Cork Harbour Festival 2021 launches with events on water, on land and on your screen.
4-14 June 2021
Cork Harbour Festival returns this year with a packed programme of events on water, on land and at home on your screen. This year’s festival is an incredible achievement for festival and event organisers, as it presents 15 events online as well as 28 activities that festival goers can participate in around Cork City and Harbour.
Joya Kuin, Festival Manager, “we are thrilled and incredibly excited to be one of the first festivals in Cork, and possibly in Ireland, presenting activities that people can physically participate in again. Of course, all event organisers will be following current government guidelines, but we can also guarantee that the diverse range of events and activities will bring great enjoyment and pure fun for those who join us and take part throughout the festival!”
Cork Harbour Festival, now in its seventh year, continues to unite heritage, water sports, outdoor activities, culture, nature, conversation and conservation through its common theme: celebrating Cork’s connection with the water, its river and harbour.
Everyone is encouraged to get outside and re-discover all the hugely enjoyable activities there are in and around the harbour, from kayaking trips to sailing lessons and heritage trails to creative experiences. Then, from your own homes, learn about the fascinating history of the harbour through live virtual talks and hear about inspiring people and their love of the sea.
Lose yourself in a guided kayaking experience with Atlantic Sea Kayaking on a sunset river tour of Cork City. Young and old alike will be thrilled by a coastal wildlife tour with Cork Sea Safari at Cobh or Crosshaven. Families can try powerboating, sailing or kayaking from spectacular hidden gems such as East Ferry. You can also, quite literally, dive into Cork Harbour at the Try a Dive event!
The festival offers a myriad of opportunities for those who want to explore the beautiful harbour woodlands and wetlands with family orienteering, birdwatching and cycling.
Cork Harbour Festival also acknowledges the creative life of the harbour with poetry and song, visual art and sound art. Visit Sample-Studio’s Oileán exhibition, which explores what it means to an island nation in these uncertain times. Pick up an origami pack from Crawford Art Gallery and build your own boat!
On your screens, join Meitheal Mara for a conversation with two inspirational women with an appetite for pushing physical extremes; swimmer Nuala Moore, and kayaker, cyclist and oarswoman Karen Weekes talk to reporter Lorna Siggins to discuss motivations, ambitions, and fears. All three women have circumnavigated Ireland at different times – Nuala by swimming in a relay team, Karen in a single kayak and Lorna by sail.
There are many other online talks and events to enjoy in this year’s festival; from the very popular Lunchtime Lecture Series with UCC and Nano Nagle Place to a virtual live tour of Spike Island.
Through your smartphone, explore Cork City with two different audio trails: Find out about the Marina with Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s heritage trail, or discover the stories and songs hidden in the trees and bricks of our city spaces with A City and A Garden presented by Sounds from a Safe Harbour with Body & Soul.
The flagship Ocean to City race has gone virtual too, and spectators can follow the many participants across the world as they challenge themselves with the Ocean to City #fivemilesfromhome. You can follow their progress on the festival’s social media feeds and live Instagram broadcast.
As part of a very special event, Cork School of Music’s sound installation Notes to a Star will be encoded by the team at MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory and beamed to a distant exoplanet and its parent star, Bran and Tuiren, arriving there in 2033.
See the full festival programme of events at corkharbourfestival.com. Pre-booking is essential for all physical events with a maximum 15 person capacity in line with current guidelines for organised events.
Cork Harbour Festival is organised by Meitheal Mara, the community boatyard, training centre and charity located in the heart of Cork City. The Festival is sponsored by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork and Failte Ireland and made possible with the help of over 30 Event Partners and many volunteers.
Welcome to Cork Harbour Festival
Cork Harbour Festival Manager Joya Kuin talks about the unique beauty of the Harbour and how special the festival is to the community.
Selected as one of Europe’s Top 20 Art and Culture Festivals in 2018
And Top 36 Global Festivals in 2017
”The Festival: Taking place in the second largest natural harbor in the world, the Cork Harbour Festival is an active, exhilarating display of Ireland’s own maritime roots. Here, families gather to partake in everything from urban kayaking and mobile saunas, to yacht sailing along the crystalline waters of Cork Harbour. Oh, and did we mention seaweed foraging? Yes, that’s a thing.
What To Expect: Flip-flop wearers beware: the Cork Harbour Festival offers a wide range of outdoor activities, and you’ll want to dress appropriately. Walking enthusiasts can join any of the free guided walking tours, spooky ghost tours, or day excursions over to nearby Spike Island. Spectators, on the other hand, might find themselves drawn to the true Cork spectacle — “The Rebel Plunge” — a 3.8km downstream swim en route to Blackrock Village.”