International Audio Arts Festival

April 4th-7th 2019

Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, Ireland




HearSay19  Overview

Planning Your Journey:  The two nearest Airports are Cork and Shannon (just outside Limerick City). Both are around 60 minutes drive.  Dublin Airport is 2.5 hours drive (220km) Detailed travel information is available under Getting To HearSay

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Programmed events began on Thursday afternoon, with lots of opportunities for listening and interacting from the beginning. And you didn't need to be worry if you didn't know anyone else on the festival - there were lots of opportunities to interact and be introduced right from the beginning.


All HearSay events took place within a few hundred metres of each other. Kilfinane is a very small village.


In 2019, which was the fourth year of the festival, we had more than 180 events in 19 locations around the village ranging from peoples' living rooms to churches, pubs to coffee shops, libraries to schoolrooms.  


In previous years we've had blindfold tastings accompanied by sumptous sounds, and Audio Agony Aunts. There were live collaborations, audio performances, and a cafe where every item on the menu was a conversation topic to do with sound, walks in the dark and an Audio Wake. There was Michelin starred chef cooking sea urchins in a school library transformed into a light house, People browsed a pop-up radio museum, wandered with a locative sound app of the village, and participated in a listening/memory session in the barbers.

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HearSay is about encountering ideas and creators you mightn't have been aware of. We want participants to ‘stumble upon' inspiration. Therefore for sessions hosted by local people in their kitchens and living room, the host contributor isn't known until the tea is poured.  


In this carnival of audio, you quickly realise that you can’t be at every session and its fine to simply go for coffee or a pint and just talk. A lot of the magic at HearSay takes place in unexpected conversations.


There's no distinction between those who contribute and those who attend. No session or contributor 'headlines' and when contributors' sessions are done, contributors get to sit in and be inspired and engage at the others' sessions.


A core part of the ethos of the festival is that it is inspiration and celebration. The barriers between creators, broadcaster, and passionate listener are removed and we all get a few days to remind ourselves why we do what we do and what we love.

The HearSay Audio Prize 2019


One of the initial drivers in making people aware of the Festival was the HearSay Prize. It attracted 158 entries from 28 countries in the year 2019. The closing date for the 2019  HearSay Audio Prize was 10th January 2019.  Click here to get all the details.


Creating New Work/Celebrating Existing Work There were two entry streams in 2019, one for new work made especially for the prize and the other for great work already broadcasted/performed. This year's special categories to encourage entries from specific disciplines included Radio Art, audio fiction, (true) storytelling, use of sound, amongst others.


Flights to HearSay for EVERY Award Winner This year EVERY award winner received (among many other great prizes) a free flight to Ireland from anywhere in the world  to join us for the HearSay19 Festival.  

The premise of HearSay is simple - the worlds finest audio creators take over a mountain village in Ireland for three days to inspire and celebrate Creative Audio in all its forms.


HearSay19 was run on a not for profit basis and took place from 4pm on Thursday the 4th April 2019 until 2pm on Sunday 7th April 2019 in the mountain village of Kilfinane, Co. Limerick in South West Ireland.


We want to ensure HearSay remains accessible and inclusive. Therefore, one third (33%) of the HearSay19 “Immerse” Passes were offered on a "Give only what you can afford" model. These were full HearSay19 “Immerse” passes but on a donation basis where you choose what you can afford between 30 Euro and 170 Euro.

These places are explicitly aimed at

  • low-income earners or those not earning an income at all.

  • those who would find it difficult to meet very high long-haul costs of travel to Ireland and a full price Festival pass.

Accomodation in the Kilfinane area is also priced very reasonably with an average cost per night of 50 euro (60 USD).  


Explore the HearSay19 experience by checking out the #HearSay19 hashtag on social media.


To get a sample of what was in store check out the HearSay19 Programme here.  


The next HearSay will take place from 22nd-25th April 2021.