12 - 17 February 2024


Various locations across Waterford


Most events are free but may require advance booking.

This year’s Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing in Waterford features an inspirational line-up of fun, free, inventive, inspirational and sociable arts events for all ages.

The Well Festival champions and celebrates all the ways that the arts help us to feel good. Now in its eleventh year, the festival presents music performances, exhibitions, poetry, storytelling, dance, talks, workshops, and interactive events, as well as a programme of Wellies, the festival’s events for younger audiences.

Festival 2024 Highlights

  • Sounds Good: A daily half-hour of ambient live music to soothe the body and soul, featuring Bill Stuart, Ruairí O’Shea, Killian Browne, Liam Merriman, Eoin Ó Meachair and Liam Kavanagh, in the foyer of University Hospital Waterford;
  • Dragon’s Tail: A series of ambitious folk-myth artworks by artist Marie Brett, exploring how electromagnetic energy fields affect human health, exhibiting at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and the Réalta/Waterford Healing Arts Centre for Arts + Health at UHW;
  • The Self-Care R(E)volution: A thoughtful wellbeing workshop, featuring meditation drawing, a gentle way to slow down and restore calm, with Lucy Hyland;
  • Augmented Body, Altered Mind, by environmental artist AlanJames Burns, an interactive artwork which weaves a brain-computer interface with a projected audiovisual environment at Garter Lane Arts Centre;
  • Right of Place – Beginningsa compelling exhibition at Central Library featuring creative work by participants of the Right of Place Second Chance group, where survivors of institutional abuse come together to learn and share new creative skills in a supportive space;
  • Celebrating Love, Life and Magic, a St Valentine’s Eve joyful, inclusive dance workshop led by Traces Dance Ensemble members Grace Howley and Brian McSweeney, at Garter Lane Arts Centre;
  • Fancy a lift? A daily poetry postcard, curated by poet Anne Tannam, delivered on meal trays to patients at UHW, through Waterford Libraries, Garter Lane Arts Centre and online via
  • Creative Communities, a showcase of local creative organisations, individuals and community service providers, presented by Creative Ireland Waterford and the Well Festival, and relevant for anyone working or interested in getting involved in the arts in Waterford;
  • Beauty and Struggle, a continuous professional development (CPD) workshop for artists of all disciplines working in arts and health, led by artist Sarah Ruttle, at Réalta/Waterford Healing Arts;
  • The return of Cuppa & Ceol, a sociable, music-infused tea party with well-known musician Liam Merriman, this year at Carrickphierish Library;
  • A range of talks and workshops, including a Public Talk on Climate Change and Disability with environmental artist AlanJames Burns, An Introduction to Ancient Weaving, a practical workshop with Christina Drennan, and a workshop for artists with Marie Brett about her exciting project Dragon’s Tail;
  • Healing Sounds with Waterford Healing Arts’ musicians at the bedside of patients and residents in various healthcare settings;
  • Embrace the arts at your library, a special Well Festival selection of books celebrating the benefits of reading, curated by Waterford Libraries staff;
  • Festival flagship event Sunshine: sharing writings to brighten our souls, supported and hosted by The Book Centre Waterford, led once again by Guest MC Catherine Drea.
  • For younger audiences, the Wellies programme invites children and young people to spark their creativity, imaginations and art making skills with a Sensory Play Hour, art workshops with Shona Shirley MacDonald and Eilis O’Toole, Creature Crafts with Waterford Libraries staff, The Vase of Everlasting Flowers, an upcycling craft workshop with Aoife Murphy, and magical hours of storytelling with Joe Brennan’s Wonder Tales.

The full festival programme is available from and can be downloaded here.

The Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing is funded by the Arts Council, the HSE and Waterford City and County Council.  In 2024, the festival programme is supported by The Book Centre Waterford, Creative Ireland Waterford, AIB, Waterford Hospice, Europe Direct and Right of Place Second Chance.

The festival is presented by Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford City and County Libraries and Waterford Healing Arts.

Feature image: Augmented Body, Altered Mind (2022), by AlanJames Burns


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