Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre's unmissable summer programme

Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre's unmissable summer programme
Ruth Marnellruth.marnell2@mail.dcu.iekkpeoplenews

Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre in Kilmanagh, the only amphitheatre in Ireland, has launched its exciting programme of events for summer 2016. The fun kicks off on Sunday, June 19th with a Punch and Judy puppet show, and Irish rock band The Stunning will headline this year’s phenomenal line-up on July 2nd. The amphitheatre will also see performances from country crooner Derek Ryan (August 12th), Limerick lads Hermitage Green (August 13th) and songstress Eddi Reader (July 30th), while kids and families alike will be well catered for with Tales of Beatrix Potter (August 25th) and a performance of Peter Pan (June 24th). The critically acclaimed Declan O’Rourke will take to the stage on July 22nd.

Nestled at the foot of the old Ballykeeffe Quarry, Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre is run entirely by volunteers and brings the authentic atmosphere of an open-air Italian theatre to the quaint Kilkenny countryside. Lying beneath Ballykeeffe Wood and Nature Reserve which stretches to the edge of the quarry, the Amphitheatre boasts a state-of-the-art canopy which perfectly complements the astounding natural acoustics of the deep quarry walls, providing an unrivalled experience for those attending the array of musical and theatrical performances hosted here.

Launching the 2016 programme of events, Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council and elected representative for the local area, Mary Hilda Cavanagh, said: “I encourage visitors from near and far to visit the Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre this summer, not just to see a fantastic event, but to witness what great community spirit can achieve. This wonderful cultural resource was once a disused quarry but thanks to the dedication of local volunteers, it is now one of the premier cultural attractions in Kilkenny. I congratulate all those involved and look forward to attending events at Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre this summer.”

Also on hand to launch the 2016 season was local Graigue-Ballycallan clubman, Kilkenny Under-21 hurling manager and former county hurling hero Eddie Brennan.

Established in 2000, this stunning outdoor venue has become a focal point of Kilkenny's music and arts scene and over the last 16 years, has welcomed many big names including The Saw Doctors, Bagatelle, Jack L, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and two sold-out performances by country music star Nathan Carter. It was also selected as a venue for the hugely popular Cat Laughs Comedy Festival.

"I'm privileged to have watched Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre grow from strength to strength over the years, from humble beginnings as an abandoned quarry to a major player in Kilkenny's very strong offering of music and arts. The community involvement in Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre is what makes this venue so special, and our success is due in no small part to the local volunteers who give up their time year after year, as well as the continued support of those who attend our events. We have an excellent line-up for 2016 with something to suit all ages and interests, and look forward to welcoming everyone to Ballykeeffe for what's set to be an unmissable summer season!" said Matt O'Sullivan, Chairman of Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre. Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre is an important fixture within the local economy, fuelling spend in the hospitality, food, transport and tourism sectors in the surrounding areas. It can seat 350 visitors on its tiered limestone benches.

while the surrounding grass area can accommodate another 400 people.

Just minutes outside Kilkenny City, this tranquil and magical setting lends itself to reverie as performances unfold on sunny afternoons and warm summer nights under the stars.

Tickets are available from ticketmaster.ie and local outlets. See ballykeeffeamphitheatre.com for full details.