Sofft Nights – a much-loved series of outdoor events in Dunderry Park, Co. Meath – are back! The 2021 events will run across a series of weekends in July, August and September. Those who attend can enjoy live music, talks, craft markets, and wellbeing initiatives such as meditation, shamanic drumming, and healing through dance. Learn more below.
Reconnect and Celebrate
Sofft Nights Return
by Aisling Cronin
Sofft Nights, a much-loved series of outdoor events that kicked off last autumn in Dunderry Park, Co. Meath, are back for the summer! The team behind Sofft Nights – SoFFT Productions – have over forty years’ combined experience in the most ambitious spectacles Ireland has to offer, such as Music Town’s Roughtop Lullabies, Celestial Bodies, The Lyric Concert, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and RTÉ Choice Music Prize awards.
SoFFT Productions were the first creators of a COVID-19 compliant outdoor gathering in 2020. Co-founder and festival creator Natasha Duffy says that they are proud to have created Ireland’s first open-air, socially distanced boutique festival.
The 2021 events will run across a series of weekends in July, August and September. Those who attend can enjoy live music, talks, craft markets, and wellbeing initiatives such as meditation, shamanic drumming, and healing through dance. The ultimate goal of these events is to offer attendees a space to reconnect and come together as a community.
“People coming out of lockdown are curious,” Natasha explains. “We’ve had lots of time for self reflection, but not much of a chance to do it in a community or supportive environment. We’ve been alone, for the most part, so we are really missing communal experiences. I’ve had lots of people saying to me that they long to dance in a field again, the way they did back when we ran the Spirit of Folk events.”
Music fans, rejoice: Sofft Nights has a great assortment of musical acts lined up for each of its events. On the 16th and 17th of July, Cormac Begley will appear at Sofft Nights, alongside special guests Bunoscionn and Lemoncello. On the 27th and 28th of August, the festival will host Soda Blonde with special guests Maija Sofia and Nava. On the 3rd and 4th of September, festival goers will be joined by Pillow Queens, Roe, Art of Algebra and Dani Larkin.
Another highlight of these unique gatherings is an enchanting craft market, in which local artists and creators will sell their creations from 2pm onwards, across all of the events.
“As well as the concerts, Sofft Nights Summer 2021 day festivals will be hosting all sorts of interesting events, from shamanic journeying and storytelling to forest gong baths and nighttime astronomy lessons,” Natasha shares. “We’ve been through a lot, and these gatherings are about connecting back in with each other in meaningful ways.”
These one-of-a-kind events are centred around helping people to reconnect with one another, share the experiences and insights they’ve gained over the past year, and celebrate their resilience.
“Over the course of the three events, we’re going to have some very interesting workshops,” Natasha adds. “One that I’m really looking forward to is taking place during the August event, when we’ll be hosting Conor Rua for a workshop called Mantra agus an Gaeilge. He’ll be looking at the health and wellbeing aspects of traditional mantra, but will also be bringing in the Irish language. There will be lots of fascinating workshops like that, aimed at helping people to ease back into sharing a communal experience again.”