Many people may have waited until the last minute to buy tickets for Kilkenny Arts Festival shows, but in the end the festival has reported a 5% increase in ticket sales over last year.
As the 10-day festival came to a close on Sunday night, organisers also pointed out that at least e6 million was brought to the local economy, matching last year’s success.
This is due in part to large audiences attracted to several sold-out shows, including the Hubert Butler Lecture by Morgan Kelly in St Canice’s Cathedral; Title and Deed, a new play by Will Eno, performed by Gare St Lazar Players; singer/ songwriter Gemma Hayes at St John’s Priory; Mongolian group Hanggai in the Set Theatre; writers Tobias Wolff and David Vann in the Watergate Theatre; brunch with John Waters and Nick Miller in Cleere’s; Kilkenny Arts Festival Choir including Russian singers in St Canice’s Cathedral; the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble in The Ormonde Hotel; and T with the Maggies with Donal Lunny in St Canice’s Cathedral.
The festival’s outgoing chief executive, Damian Downes, said he was delighted that Kilkenny Arts Festival 2011 was such a success despite the current economic climate.
“It was very gratifying to see the support that the festival generated,” Mr Downes said. “This is a tribute to the high curatorial standard across all strands. The local response was enormous and as usual we had to cap the number of volunteers at 200.”