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Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve got a question about anything involving our West Cork Literary Festival, you should find the answer here. Click on any question to reveal the answer. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, just email us or call us on 00 353 (0)27 52788.

General Queries

When is the West Cork Literary Festival?

Our West Cork Literary Festival usually falls in the second and third weeks of July every year, from Friday to Friday.  We usually publicise the dates for the following year as soon as the current year’s festival is over.

You’ll find our most current dates in the header of our West Cork Literary Festival webpages (see the top of this page!).

How can I contact the West Cork Literary Festival?
How can I get to the Festival?

Located along the Wild Atlantic Way, Bantry is approximately 90 km west of Cork City. We’ve detailed directions to help you get here by any mode of travel – see our Travelling to Bantry pages.

If you are unsure of travel directions please get in touch with our local Tourist Information Office – they are more than happy to help you to get to this beautiful part of Ireland.

Can you tell me about accommodation, restaurants and tourist information?

There is a wide choice of accommodation in the region – Manor House Hotels and Hotels, Lodges and Guesthouses, Bed & Breakfasts and Farmhouses.  To explore your options, browse our Fáilte Ireland-approved listings or see the Co Cork listings at Discover Ireland.

If you’re having trouble finding accommodation our local Tourist Information Office will be delighted to help you.

You can also find out more about our local area and things to do on our own Tourist Information pages.

Why don't you advertise more?

But we advertise everywhere! Each festival has its own advertising campaign which includes local, national and international media.

Why don't more young people attend?

We do everything we can do encourage our younger audience.

We have a whole festival just for Children and Young Adults – find the programme here.

Many young people volunteer for our Festivals.

And we offer tickets outside the Children & YA festival discounted by 50% to under 16s.

How do I let you know any ideas I have for the festival?

Written suggestions are easiest for us to follow up on. You can write to us at West Cork Music, 13 Glengarriff Rd, Bantry, Co Cork, or email us.

If you’ve any suggestions while you’re attending our festival, look our for our surveyors. Every year we ask our audience for feedback and suggestions – and our surveyors will provide you with a form designed with that in mind.

What is West Cork Music?

West Cork Music is our management company. It was established in 1995 and has grown from a small voluntary organisation to a company which is dedicated to bringing the highest calibre of musical experience to Ireland. We promote the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, which has become one of the leading chamber music events in Europe, attracting local, national and international audiences alike. We also organise the West Cork Literary and Masters of Tradition festivals and educational activities as part of our Festivals and through the music-in-schools programme, ‘Tuning Up’, in partnership with Cork County Council, visiting 50 schools throughout the county each year.

Our commitment to excellence and distinctive West Cork identity have secured us special place in the Irish cultural landscape.

Find out more on our About Us pages.

Brochure

The Brochure is very brief - do you have more information anywhere?

We have all the information you need on our Programme pages, including writers’ biographies. Just click on the event or writer you want to know more about.

We also compile a listing of writers’ videos on YouTube. You’ll find the latest Artist’s Playlist in the listing here.

How can I get a Brochure?

You can order a Brochure in advance of publication – or any time after. Just phone us on 00 353 (0)27 52788, or email us with your request.

Remember to let us know your full name and address, and which festival you’re interested in.

Why is the Open Mic on sooooo late?

We’ve produced the Literary Festival for twenty years and have looked at this every which way. At the end of the day (which it is) it’s the only time that fits in our schedule. We need to allow the earlier audiences to have time to get there after their events; we can’t schedule the main evening events any earlier, allowing for dinner, and; we would be reluctant to shorten the time given to it.

We realise it’s a bit late for some of our audience and can only hope the rest of our full and varied eight-day programme can recompense for the disappointment.

Pricing

Can I get any discounts?

Yes! We offer

  • 50% concession for most events to those aged 16 and under. No other concessions are available
  • Festival Savers including:
    • Book 5 separate events in one transaction and get 10% discount (excludes Workshops, Editor in Residence and Free events)
    • Purchase all the Coffee and Chat series and get 20% discount
    • Reduced ticket rate of €10 for workshop participants for events falling on the same days as the workshops (Mon-Fri). Discount only available on door 15 mins prior to event (excludes Editor-in-Residence sessions and other workshops.) Subject to availability.

Please contact the West Cork Music Box Office for these requests as they cannot be handled through our website. Note – Festival Savers can be booked using the booking form.

Can I get a discount for a group booking?

Yes! We can sometimes offer discounts:

  • group booking discounts, when available, are dependent on the event(s) and size of group

Please get in touch our West Cork Music Box Office for these requests as they vary and aren’t currently available on our website – 00 353 (0)27 52788.

We also cater to registered Tour Groups for all our festivals. Please contact Sarah Honore if you’d like to know more.

Do you have any concessions for children, students or pensioners?

We offer a 50% concession for most events, outside of our Children & YA Festival, to those aged 16 and under. No other concessions are available.

Please get in touch our West Cork Music Box Office for these requests as they aren’t currently available on our website – 00 353 (0)27 52788.

Why do I have to pay a booking fee?

There is a single €3 fee for each booking by Cheque, Postal Order or Credit Card.

To avoid multiple booking fees, plan ahead to make all your bookings at the same time.

We are charged the booking fee by the bank and credit card companies. We regret we have to pass the fee on to the customer. But do note, there is no charge when paying by cash at an event or our offices.

Note there is an addition fee of €2 for postage if you wish your tickets to be posted out to you. There is no charge if you elect to collect your tickets at the event.

 

My plans have changed - can I get a refund?

Refunds will be given only in the case of a cancelled concert.

Couldn't your ticket prices be cheaper?

Our festival’s pricing is very reasonable – especially when compared to other festivals of the same genre.

Our events fall under a wide price range, with our lowest price seating accessible to the most thrifty of customers. And we have lots of free events! Doesn’t come cheaper than that.

At the end of the day, to operate sustainably, we have to charge for tickets to cover our costs. We believe our prices are fair and reasonable for the unique literary experience we offer.

Booking

How do I book?

When booking is open, you can book online here – and you can find out everything you need to know about booking here.

If you have any problems, just give us a call on 00 353 (0)27 52788 and we’ll talk you through it – or we can make the booking for you.

When can I book?

You can find out everything you need to know about booking, including when booking opens, here. Our dates vary every year.

What are your terms & conditions?

You’ll find our terms and conditions on our Booking pages – with all the other information you’ll need to know about booking.

The programme's online, but I can't book! Why?

Our programme usually goes online in the spring. Booking for our West Cork Literary Festival Friends opens one/two weeks before General Booking does. During this time you’ll see our programme online, but you won’t be able to book online until General Booking opens. Find out more about our Friends schemes and benefits here.

The booking form is available in our brochure and is downloadable here as soon as our brochure is published – usually in April.

I can't make head nor tail of your booking form - Help?

We have a range of events and workshops, in addition to our Children & YA Festival, which makes our festival options flexible and affordable for everyone. But that does mean our booking form can look a bit complicated.

If you’re having any trouble at all, just call us on 00 353 (0)27 52788, and we’ll do our best to talk you though it. Or we can take your booking by phone, if you’d find that easier.

Why did the event sell out? And/or sell out so quickly?

Some events sell out very quickly either due to the size and/or distinctiveness of the venue, or the popularity of the writer – or both.

In addition, some events usually sell out before the start of the festival itself, for example:

The only way to guarantee seats for these events is to subscribe as a Literary Festival Friend in order to get priority booking.

Find out more about Festival Friendship here.

 

Is there any chance I can get a ticket to a sold out event?

We do have waiting lists for sold out events. If you get in touch with the office – 027 52788 – we can add you to the list and we’ll phone you if a ticket becomes available.

To avoid disappointment, do keep in mind firstly that we might not get any returns. Secondly, returns can often be at late notice and, in that instance, we will move on to the next person on the waiting list if we don’t get a reply from you.

In addition, if you like living dangerously and are already attending the Festival, you will occasionally get a return ticket for a sold out event at the very last minute before the event.

Supporting Our Festival

I love the Festival! How can I support your work?

Great to hear! There are a variety of ways you can support the West Cork Literary Festival. Find out more on our Supporter pages.

And do keep coming back to our Festival – we couldn’t produce it without you!

Do you have funding?

Yes, we couldn’t survive without it. We get funding from Donors, from a variety of Supporter options, Corporate Bodies and Funding Organisations. And we are most grateful for it!

You can find out more on our Supporters pages.

Merchandise & Gifts

What can I buy to remember the fabulous time I had at your festival?

Our West Cork Chamber Music Festival/West Cork Literary Festival bags are a practical reminder that you can carry with you through life.

You can buy both at the box office at events and at our main office.

What could I buy as a gift for a friend who loves the festival?

You have a choice of gift options:

  • You can purchase a gift voucher for any amount here. Your friend will be able to buy tickets to our festival up to that amount with the voucher.
  • You can also purchase our West Cork Literary Festival Friend package for your friend with a voucher. Find out the benefits of this package here.
  • Our West Cork Chamber Music Festival/West Cork Literary Festival bags are also a lovely gift.
Can I buy books?

Bantry Bookshop always purchases books by our Festival authors for resale to our festival goers. The books are always available in the shop, and also available at some events, particularly book-signings. Some authors may sell their books at their events.

Bantry Library also endeavours to have our Festival authors’ book available.

The West Cork Literary Festival itself does not sell books.

Venues

How do I find all the venues?

We have several maps of the venues available to you:

  • Online here
  • Paper copies are available in our main office
  • Poster copies are displayed in our office and venues
  • You’ll also find tourist maps of Bantry and the surrounding area at our offices and at the local Tourist Information Offices on Bantry Square.

All our local venues are within easy walking distance of each other. Note that Bantry House, the furthest, is a 15 minute walk from the Tourist Information Centre on the market square.

Where can I park?

In the town itself, street parking is limited to 2 hours, Mon-Sat 9am – 6pm. But there are several free car parks around the town:

  • By the Bay
    • directly off the main square at the Supervalu turn
    • take the Supervalu turn from the main square and there is indoor and outdoor parking by the supermarket itself
  • In town
    • By Biggs Catering Supplies, just down from the Library, off Bridge St
    • Off William St, on the left after An Poste

Bantry House has parking available for visitors just off the main road. You can see it’s exact location on our Venue Map.

 

How about disabled parking?

There are disabled parking spaces throughout the town centre, and in the carparks mentioned in the previous FAQ.

Bantry House has convenient parking by the house. Please let us know in advance and we can book you a space for any events you are attending.

 

How do I get to Whiddy Island?

The ferry to Whiddy Island leaves from Bantry Harbour. You’ll find it on our Venue Map here.

The short trip from Bantry pier takes approximately 10-15 minutes.

Times for the ferry will be detailed on any event using it as a venue. If you want to know all the ferry times, you’ll find them on the Whiddy Island website here.

Would you consider a dedicated venue?

Oh! We certainly would! And we’re doing so as we type this. Find out more soon!

Our sponsors

Arts Council Literature
Cork County Council Library & Arts Services
Cork County Council
Pure Cork
Fáilte Ireland
Wild Atlantic Way
Creative Europe Programme
READ ON
The Maritime Hotel
O'Keeffe's Supervalu
RTE Supporting the Arts
Cork ETB
University College Cork
Irish Examiner
Laureate for Irish Fiction
Laureate na nOg
Canadian Council for the Arts
Ottawa International Writers Festival
Well Review
Poetry Ireland
Bantry House
Zenith Energy
Foras Eireann
Cork Airport