In addition to the Art Exhibition, Battle of the Bands, and the Children's workshops, details of which can be found on their own pages in this website, we have some other free events throughout the festival as follows:

  • Busking day - Bank Holiday Monday 7th August
  • Art & Poetry Trail - All week
  • Daily spoken word - All week

Details of each of these are below:

On Bank Holiday Monday 7th August, the town of Ballaghaderreen will be live with buskers, doing all sorts of performances. We will have a number of busking locations throughout the town and performers will be given one hour slots. This is a free part of the festival, however each busker will have the hat out and will no doubt appreciate any spare change that makes it's way in there. The busking locations and schedule will be announced closer to the festival.

If you would like to take part in the busking, we are taking applications for busking at the moment. Simply email us at: and include the following:

  • A video, or link to a video of a short section of a performance (3-5 minutes is fine)
  • Your Name and contact number
  • A photo that we can use for social media posts etc.

As part of the festival, one of our aims is to be able to showcase some of the very talented artists and writers who hail from Ballaghaderreen and the larger surrounding area around the Roscommon/Mayo/Sligo region. So, throughout the 9 days of the festival, we will have a street viewing Art and Poetry Trail, with works of art and poetry/prose displayed in various shop windows throughout the town. Some pieces will be for sale (at the discretion of the artist) and will include pricing and contact details of the artist. We will have a themed area for children's art (under 18's) on the trail with the theme of 'Dreams'

If you would like to submit some artwork or writing to the Art & Poetry Trail, please email us at: by 1st July 2023 and include the following:

  • A photo of the works you would like to submit or text/word documents are fine if you are submitting writing. (Maximum 3 pieces)
  • Your Name and contact number
  • Let us know if your pieces will be for sale. (poems/writing may be for sale if framed / pyrographed / handwritten artistically etc.) - Pricing is completely up to the artist and no commission will be taken by the festival.

For the themed under 18's part of the trail, we don't require a photo of your work in your initial contact. Simply let us know you will be submitting and submit your work based on the theme 'Dreams' by the closing date of 1st July 2023.

Throughout the weekdays of the festival (Mon 7th-Fri 11th August) we will have a Daily Spoken Word spot which will take place on the steps of Dillon House in the centre of Ballaghaderreen each day. We will have a different poet or spoken word artist each day to perform a short set / reading of 20-30 minutes. This event is completely free. Times and performers will be announced closer to the festival.

Monday 7th August 2023 - 2pm ***FULLY BOOKED***

This free workshop will be an afternoon of exploring a start to finish oil portrait, looking at colours, ways of painting and proportions. The workshop will be outdoors if possible which will allow a landscape setting but if the weather doesn't cooperate it will be indoors (venue tbc but will be in the town of Ballaghaderreen). All materials are supplied on the day and all are welcome, whether beginner or seasoned artist.

Conor O'Connell is a visual artist based between Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon and NCAD in Dublin where he is currently studying Fine Art Painting and Education.

Conor enjoys using traditional mediums and techniques for the most part, always striving to hone his skills in the unapologetically representational style in which he works. His work at the moment is primarily figurative and concerned with observing and documenting aspects of contemporary Irish life and subject matter, as well as exploring other personal interests.

He has have exhibited widely in venues including the RHA, the Mall Galleries, London, and the Boyle Arts Festival. We are delighted to welcome Conor to the festival lineup to share his talents and knowledge with us.

Tickets are free but there is a limited number and they must be booked online in advance of the workshop.

See the 'Get your tickets' page of this website to book your place at this workshop.

Tuesday 8th August 2023 - 11am ***FULLY BOOKED***

An Alice in wonderland inspired workshop, facilitated by visual artist Maria May Fleming. During this family workshop you will be guided step by step to paint your own painting. This workshop is perfect for parents and their young people as a way of spending quality time with them in a creative and inspiring setting. Our studio for the day will be transformed into a 'wonderland' ahead of the event in order to set the scene and provide inspiration. Absolutely no experience necessary, beginners welcome. It’s not about the finished product, but the process and the experience.

Maria May Fleming is a visual artist who has recently graduated from a BA in Fine Art at ATU Sligo. She grew up on a windswept Sweedish island in the Baltic Sea and moved to Ireland in 2004. Her keen interest in nature’s cycles, sustainability, and colour has expanded and developed into a broad practice spanning painting, sculpture, drawing and collage.

This event is free and all materials are provided. Open to 12yrs+ (Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.)

Tickets are free but there is a limited number and they must be booked online in advance of the workshop.

See the 'Get your tickets' page of this website to book your place at this workshop.

Tuesday 8th August 2023 - 2pm

Each of us has our unique ‘writing voice’.

In this relaxed and informal workshop you will be encouraged to express that voice through the medium of story, poetry or memoir. We will use prompts and ‘triggers’ to get started. The workshop is suited to writers at all levels of their writing practice, and those who would like to get started. Most of all, this is about enjoying our time together! There will be a short break for refreshments during the workshop.

Your facilitator for this workshop is Ballaghaderreen native, Geraldine Finn. Geraldine worked as a Primary School teacher for almost 30 years, and she has been writing poetry for longer than that. She has been published in amongst others, The Shop Magazine and Anthology, Cathal Bui Scothscealta is Filiochta, and Badal. She was shortlisted for the Sunday Tribune Hennessy Poetry award 2002 and has produced and presented the arts programmes on MNWR for five years;

Geraldine’s experience in sharing her craft is wide and varied. She has facilitated writing workshops in second and third level colleges; the prison system; Psychiatric services, libraries and retirement groups. She has edited anthologies produced by many of these groups. Geraldine has been writing with Knocknarea Writers for almost 30 years, and more recently, Ballaghaderreen Writing group.

Tickets are free but there is a limited number and they must be booked online in advance of the workshop.

See the 'Get your tickets' page of this website to book your place at this workshop.

As part of BallaghDream Arts Fest, Ballaghaderreen Tennis Club will host high quality exhibition games in singles & doubles involving some of the top players in the province, including players from the local club, on Saturday, August 12th @ 12pm. Following the matches, an "Open Hit" will take place for anyone who'd like to give tennis a try. So if you've been thinking of giving the game a go, then come along on the day. It promises to be a great day's entertainment. 

Entry is free and all are welcome