Ballyshannon Folk Festival will also avail of funds announced today.
Shaun Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland stressed the importance of festivals for Ireland and the tourism sector:
Festivals and events are the lifeblood of Irish tourism – complementing the beauty of our landscapes and the friendliness of our people with a rich variety of spectacle and experiences.
These events will provide the backbone to the tourism calendar in communities throughout the country and add to our ability to grow overseas visitors and revenue.