History & Timeline
Selected Waterford Spraoi Productions
Vadrefjorder – Waterford 1100
Bram Stoker Festival – Dublin Castle
Hydromania – Waterford Courthouse
St Patrick’s Festival – Dublin
Glow Cork – Bishop Lucey Park
The History of Spraoi
Not only did the meaning of the word perfectly describe the very essence of what Spraoi was to become, but it also rhymed perfectly with the first festival in 93.
The idea back in 1993 was simply to have some fun and perhaps a little madness on a Summer Sunday. This initial idea materialised as a one-day event held on the streets of Waterford City. It was so successful that an idea grew; perhaps it could become an annual summer festival in Waterford? Thus began it all. And what has since developed is one of Ireland’s leading street arts companies: Spraoi. Now, with over 20 years work in the are of spectacle, outdoor theatre, event and festival management and festival production, Spraoi has amassed a vast wealth of specialist skills and experience.
In 2002 the company embarked on an ambitious project – to construct its own studios, the first purpose building in Ireland dedicated to the development of street art. With the support and assistance of the Arts Council of Ireland, Waterford City Council, other grants and public donations, Spraoi achieved its dream and moved into its new and permanent home at Carrickpherish, Waterford, in January 2003.
Spraoi is perhaps best known for the annual Spraoi Festival which takes over the city centre of Waterford for the entire August Bank Holiday Weekend, and which now attracts audiences in excess of 80,000 people to the city. To that extent, there is no longer an August Bank Holiday Weekend in Waterford, it’s now better known locally as “The Spraoi Weekend”. The Spraoi Festival concentrates on showcasing top quality national and international street arts and world music.
In 2009 Spraoi devised a new event, “Spraoi in the Park”, based in Waterford’s People Park, the centre piece of which was Spraoi’s own major annual production “The Spraoi Parade”. The Parade has become one of the biggest events of its kind in Ireland, involving approximately 300 participants, with large scale floats, costumes, props, lighting and special effects.
As a producer and programmer of high quality street theatre and spectacle Spraoi is regularly commissioned by many of Ireland’s leading festivals and organisations to provide event spectacle and services. Past and present clients include St Patricks Festivals in Dublin and Waterford, Cork City Council, Dublin City Council, Dublin Docklands Development Authority, the Opening Ceremony for Cork 2005 European Capital of Culture, the Bram Stoker Festival and Waterford’s Tall Ships Race in 2005 & 2011.