About June Fest

June Fest is a community and family-orientated festival run by the non-profit organisation, White Lily Events, in Newbridge each year during the month of June. The Festival has been running since 2012 and celebrates its 10th ‘birthday’ this year. The Festival grew out of the Bealtaine festival that had been held in Newbridge in the years prior to 2012. Each year the festival grew in stature and in the range and number of events it encompassed – peaking at some 100 events in 2019.

June Fest celebrates and promotes music, arts, culture, nature, sports, heritage, history, and other associated and related activities by hosting events in Newbridge and the surrounding area. June Fest strives to bring our community the best in Art, Theatre, Music and Family Entertainment. It provides a platform for community groups and local creatives, such as the Kildare Art Collective, to showcase their work and talent.

Commitment to community and individual wellbeing is a core principle underpinning the Festival, as is a belief that everyone has the right to create, to engage with, enjoy and participate in the arts.

Over the years, June Fest has featured such luminaries as: Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Luka Bloom, Wallis Bird, Damien Dempsey, Mundy, Jinx Lennon, Sive and A Lazarus Soul.

The festival attracts audiences from Newbridge, Kildare generally and neighbouring counties. Collaboration with local community groups is key to the success of the festival.

Regular festival highlights include: Yarn Bomb in the Liffey Linear Park, Bands on The Bank, Musical Gigs, Art and Writing competitions, Exhibitions, Family Fun Day, History/Heritage Seminars, Solstice on The Liffey.

While in normal times most festival activities are live, during COVID many activities are online or socially distanced to comply with public health advice.

June Fest greatly appreciates the support of its sponsors. It especially wishes to acknowledge the grant aid received over the years from Kildare County Council. This assistance has been critical to the success of the Festival.

Our Team

Gary Wickham
Treasurer

Read Gary’s Bio

Gary Wickham took on the role of June Fest Treasurer in 2019. He works as a project manager in 123.ie. Growing up in Newbridge, Gary began learning to play the drums from an early age. Starting out with the local pipe band, Gary has since gone on to tour the world with various groups. His current band, Silverbacks, released their debut album to critical acclaim in 2020. Nominated for a Choice Music Prize in 2021, their music now soundtracks Brioni’s ad campaign with Brad Pitt.

Stephen Connelly
Festival Director

Read Stephen’s Bio

Stephen has been the Festival Director of June Fest since 2018. As a Newbridge native, he has been active in the community since a young age. His passion for art and music has been a driving force behind many events and projects. He has worked with Festival Republic on large scale events, such as Electric Picnic, to much smaller productions with Broken Home Events.

Stephen has an honours degree in Fine Art from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and recently completed a certificate in Community Development & Leadership at National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He is a founding member of the Kildare Art Collective which provides local artists with a support network in their professional development while also creating opportunities to promote their artwork. Stephen recently joined the events and festivals sector of the Newbridge Community Development group.

Colm Somers
Chairperson

Read Colm’s Bio

As an Arts student in Dublin, Colm produced and directed theatre and musicals. Colm has a keen interest in local history, classical and choral music. With a busy work and family schedule, Colm still finds time to play a number of musical instruments and to sing with the Choir. A native of Newbridge, he has been working with June Fest for the last 6 years.

Pat O’Mahony
Secretary

Read Pat’s Bio

Originally from a Cork farming background, Pat spent much of his early working life in Australia. A former principal of Newbridge College, he has been involved in voluntary organizations and boards of management for much of his life.

While sport and Gaelic games are key interests, he believes much more needs to be done to provide young and old alike with opportunities to develop their cultural and artistic interests and aptitudes and that festival such as June Fest have the potential to assist in this regard. Pat took over as secretary in late 2019.

Martin Connelly
Public Relations Officer

Read Martin’s Bio

Martin is a native of Kildare Town. His professional career began in Information Technology. He was made redundant in 2012 and used this opportunity to develop his keen interest in photography. His varied interests in hillwalking, sport and people has allowed him to capture daily life through the lens. He has developed his photography skill by studying techniques in landscape, portrait, and digital photography. Martin worked as Photography, Digitalisation & Conservation Assistant for CEP Ltd. Parochial House, Nurney, Co. Kildare. In 2017, he was asked to run a Community Expo as part of the June Fest 2017 Festival. His aim was to connect with Local & Voluntary groups and to promote these organizations. This Expo was a huge success with over 40 Voluntary groups taking part.

In June 2020 Martin transferred to June Fest, Newbridge taking up the position of Public Relations Officer under Allen Area, C.E.P Limited.
Due to Covid restrictions, Martin launched a virtual project in May 2020, which is called ‘The History of Newbridge: Buildings, Businesses & Architecture’. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors, Newbridge Down Memory Lane and the Leinster Leader who have supported this project.

Governance