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Tread Softly… Sligo’s Annual Festival of Yeats

July 26, 2015 - August 8, 2015

Tread Softly

Now in its fourth year, the Tread Softly… Festival celebrates the life and work of the Yeats family in their beloved Sligo. To celebrate the 150th birthday of W. B . Yeats, the Festival this year focuses on his works, looking at both the poetry and the plays, and the landscape that inspired them.

One of the highlights of the festival will be A Country Under Wave, one of the most ambitious examinations of Yeats’ theatre undertaken in Ireland to date when Sligo’s Blue Raincoat Theatre Company will produce all of Yeats’ 26 plays in venues through the city and county, a once-in-a-lifetime to experience the plays in unique settings. Blue Raincoat will also stage a performance of At the Hawk’s Well on O’Rourke’s Table.

The work of W. B. Yeats will be explored visually by acclaimed artists including cartoonist Annie West; Joachim Koester and Goshka Macuga and others examine his interest in the occult as part of The Model’s Psychic Lighthouse exhibition, while The Hamilton Gallery exhibits a series of portraits of the poet as well as reflections of Sligo, the well spring of his inspiration.

Alongside this there will be evenings of music and spoken word in The Hawk’s Well Theatre; the annual Yeats International Summer School; guided tours, and events for families in the venues and streets across Sligo.

The Tread Softly… Festival runs in various locations around Sligo from 26th July – 8th August.



  • Blue Raincoat Theatre Company presenting the hugely ambitious A Country Under Wave – The Theatre of W. B. Yeats, a summer long series of events including dramatic readings of all of Yeats’ 26 plays, and full productions of works including lunchtime performances of The Only Jealousy of Emer and an outdoor presentation of At The Hawk’s Well on O’Rourke’s Table
  • Fidget Feet’s arial spectacular The Second Coming, inspired by Yeats’ poem


  • Psychic Lighthouse at The Model, featuring the work of a number of Irish and international contemporary artists to investigate ritual, spiritualism and occult practices
  • The Hamilton Gallery will present 50 Irish Artists Impressions and Portraits of Yeats and Of this Place, an exhibition of reflections of the landscapes of Sligo that inspired Yeats’ writing
  • Exhibitions of new work inspired by Yeats across Sligo by sculptor Bettina Seitz and illustrator and cartoonist Annie West and photographer Ciaran McHugh


  • Much like the multi-faceted Yeats siblings, String Siblings shows just how much talent can run in families, featuring The Kane Sisters from Connemara and The Hayden Brothers from Pomeroy, performing in The Hawk’s Well Theatre
  • The Hawk’s Well Theatre will also come alive with the infectious Swing Sligo


  • Brian Leyden’s unique blend of stories and music in a fond look at romance and courtship Old Flames
  • Series of talks and spoken word events from Pádraig Meehan and Brian Leyden amongst others, post show events and even a Speakers Corner where topics past and present will be discussed
  • The Hawk’s Well Theatre Storytelling Slam Legend
  • In the Deep Heart’s Core with their unique cabaret from the works of W. B. Yeats in The Model


  • A series of guided walking, bus and boat tours exploring Yeats country, including The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Rosses Point and Coney Island
  • Selected public events as part of the annual Yeats International Summer School
  • Children’s craft workshops in The Hamilton Gallery, storytelling in the streets of Sligo and The Cat and the Moon family day in the Hawk’s Well Theatre

Tread Softly would like to thank its sponsors Failte Ireland, Wild Atlantic Way, Sligo Arts Services, IPB Insurance Diaspora Initiative, Local Authorities Ireland, Yeats2015, Office for Public Works, Sligo Tourist Development Initiative, The Arts Council, Local Enterprise Office, Dept of Arts and Heritage, Office for Public Works, Bus Eireann, Sligo Tourism, Sea Trails, Western Development Commission, and Look West, as well as its venues The Factory Performance Space; Hawk’s Well Theatre; The Model; Hamilton Gallery; Sweet Beat Cafe; Yeats Memorial Building; Green Area in Stephen St. car park; Methodist Church, Wine St; City Hall, Tourist Office, O’Rourke’s Table, Streedagh Beach; Harry’s Bar at Rosses Point, Slish Wood, Coney Island Causeway, Carrowmore Tombs & Drumcliffe Church.

Download the Tread Softly… brochure here.

There will be a public launch of the Tread Softly Festival on Friday 17th July at 4pm in City Hall, Sligo and all are welcome to attend.

For more information and programme details: Log onto www.treadsoftly.ie or contact Sligo Tourist Office O’Connell Street Sligo on Tel: 071 91 61201

Booking Info:

  • The Hawk’s Well, Temple Street, Sligo Tel: 071 9161526 www.hawkswell.com
  • Blue Raincoat Theatre Company www.blueraincoat.com
  • The Model www.themodel.ie
  • Sligo Tourist Information Office 0719161201



July 26, 2015
August 8, 2015
Event Category:


July 26, 2015
August 8, 2015
Event Category: