For the past 11 years we’ve been designing the programme for Ireland’s oldest arts festival, Clifden Arts Festival. We also design their website too, but the evening was about the printed programme. It’s always a great pleasure to attend, and the reaction to this year’s programme was hugely positive for us.

It’s always a privilege and honour to be able to attend a launch of something we designed, and especially for such an important event in the lives of the townspeople that comes around every September.

The festival would never happen if it were not for the great director Brendan Flynn, who’s been there from the foundation of the festival, and runs it with great pride alongside a small army of volunteers. There’s a tremendous amount of effort and community spirit that goes into the festival and this year was no different.

Brendan introduced Irish filmmaker Art Ó Briain who was there to officially launch the 35th programme. Instead of a speech, and to most people’s surprise, Art opted to sing his speech, and whipped out his guitar and let loose on a humorous song he penned to honour the 35th festival – a novel approach we thought!

I sometimes find it overwhelming to attend events like this, with so many people talking to me, and asking questions about the programme, it can be somewhat difficult to engage in any one conversation for any meaningful amount of time, I guess this must be what politicians must feel like. Still it’s nice to be around the buzz, and also, it kind of feels like reaching the top of a mountain after all the weeks of work leading up to it.

I did however have a really nice chat to ceramicist Alan Gaillard, who was there with his wife Sandra Shattock. Alan is a retired professor of microbiology from UCD, Ireland, but has been potting practically all his life, and Sandra is a really talented feltwork artist, so it was interesting to meet other passionate creatives from other disciplines. All in all, a great evening – here’s to 2013!

Photos by Aoife Herriot