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Find Your Local Music Generation

PLAY Summer Music Festival

PLAY summer music festival takes place from 20 July to 21 August at The Ark, a cultural centre for children in Templebar, Dublin and features five weekends of entertaining afternoon concerts for families, with outstanding musicians including Julie Feeney, the "pop genius" (Hot Press) behind the hit song Impossibly Beautiful, fiddle player Zoë Conway (described as "incredible" by RTÉ's Gay Byrne), the hilarious Size2Shoes - of whom Stephen Spielberg is a big fan, and many more. You can also fill up those summer-break weekdays with The Ark's jam-packed programme of music workshops, which let children aged 2 to12 experience all the excitement and fun of making music, even if they've never picked up an instrument before. Or why not drop in and explore The Ark's free electronic sound installations. Perfect if you've ever wondered what a can of baked beans sounds like or fancy playing a real drum kit without touching it!

FAMILY CONCERTS will include performances from acclaimed singer songwriter Julie Feeney, renowed fiddle player/violinist Zoë Conway, the flamboyant performances of the Tarab Ensemble, fiddle playing trio Fidil, the Argos Balkan Gypsy Band, the outrageously entertaining Size2shoes, Brian Irvine and the Grant/Kelly family in concert. Adults attending the concerts must be accompanied by a child.

Alongside the wealth of concerts are MUSIC WORKSHOPS for ages 2 – 12, and a special workshop for parents on how to engage musically with their children. Enjoy Rhythms of the World with Bodhrán player and percussionist Robbie Harris, take part in Nico Brown’ Musical Mayhem, join in Musical Games with Naheed Cruickshank, Bring on the Brass with Mary Curran, learn to Sing A Story with traditional vocalist Fiona Kelleher, or for parents, let Nico Brown take you through practical and fun ideas for engaging musically with your children in Playing with your Children.

Adults and children can also look forward to a free foyer Summer Sound Installation. Come and play with fascinating and quirky electronic sound installations created by composer Jonathan Nangle. Discover what a tin of beans sounds like, play a drumkit without touching it or even create your own surround-sound music and lighting using iPod Touches. One not to be missed!

With five weekends of concerts for families featuring outstanding musicians and a jam-packed programme of hands-on workshops, PLAY lets you experience all the excitement and fun of making music, even if you’ve never picked up an instrument before! This special programme of concerts and workshops has been curated by Elaine Agnew and Margaret O’Sullivan, and is specifically designed to engage young audiences.

Tickets €10 (€8 concessions). Full programme of events and booking here or call (01) 670 7788.