Cork Midsummer Festival is an annual art event spanning different disciplines such as theatre, visual arts, performance, poetry etc. Organised in the Irish city of Cork, it reflects its host town as an inspiration. This year’s Cork Midsummer Festival will take place both offline and online. Thus, making it an excellent opportunity for an international audience to join and enjoy festival activities from their homes.

Cork Midsummer Festival 2021

This is a sponsored blog post by Cork Midsummer Festival. You can read more about it and check out the full festival agenda on a link here.

Art lovers were missing and patiently waiting over a year for cultural events to start happening once again. Finally, our waiting is over. Cork Midsummer Festival, one of the leading events of that kind in Europe, is happening again after a fully online Festival in 2020.

Last year saw Cork Midsummer Festival bring most of its programme online and the 2021 programme retains an important digital element, so everyone can be part of it no matter where they are. CMF Online gives audiences the chance to experience new theatre, literary events, music and more from home.

It’s coming back larger and innovatively upgraded into the combined offline and online event. Between June 14th and 27th, you can enjoy in numerous art events spanning from theatre and dance performances to visual arts exhibitions and readings.

Some of these events will be organised in the city of Cork. But, since many of its visitors still can’t travel to Ireland, its organisers decided to welcome their audience at the online Cork Midsummer Festival 2021, as well. That way, they are making it accessible to everyone.

Cork Midsummer Festival 2021 Online

More than 160 artists are participating in Cork Midsummer Festival this year. And they are going to hold some 40 world and Irish premiers. The 2021 program is divided into five strands, and one of them is CMF Online.

To help you pick up which of these fantastic art events to join, I made a small selection of some of the best performances from the online Cork Midsummer Festival 2021, which you can enjoy from anywhere in the world.

What to see at the Cork Midsummer Festival 2021 Online

There are many outstanding performances and events taking place at the Cork Midsummer Festival 2021 online. Here is just a small selection of some of them. For the full festival agenda, take a look at a link here.

1/ A Ghost in the Throat

When? June 27th, 8 PM

An award-winning author, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, will present a live reading inspired by her book ‘A Ghost in the Throat’ in a live event during the Cork Midsummer Festival. Reading will be followed by visuals from filmmaker Tadhg O’Sullivan and a soundscape by composer Linda Buckley.

Here is a short description of the novel plot from the Cork Midsummer Festival website:

Cork. 1773. An Irish noblewoman, on discovering her husband’s murdered corpse, drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary poem that reaches across the centuries to another woman. In modern Cork, Doireann Ní Ghríofa finds herself rereading this poem aloud again and again, and in doing so, she feels the living presence of this poet return. Driven by a growing curiosity, she sets out to find the rest of the story.

2/ To the Lighthouse

When? June 25th – 27th, 7:30 PM

The masterpiece of literature, Virginia Woolf’s ‘To the Lighthouse’ is one of the worlds premieres that’s going to take place during the Cork Midsummer Festival 2021. The show is going to be performed on The Everyman stage and streamed to the online audience.

The story starts on a beautiful summer day spent among the family and friends on a beach. However, a lovely day soon changes. A cancelled trip to the lighthouse is only the beginning of frustrations that start to rise among the characters.

3/ The Art of Swimming

When? June 14th at 8 PM, June 15th & 16th on demand

After finding an old photo of Mercedes Gleitze at the Cork City Library, Lynda Radley got utterly fascinated with her. Mercedes was an extraordinary woman who swam the English Channel in 1927 when she was 26.

Fourteen years after it was first presented at the Cork Midsummer Festival, the Art of Swimming is back at its online version. This solo performance by Lynda Radley is dedicated to Mercedes Gleitze, long-distance swimming, storytelling and time.

4/ Bád Shiobhán

When? June 18th at 8 PM, June 19th & 20th on demand

A performance by choreographer Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín about her relationship with her father, traditional boat-builder Pádraig Ó Duinnín, who’s also featured in this piece, and a wooden canoe typical for the western coast of Ireland.

In this work, she’s touching on the themes of an imperfect relationship, care, tradition, power and more.

5/ Mountain Goat Mountain

When? June 14th – 27th, throughout the festival

This online audio family adventure is one of the most unique activities at the Cork Midsummer Festival 2021. It was produced by a team of artists during the isolation.

During this online activity, players will enjoy a theatrical experience through creative connection, play and imagination.

6/ WSTL: Epistles

When? June 21st, register by 3 PM

It’s fascinating to see how creative the Cork Midsummer Festival went with creating this year’s online events. This is definitely one of the most innovative ones, during which they’ll communicate with their audience through Whatsapp messages.

Epistles is a part of the ‘Where Set the Lovers’, a yet-to-be-staged, live show. Starting with June 21st, for the seven days, participants will be receiving a series of messages with videos, links, thoughts, etc.

7/ Places of Comfort

When? June 23rd – 25th, 8 PM

During the pandemic, people searched for peaceful and relaxing areas in nature near their homes. This event’s curator, Leagues O’Toole, asked three musicians to make an artistic reflection of their places of comfort. This is how he described the idea:

For the Places of Comfort project I invited three artists living in or native to Cork to create new work based on the idea of a place they were drawn to during the lockdown periods of the COVID-19 pandemic when our movements in Ireland were restricted to a 5km radius and many of us found ourselves moving in circles or loops, rethreading certain routes, and observing the same local landmarks.

8/ Three Piece Suite

When? June 20th – 22nd, streaming on demand from June 20th at 12 PM

Two Cork writers, Katie Holly and Irene Kelleher, have prepared a special trio of radio comedy dramas for the Cork Midsummer Festival 2021. Their pieces, ‘Pageant’, ‘Wake’ and ‘Judge Ger’, all have different topics. But, they all sound like online events not to be missed during the festival.

9/ Throwing Shapes

When? June 25th – 27th, streaming on demand from June 25th at 6 PM

In this short documentary, you’ll meet seven artists from Cork. Expressing themselves through hip hop, they deal with the theme of what it is like to be young in Cork today. Joined in the Kabin Studio from Knocknaheeny, they are a community of young writers, singers and musicians.

10/ The best of Beethoven

When? June 14th – 27th, on demand

2020 was the year dedicated to one of the most famous composers of all times – Ludwig van Beethoven. Triskel and the National String Quartet Foundation celebrated the 250th anniversary of his birth with numerous concerts they performed throughout the year. During this event, you’ll have a chance to see the selection of some of the best of them.

After a long year with no art events, Cork Midsummer Festival 2021 comes as a real treat. With its five programme strands and numerous online events, there should be something for everyone to enjoy.