Cork city itself will play the lead role in a unique self-guided audio tour. Photo:Yves Alarie

Leeside lands starring role in a self-guided audio tour

Cork city itself will play the lead role in a unique self-guided audio tour as part of this year’s Cork Midsummer Festival.

Taking place later this month, ‘After Light: These Dark Citizens’ is an exploration of a living breathing city by night, accompanied by an interactive soundscape of memories dotted around the north and south of the River Lee.

This profoundly atmospheric ode to Cork city is voiced by actress Blaithín McGabhann, festival artist in residence Peter Power, visual artists Lorraine Neeson and Padraic Barrett, and lighting designer Stephen Dodd.

Throughout the tour, guests will listen in on the conversations of strangers, experience long lost buildings in torch light, and hear the testimony of night citizens who spend their waking hours staring at the stars.

The piece will begin on MacCurtain Street at the Everyman and will end on Albert Road at the National Sculpture Factory. In order to take part, guests will need to download an app, which will be sent to them in advance, and bring their (fully charged) phone and a set of trusty headphones.

At the meeting point, the tour guide will provide route information, a map, and direction as to how to get started. Groups will begin together but are free to progress at their own pace.

Commissioned by Sparsile Collective in association with the National Sculpture Factory, and produced by Once Off Productions, ‘After Light: These Dark Citizens’ is a collaboration between multi-disciplinary artist Peter Power (Cork Midsummer Festival Artist in Residence), visual artists Lorraine Neeson, Padraic Barrett, and lighting designer Stephen Dodd. The production is supported by the Arts Council and Cork City Council.

Cork Midsummer Festival 2022 (CMF 2022) will again focus on live in-person events that artists and audiences can experience and share together. Following two years of a hybrid festival, mixing online and limited audiences at some live events outdoors, the team says it is delighted to return fully to live events.

A spokesperson for the event said: “CMF 2022 celebrates the importance of community, as the community of artists and audiences gather together again after so long. Across the entire programme there is a keen sense of awakening, of stories, voices and spaces. Cork Midsummer Festival has always used the city as its backdrop and inspiration and the festival team are delighted to be able to do so again as our beloved Cork once more becomes the stage and gallery.

“Audiences can discover and rediscover the city and all its glorious possibilities, including a number of new spaces. The festival also continues to be an important national showcase for extraordinary Irish artists at all stages of their career and this year much of what audiences will see in the programme is brand new work with 25 world premieres, new commissions and projects.”