The dome tents on display in the grounds of Birr Castle. Photos: Gary Hoctor.

Eye-catching 'festival domes' arrive in Birr!

Four eye-catching dome tents, which arrived in Birr last week, are set to be used for a range of festival and community gatherings in the town during the coming months.

The tents were sourced in Poland and can now be used during the Scripts Festival, Birr Vintage Week, and Birr Festival of Music events in August, as well as during the Hullabaloo Children's Arts Festival and the Offline Film Festival in October.

Gary Hoctor, of the Offline Film Festival, explained that they had been ordered by the local festivals collectively with funding that had been sourced for Covid-response measures under the Government's Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

"The plan is for the festivals, and community organisations in and around Birr to utilise the domes for events that may not otherwise take place if the weather was inclement," explained Gary.

The largest tent is 9.5 metres in diameter, there are two of 7 metres in diameter, and the smallest is just over five metres in diameter.

The capacity they can hold will vary depending on the event and public health restrictions, but the largest one might accommodate up to 50 people at present, a number which could double if there were no Covid restrictions in place.

The tents were erected on the grounds of Birr Castle last week, but Gary said there was a lot of flexibility around where and how they might be used.

"We plan to have screenings in them for the Offline Film Festival, and I know the Festival of Music wants to (use them for) recitals in some of the housing estates in the area, so it's brilliant to think about using them to bring art and culture out to housing estates."

He said the tents could be adjusted and reconfigured in various ways, pointing out that, for example, a performance could be staged within one of the smaller tents for an audience that would be in one of the larger ones.

In addition to musical events and film screenings, he added that tents could also come in handy for a variety of other uses that might include the likes of comedy shows, ticket sales, an information desk, drinks receptions, or a coffee dock.

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