Read below for Spraoi highlights and see our full guide to Spraoi 2019 in th9is week’s Munster Express newspaper
Spraoi has a special focus on street music at this year’s festival, with some amazing street bands in the city throughout the three days. On Friday evening five of these bands take to the streets, each performing at a chosen spot, in their own inimitable style, before converging on John Roberts Square for a show-stopping finale.
Always Drinking Marching Band (Applemarket, 8pm)
Based in Barcelona, their name refers to the Mediterranean way of life-socializing in the streets, hanging out with friends in the square, having some beers and tapas.
City of Waterford Brass (St Patrick’s Gateway, 8.15pm)
City of Waterford Brass will present a festival set featuring the hits of ABBA. The band members will be suitably dressed in the seventies style and will interact with their audience.
The Tamarros (O’Connell St, 8pm)
From Italy, the Tamarros is a marching band like no other, dressed up with wigs, mirrored sunglasses, flared trousers and a rainbow of glitter and sequins.
The Friendship Band (Barronstrand St, 8.15pm)
The Friendship Band from Northern Ireland provide ‘carnival’ style entertainment with an upbeat choice of music and striking uniforms.
New York Brass Band (Cathedral Square, 8.15pm)
Blurring the line between band and audience, the New York Brass Band invite the crowd to become part of their show. A 7-piece packing a powerful punch of relentless drums, rumbling tuba and wailing horns.

ALL AT SEA FOR SPRAOI: May Leahy and Camilla Puttini pictured during rehearsals for ‘All at Sea’, this year’s Spraoi Parade. The annual festival will attract artists from all over Europe and provide the city with a welcome economic boost. Check out our special 12 page Spraoi supplement previewing all of this week’s events.  Photo: Patrick Browne.

ALL AT SEA FOR SPRAOI: May Leahy and Camilla Puttini pictured during rehearsals for ‘All at Sea’, this year’s Spraoi Parade. The annual festival will attract artists from all over Europe and provide the city with a welcome economic boost. Check out our special 12 page Spraoi supplement previewing all of this week’s events. Photo: Patrick Browne.

Street Music
WAMA Drummers
Born out of The Waterford Academy of Music & Arts, the all new WAMA Drumming Band will thunder in to the Spraoi Festival with their unique blend of toe tapping beats and head nodding grooves. With influences from Rock, Techno, Metal and Hip Hop, expect energy, noise and fun!
Mbilou & Kakatsitsi Master Drummers
Mbilou is an ‘Nganga’a spiritual healer and eremony leader from the Bwiti peoples of Equatorial Africa. He plays the Mungongo (the mouth bow with the monostring), the Ngoma-Ngombi (the sacred harp that speaks to the voice of the ancestors), the Etsika (the Ciessi horse antelope horn used to call spirits) as well as various drums, shakers and bells. He is supported by the Kakatsitsi Master Drummers from Ghana who have established themselves as one of the leading African drumming groups currently touring outside Africa, renowned for the quality of their singing and their accessible funky, danceable drumming grooves.
Sanofi Spraoi Orchestra
Sanofi has been one of Spraoi’s most important partnerships over the last number of years. The Sanofi Spraoi Orchestra is a music education programme, involving 25 young people between the ages of 12 and 16, based in the Spraoi Studios in Carrickpherish. Led by Conor Walsh from WAMA, the group will launch Spraoi at 5pm on Friday in JR Square, and perform over the three days of the festival.
This percussion project is made possible with the support of Spraoi’s neighbours and partners, Sanofi.
Rebel Brass
A 15-piece teenage band (the youngest member is just twelve!) that came together from a music education partnership between Music Generation Cork City and Cork’s Barrack Street Band. They have been mentored by the New York Brass Band, Code of Behaviour and Booka Brass since their fateful first day at the Cork Jazz Festival. Full of energy and soul, and only a year into their career, these livewires are guaranteed to put on a show not to be missed!
William Diamond Junior Fife and Drum Corps
From the USA, this 35-member Drum Corps is a non-profit, all volunteer, youth organization dedicated to teaching history, music and military discipline to young people from Massachusetts.
Using traditional fife and drums, the band play music from the 18th century America, most of which would originally have emanated from Ireland and the UK.
Barrack Street Concert Band
The Barrack Street Concert Band has been making music in Waterford since 1870. In that time, they have contributed richly to the cultural and social life of Waterford and have been an enduring presence in the ever-changing narrative of the city.
The band have been involved with Spraoi since its inception in 1993 and will perform a selection of popular music pieces from their Summer Programme.
(Hanover St., Saturday and Sunday)
This ground-breaking organisation offers a unique chance for people of all ages to take part in many workshops, demonstrations and activities over two days at Spraoi.The Centre for the Advancement of Learning of Maths, Science and Technology was established in 2003 at Waterford Institute of Technology. It draws on staff, students and resources from WIT to achieve the vital, national goal of promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), and has reached hundreds of thousands of people with science supplements and publications and at events.Calmast is working with Waterford City & County Council, groups and schools to develop the Southeast with Waterford as its Gateway City as a Science Region. For the first time, at Spraoi 2019, Calmast will also present some fantastic street theatre performances on Gladstone St.
Traces (Irish Premiere)
Spraoi is delighted to welcome back Traces Dance Ensemble who celebrate
their 10th anniversary with an incredible new dance work. This is a performance not to be missed.
Traces is a unique contemporary dance company based in Waterford, with a well-earned reputation for challenging perceptions about dance and (dis) ability. They create and present work that communicates potent messages of empowerment and identity, rooted in the dancers own reflection, their personal challenges and their role as advocates for human rights and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome.
Choreography: Dance Artist in Residence at Garter Lane Art Centre, Dee Grant
This new work is kindly supported by a Performance Project Grant from Waterford City & County Council.
The Fanzinis
Show: “Spailp”
A new body of experiential work from The Fanzini Spailpínis. A brief but glorious experience of your life’s most exquisite moments inside their beautiful bespoke venue. Spailp is a show for 5 minutes for 5 people at a time for ages 5 and over.One of Ireland’s longest established street arts companies, The Fanzinis have performed shows all over Ireland, and around the world. They will bring this unique installation piece to Spraoi for 3 days, for 3 hours each day. “A little tent of dreams.” Hannes JungPerformers: Con Horgan and Kim Mc Cafferty
Directed by Adrian Schvarzstein
An unforgettable outdoor dance piece, exploring many faces of masculinity and providing a powerful and sensitive look at male group dynamics and behaviour. Bravado is high and aggression is rife- you’ve got to be tough and fast to be part of the gang.When cracks in the group begin to appear, the characters are forced to question their individual identity and what it means to belong. Laugh out loud, funny in parts, dark and menacing in others, don’t miss the chance to see this stand out piece of dance theatre.
Performers: Kevin Turner, Theo Fapohunda, Lee Clayden, Thomasin Gulgec and David Colley.
Spraoi Parade 2019, 9.30pm Sunday
More than two thirds of the surface of the earth is covered by ocean, but only a tiny fraction of it has been explored. This deep and mysterious realm is teeming with life and wonders that we can only dream of.
That is, until now! A group of intrepid explorers have searched the depths and discovered astonishing things! They have curated a selection of the creatures and phenomena they found, and this is your chance to wonder at the mysteries and marvels they uncovered.A psychedelic creation, unleashed onto the streets and quays of Waterford city. Join Spraoi on Sunday evening for an unforgettable experience.
Parade Route:
Beginning at Johnstown, the parade will progress via John’s St., Michael St., Broad St., JR Square and Barronstrand St., and finish on the Quay.Traffic diversions and restrictions will occur as the parade moves along the route, and there will be absolutely no parking on the route.A special viewing area for those with special needs will be on the roundabout beside the G.P.O on the Quay. There are fixed ambulance points along the route, which our stewards will guide you towards, if required.