The Spraoi festival brings performance art and theatre to the streets of Waterford for a fifth year.

During the Spraoi festival, Waterford’s streets become one large stage for Irish and international artists performing for the public.

Miriam Dunne, public relations officer for Spraoi explains the thinking behind the festival,

The idea from the very beginning was to have a festival for all the family, and I think we’ve stuck very much with that, because we have literally everything on the street free of charge...we encourage people to come into town, park the car, and wander about. They can’t miss it basically, it’s in their faces...

The festival has a truly international flavour, with bands from Australia, South America and the Caribbean travelling to Waterford. There is something for everyone, with music of all kinds, street theatre, dancing, and plenty of entertainment for children.

Preparations for the festival begin months in advance. Spraoi Director T.V. Honan believes that the event is not just about entertainment,

Spraoi is a couple of things, it is a big festival at this stage as well, but it’s also about the town of Waterford and the city of Waterford, it’s an event for the place itself. And of course, all of us that work on it have a genuine sense of pride about what has been achieved with Spraoi... community art can be high quality art as well, and that’s what we’re striving to achieve here at Spraoi...

This report from ‘Nationwide’ was broadcast on 8 August 1997. The reporter is Helen McInerney.

‘Nationwide’ is an early evening magazine programme that brings Irish viewers an eclectic round-up of news, views and events from around the country.