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Waterford City - A Summer Season Waterford City Council considers that an opportunity exists to energise the city during the peak summer months by presenting a series of themed arts and entertainment events. This programme would assist in raising Waterford’s profile, encouragecity centre investment and create a more attractive tourist destination.

Individual events will be marketed as an overall Summer Season and would require Level 1 Funding from Failte Ireland. Waterford currently lacks any event with this designation. The return of the Tall Ships’ Races in 2011 places a unique obligation on the city to deliver a quality international event, focusing on family enjoyment, which caters for diverse interests. There is a need to prepare the ground for the Tall Ships. Also, it is our intention to create a sustainable summer season that will be a legacy of this great event.

Following on the success achieved by W.C.C. and Spraoi working in partnership to deliver the Tall Ships’ Races 2005, we are satisfied that this partnership, duly resourced, can deliver the necessary events and entertainment each summer.

In essence, this programme would consist of: (a) The Spraoi Parade as a hub for family centered events on the first weekend in July. (b) Further enhance the current spectacle of the Spraoi Festival on the August Bank Holiday Weekend. (c) Install large-scale alternative sculpture with associated activities, late August to Sept. The resource implications of this ambitious programme are considerable. It is accepted that existing fund sources will have to be maintained and increased. These include private sponsorship, Waterford City Council, Failte Ireland, Arts Council, admission charges, collections and donations. Waterford City Council has worked closely with Spraoi to develop these proposals. Through the proposed programme W.C.C. aims to serve citizens, attract visitors, integrate the city’s existing visitor attractions and showcase Waterford as a vibrant visitor location. Cllr. Jack Walsh, Mayor of Waterford, City Hall, Waterford.

Michael Walsh, Manager, Waterford City Council, City Hall, Waterford.


“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” Oscar Wilde Waterford City Council and Spraoi want to be bold, want to improve Waterford’s profile and its visitor experience by creating a summer season of artistic attractions with a particular focus on the family. The current economic environment prompts caution, consistency. “Keep your head down!” is the current thinking. In such circumstances the imaginative must marshal available resources and human capacity, must dare to be bold! The Spraoi Festival is an authentic expression of local pride and creativity, coupled with international programming. It is inclusive. It embraces people and ideas, and it legitimises enjoyment of the arts. It is a fantastic platform from which to build activity, profile, business and future opportunities.

“Spraoi is an essential element of our tourism product.”

Paul McDaid, Tower Hotel Group


Set Course Towards 2011 The return of the Tall Ships Race in 2011 offers a clear-cut destination for a three-year events development plan for Waterford. The aim is to create a build-up for the Tall Ships and lay the groundwork for a legacy after 2011. This proposal aims to create a summer season of family-friendly arts based attractions. It is suggested that clusters of co-coordinated events is staged and marketed in partnership with the hospitality sector to promote a vibrant, colourful city where residents and visitors can expect the unexpected. Three anchor attractions are proposed, interspersed with a complimentary programme of recitals, markets and other attractions that aim to animate the greater city-centre. 1. It is proposed to move the Spraoi Parade, which currently attracts 50,000 spectators, to early July. It will be used as the hub of a new event and present a programme of complimentary attractions promoted as “Spraoi in the Park”: a reason to visit Waterford and experience the atmosphere of an outstanding cultural celebration synonymous with the city. 2. To enhance the current Spraoi Festival on the August Bank Holiday Weekend, aiming to build audiences. It has proven ability to entertain, attract visitors and generate business. 3. “Spraoi in the Square”: In late August a major, alternative, temporary sculptural piece will be installed in the City Centre for two weeks. It will be marketed for its novelty value, and aim to generate positive P.R. nationally. It will be accompanied by a programme of events animating John Roberts Square.


2009: SPRAOI IN THE SUMMER July (3rd-5th) Spraoi in the Park 1. Spraoi Parade: A spectacular themed parade, featuring large scale floats and props. (Sunday afternoon. Free event.) 2. Pre and after Parade Entertainment: A diverse music entertainment programme at key-points along the parade route. (Sunday afternoon. Free event) 3. Outdoor Spectacle Show: Spectacular Site specific production from an international street theatre company. (Thursday to Saturday. Donation event) 4. Installation in the Park: The Luminarium. Large scale inflatable environment, a participative walkthrough sculpture. (Thursday to Sunday. Box office event.) 5. Out in the Park: Showcasing Waterford’s diverse talent, based around music, games and activities. (Saturday afternoon. Free event.)

August (31st July – 2nd Aug) Spraoi on the Streets 1. Spraoi on the Streets: A full-on, vibrant, outdoor programme of national and international street theatre. (Friday to Sunday. Free event) 2. Rhythm Route: A pulsating programme of live music in city centre pubs. (Friday to Sunday. Free event) 3. World Music Stages: Several stages in the city centre featuring a three-day programme of world music. (Friday to Sunday. Free event) 4. Pyrotechnic/Firework display: A pyrotechnical extravaganza of fire, light, colour and noise on Sunday evening. (Sunday. Free event)

August / September (28th Aug – 6th Sept) Spraoi in the Square 1. Spraoi Installation: “Egg – Stravaganza” . A large scale spectacle based installation in the city centre. (Runs for 10 days at end of August. Free event.) 2. Installation Entertainment: Lunchtime and/or afternoon entertainment throughout the ten days. (Weekday lunchtimes and weekend afternoons. Free event )


2010 July 1. Spraoi Parade (Sunday afternoon. Free event.) 2. Pre and after Parade Entertainment (Sunday afternoon. Free event) 3. Outdoor Spectacle Show (Thursday to Saturday. Donation event) 4. Installation in the Park (Thursday to Sunday. Box office event) 5. Out in the Park. (Saturday afternoon. Free event)

August 1. Spraoi on the Streets (Friday to Sunday. Free event) 2. World Music Stages (Friday to Sunday. Free event) 3. Rhythm Route (Friday to Sunday. Free event) 4. Pyrotechnic/Firework display (Sunday. Free event)

August/September 1. Spraoi Installation (Runs for 10 days. Free event) 2. Installation Entertainment (Weekday lunchtimes and afternoons. Free event)

2011 July (Tall Ships Festival) 1. Spraoi on the Streets (Three days of national and international street theatre) 2. Music in the City (A three day outdoor programme of world music) 3. Music on the Quay (Two headline concerts on the Quay on two nights of festival) 4. Pyrotechnic/Firework display (Large scale pyrotechnic display on final evening of festival) All free events. Spraoi would also undertake to work closely with Waterford City Council officials on the ancillary entertainment events required by the Tall Ships International Committee, such as the Festival Launch, the Crews Parade etc.

“Events are the way forward in challenging times.”

Helena Boyce, Dooley’s Hotel


August (Bank Holiday Weekend) 1. Spraoi Parade (Sunday afternoon. Free event) 2. Pre and after Parade Entertainment (Sunday afternoon. Free event) 3. Outdoor Spectacle Show (Thursday to Saturday. Donation event) 4. Installation in the Park (Thursday to Sunday. Box office event) 5. Out in the Park (Saturday afternoon. Free event)

August /September 1. Spraoi Installation (Runs for 10 days. Free event) 2. Installation Entertainment (Weekday lunchtimes and afternoons. Free event.) 3. Light the City with Lanterns. Artists to work with various communities to design and construct lanterns, using them as a centre-point to a parade through the city centre for the official launch (First night of installation. Free event)


Marketing Summary Marketing will be a central aspect of the proposed actions. The marketing plan will; 1. Promote to and attract a national and international audience. 2. Increase Waterford’s national profile. 3. Promote the city as a family orientated destination

‘Waterford’s Summer Spraoi’: • Suggests a positive image of Waterford and the Region. • Re-inforces the location and timing. • Includes our partners’ ambitions to promote the city. • Suggests an action, a place that is on a summer spree. • Emphasises a co-ordinated, partnership, approach to promotion. The branding will aim to convey that Spraoi is resident in Waterford and that residents’ and visitors can expect to encounter a range of attractions.

Actions: Fully co-coordinated public relations and promotion campaigns involving Waterford City Council, the hospitality sector and Spraoi and the formation of a small, focused joint-marketing group to deliver this objective. There will be a specific strand of the marketing programme aligned with the Failte Ireland ‘Family Fun’ initiative. This strand aims to connect events and hospitalityoffering and direct specific aspects of the campaign towards the family market. The campaign will seek to embrace existing family-friendly attractions in the city and surrounding region to maximise the perceived value of the offering.

“Growing Spraoi can only be good.”

Richard Hurley, Granville Hotel


Ten positive reasons to embrace this plan: 1. It aims to celebrate creativity, entertainment and fun. 2. It aims to re-vision summer activities for locals and visitors. 3. It aims to present local, national and international artists. 4. It aims to be inclusive: all people can be part of the experience. 5. It aims to build on an existing audience of 80,000. 6. It aims to enhance existing customer satisfaction rating. 7. It aims to integrate cultural elements, food, sport and heritage. 8. It aims to build on existing success and knowledge. 9. It aims to offer more to the public and to provide a better service. 10. It aims to creatively involve all stakeholders in the process.

Did you know? • The Spraoi Festival provides a major economic boost for the city. In 2008, according to industry experts, businesses and accommodation providers experienced their busiest weekend to date. • Waterford City Council has re-invested in family orientated heritage and sporting facilities. • Spraoi generates substantial positive national media coverage for Waterford and the South East region. • Spraoi is a full time employer, and also employs many people on a seasonal basis. • Over 300 people voluntarily contribute their time to the festival. • The South East Region has pioneered family-friendly visitor products. • 95% of all visitors coming to Spraoi say they will visit Waterford again.



Spraoi