Shore Shots – The Irish Surfing Festival: an amazing weekend of international artists, MTV video makers, pro-surfers, movies, tech and other cool stuff. And you’re invited!
Now in its fifth year, the event is heading west again to the rugged Wild Atlantic Way and its new home in The Model arts centre in Sligo from April 22th – 23rd.
LookWest.ie is delighted to partner with Shore Shots again this year. We caught up with Allan Mulrooney, one of the Shore shots team and Sligo native to find out what they have in store this year.
Allan, tell us about what is happening in Sligo for this year’s Shore Shots:
Sligo’s reputation as a hub for creativity, art and innovation has been growing and in the first three years of the event, winners in all categories hailed from Sligo and the Northwest. We are delighted to The Model in Sligo for a second year as both our team and the attendees last year were so impressed with both the Model and Sligo as a hub for the event.
Looking back, overall, 2016 was a massive success for Shore Shots as we introduced talks for the first time and managed to secure some of the biggest surf movies from across the globe. These talks ranged from local and international surfers, photographers, environmentalists to creative artists and it was clear that the audience wanted more. We also added our first surf market and started to introduce elements of music to the event.
What is new this year?
As soon as last year’s festival was over we started planning ahead and building for 2017. We wanted to add more speakers, more movies and new workshops. After months of planning what we’ve ended up with is a much bigger festival which caters for not only surfers, but outdoor enthusiasts, movie makers, art lovers, weekend road trippers and creatives alike.
We will as usual showcase the latest and most dramatic movies made about surfing, from around the world but this year we’ve a much bigger line-up. Many of these are cinematic in scope, capturing the drama and adventure of the sea and those pushing the boundaries worldwide. We’ve curated these movies from other film festivals in Hawaii, Australia and Europe and many are Irish premieres.
Highlights include the the acclaimed ‘Between Land and Sea’. Directed by Ross Whitaker, it beautifully documents a year in the life of Co Clare surf spot Lahinch. See here for a full list of movies.
What should we not miss?
Saturday night of the event will feature the best viral clips and footage captured along the Wild Atlantic Way over the past twelve months from the surfers who dedicate their lives to exploration and the cold water lifestyle. This is the highlight for many of our audience as it’s a rowdy, fun and action-packed night at the cinema where every surfer worth their salt in the UK and Ireland meets up to showcase their latest video work.
What about Irish film makers?
The big news for anybody who plans to enter is that we’ve revealed that a major prize is up for grabs for the Best Overall Irish Edit under 10 minutes in the Irish Shorts section. We’ve hooked up with The Perfect Wave Surf Experience. to offer one videographer and one surfer a boat trip for 7 days to the Maldives. The judges will be looking for cinematography, surfing style, camera angles, music, narrative and the reaction from the audience. Enter your movie here: shoreshots.ie/film
A special guest this year is (Red Bull Athlete and) big wave surfer Andrew Cotton who has spent the past four years trying to find a 100 foot wave and break the world record. Other guests include Donegal environmentalist Easkey Britton, French pro surfer William Aliotti and adventure photographer Lucia Griggi. For a full list of speakers see here: www.shoreshots.ie/speakers
We’re also bringing surf media like MagicSeaweed, Carve Magazine, Wavelength Magazine and Huck magazine to Sligo to cover the event alongside our Irish media contingent.
What if you don’t surf?
You don’t need to be a surfer to attend; the festival will this year celebrate all that is best about the Wild Atlantic Way with opportunities to take yoga classes, sample great local food, learn kayaking and go on specially organised hikes suitable for people of all abilities.
We’re really excited to offer our guests a chance to see all that Sligo has on its doorstep. What we’re hoping is that our 400+ guests come to Sligo for the festival but leave blown away by the scenery, hospitality and the hidden gems.
On both Saturday and Sunday morning you can book an activity with one of our top providers and be back in the model in time for movies, talks, workshops and more. You can now plan to be at the top of Benbulben on a hike, kayaking the inland lakes or surfing in Strandhill before experiencing the big screen antics and banter at the event. This, for me, is the most exciting new element this year!
In order to add a new slant to the festival this year we’ve also brought on board journalist Jim Carroll who runs what’s called The Banter Sessions. Although this stage is not entirely focused on surfers, it will shed a light on the creativity in Sligo and offer our attendees an insight into the working minds of people like acclaimed artist Dorothy Cross, street artist James Earley, film maker Brendan Canty and farmer, surfer and campaigner Matt Smith.
Other highlights of the festival include:
- Pro surfer Ollie O’Flaherty exhibiting an Oculus Rift 360-degree video project where users can surf the infamous Cliffs of Moher
- Photographer Ian Mitchinson exhibiting some of his work
- Big wave surfer, environmentalist and adventurer from Donegal Easkey Britton hosting a unique storytelling workshop
- International surf photographer Lucia Griggi exhibiting some of her work and giving a talk
- Musician David Kitt playing live on Sunday night and special guests throughout the weekend.
Thanks Allan, that is a huge line-up of things to look forward to. LookWest.ie will be at the festival all weekend so if you do make it to Sligo in April, please say hello.
Tickets for Shore Shots are currently selling at €40* and include access to all films, talks, music and interviews.
**There is an additional charge for Easkey Britton’s storytelling workshop and the adventure activities. More details and the full line-up can be found at shoreshots.ie
*Tickets increase to €60 at midnight on 22th March
Visiting Sligo for Shore Shots? Here is our Top 5 Lists of Things To Do
Top 5 Activities
- Kayaking around the lakes of Sligo with Sligo Kayak Tours
- Go surfing with iSurf Ireland
- Dynamic Vinyasa Yoga with Salt & Soul
- Stand Up Paddling boarding with Perfect Day Surf School or NW Adventure Tours
- Bathe in a seaweed bath at VOYA in Strandhill
- Mountain bike with NW Adventure Tours
Top Five Spots to Stay
Depending on your budget, Sligo has hostels, self-catering, boutique hotels or mainstream hotels. Check out some of the options below:
Top Five Eateries
If food is your thing then you’re in luck as the town and surrounding areas are bursting with new and exciting eateries; head for a surf at Easkey Right and follow it up with a delicious lunch at Pudding Row, or if you’re passionate about plants, Sweet Beat Café offers a plant-based menu in Sligo. Staying in town, head to the main street to find Knox Café. If you’re on the go, then head to Kate’s Kitchen, stocked with so many great artisan products. In Strandhill, enjoy brunch outside Shells Café or grab a pint of craft beer before dining with sunset views at the Draft House. If you’re after seafood, Eithna’s By The Sea in Mullaghmore is also must.
- Shells Seaside café – Strandhill
- Knox restaurant in Sligo
- Sweet Beat Café – Sligo
- Pudding Row in Easkey
- Eithnas By The Sea
For more food options, check out Sligo Food Trail.
Top 5 places for a Decent Pint
No trip to Sligo is complete without sampling a good pint. Sligo’s own craft brewery The White Hag will be available throughout the weekend and Tullamore Dew world-famous distillery will be staging its D.E.W. & a Brew sipping experience on a curated bar trail all over Sligo on April 22 and 23.
If you’ve got an itch to see more of the town (or inside its bars), take a look at our hit list below:
- Shoot The Crows, Market Cross
- Connolly’s Bar, Sligo
- The Strand Bar, Strandhill
- The Draft House Strandhill
- Tricky’s McGarrigles, O’Connell Street
Those in the know – who to follow on Twitter / Instagram
Want to know exactly what’s happening in Sligo over the weekend? Make sure to follow these accounts for local knowledge and inspiration:
- Shore Shots / Event Updates @ShoreShotsSurf / Insta
- Look West @LookWestIE / Insta
- GoStrandhill / Guide to Strandhill @GoStrandhill / Insta
- Big Wave Surfer Andrew Cotton- @andrew_cotton
- Surfer. Scientist. Artist / Easkey Britton- @Easkeysurf
- Allan – @almulrooney
We have two tickets to give away to Shore Shots. All you have to do is sign-up to our newsletter and <mailto:”firstname.lastname@example.org”>send us an email mentioning one of the Top 5 Places to Eat mentioned above.