Tolü Makay. Photo: Ciara Kinnarney.

Tolü Makay to headline online Shakefest

Tolü Makay will headline the annual Shakefest event in Tullamore later this month.

The multicultural festival will takes place once online on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30 from Charleville Castle.

This year the eclectic family festival will offer a mix of cultural and creative workshops in an online format through Zoom and pre-recorded tutorials.

The centrepiece of the festival will see

Nigerian-born Tullamore resident and incredibly talented Tolü Makay performing from Neo-Gothic masterpiece Charleville Castle as the virtual hafla highlight for 2021.

The virtual hafla will be broadcast via Watch Party on the Shakefest Facebook page, as well as on Youtube and will also be available to watch on the Shakefest website homepage premiered from 7.30pm on Saturday, May 29.

Organisers say the hafla, a multicultural dance and music recital will involve the usual inspiring and eclectic mix of talent you would otherwise expect from the Grand Ballroom of Charleville Castle, coming to you in the comfort of your own home.

Included in the evening entertainment is a special online art exhibition from Tullamore artist Rebecca Harpur specialising in a variety of media including lino art and printmaking as well as amazing Indian classical and Bollywood performances by Meghana Rao, Aparna Shukla, a special showreel by Lakshika Films, Irish dance by The Celtic Blondes and Oriental dance by Mariel Sitka and the Kazafy Troupe

The online workshops this year include international dance instructor, Moesha live from Nairobi, Kenya, introducing both kids and adults to AfroPop dance workshops. They will be learning the basics of AfroPop moves – traditional African dance merged with Hip Hop pops and locks and learn a small routine that she will post later for all ages to practice as they like.

Oisin Robbins of Beluga Theatre based in Clara, will be turning your young ones ages 6 and up into fierce and ferocious DRAMANIMALS! as they play fun and basic theatre-based games involving jungle animals and mimicking their sounds in an interactive Zoom workshop.

There will be pre-recorded tutorials with The Marble’s Eye Studio on abstract expressive and spontaneous painting techniques for children ages 4-12 including Balloon Smashing and How to Paint Pour a Galaxy which will be a feast for the eyes!

For bellydance and Oriental dance enthusiasts, Mariel Sitka, two-time Shakefest international guest instructor and Kazafy Troupe member from Argentina will take you back in time to The Golden Age of Bellydance from the 1940s-60s where Bellydance was at the height of its glamour, style and popularity especially in Egypt and Hollywood.

Mariel will take her students through the practice of movements very indicative and characteristic of the style at that time with also some fun and veil movements and hand framing.

All workshops will take place via Zoom, €3 per child and €7 per adult per screen except for the Abstract Painting tutorials which will be broadcast on Youtube free of charge.

Visit the Shakefest website for all details and register by e-mail with the workshop(s) of your preference and book on You can register by sending an e-mail to with the workshop(s) of your choice and your full name. Spaces are limited so book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

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