Spraoi 2019

Spraoi 2019 hit the streets. Most of people are merry, but not the Morbid family. Business is dead! People are too fit and healthy, they are not dying any more! Family is struggling.

The son is starving!

The last chance would be to open a pop up funeral shop and offer a funeral demo with the slogan “Buy now, die later”.

A school teacher Lisa got the privilege to demonstrate her best ‘dying face’. I think it is very impressive, and Lisa has secured a discount funeral with the Morbid & Sons for the future.

As always, I am amused by the reaction of those in the audience. The younger generation looks a little bit scared, and some are openly bored. What would they care of the discounted funerals, anyway πŸ™‚

But the Morbid family look very hopeful. Teacher Lisa returns to the world of living with the promise of future ‘perks’, and another show – and a new customer – is just 15 minutes away.


With the Waterford Crystal House in background, The Tamarros marching band from Italy look very appropriate flashing their disco ball baton.

Old tunes and old jokes are fun and get a lot of applause.


Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to watch the Roaring Clubsters show from Berlin because of the huge crowd, but I caught a glimpse of the spectators, and, as always, watching the different reactions was very entertaining.


Now, this is something new. A Russian Baba Yaga is roaming the streets in her automated mortar, and her little cottage, Izbushka, is trailing behind on its chicken legs. A tag on the cottage states that it is for sale, but don’t believe what you see. Baba Yaga wants to look legal while hunting for children to cook them for dinner. The pack of salt tied to the mortar speaks volumes…

Be aware, little children.

Checking for lice nits πŸ™‚ She wants her food organic πŸ™‚

Smart children escaped being cooked. Baba Yaga keeps trying.

We wouldn’t wish her luck, would we?


Charming show and a great music – the Los Rabinovich brothers from Mallorca! Musical clowns who don’t utter a word, but unite the hearts.

Even the rain didn’t stop the brave travelers. They are determined to stay in this city for the Bank holiday weekend and see what comes out of it.


There sits the Always Drinking marching band from Barcelona, very sober and focused: the show is about to start in a minute. The Spraoi brochure states that their name refers to the “Mediterranian way of life – socializing in the streets, hanging out with friends in the squares, having some beers and tapas”. Sounds much better than “sitting alone, staring at computer screen” to me.

Always Drinking productions is a company of musician, artists, clowns, jugglers – name it. The guys in yellow were the stars of the festival.

Mila von Chobiak, the actor, kept his finger on the pulse of the crowd.

The show was seamless and very professional – they instantly grabbed their audience’s attention and held it to the end of the show.

It didn’t take long to make them all dance.

The band even auditioned a new conductor!

When the 30 minutes long show was over, the band played another extra 15 minutes! Brilliant band, I hope to watch their show again next year. They are so attuned to the spirit of the festival, because it is what Spraoi is about – to have fun together!

Thank you for visiting Waterford πŸ™‚

Here are more links to some of my previous posts about Spraoi:Β  2015, 2017, 2018.

www.inesemjphotography Have a great weekend!


    1. I only watched these six shows. There were another thirty or so, plus various bands playing in the pubs. About 200 actors and musicians altogether. May be more.

  1. Hello Inese,
    Looks like a wonderful event, and really professional standards – does Spraoi mean anything in particular I wonder – you’ve probably told us n the past if it does, but I can’t remember!
    Best wishes

    1. Thank you! Spraoi means ‘fun’ πŸ™‚ It is an annual urban international festival, 100% free for all πŸ™‚ I have posted a link to the programme somewhere in the comments. It is a huge event for Waterford with hundreds of performers and volunteers doing their best to make August Bank Holiday weekend unforgettable. The company operates since the beginning of the 1990s.

  2. I am always amazed by the images you present! What a festival and it all looks like so much fun! Wish we had a little of this going on where I live. Totally enjoyed the blog!

    1. Thank you, Syd! Just had to mention Spraoi πŸ™‚ It is a major event here in Waterford, but this time I was able to watch only these six shows.

  3. This looks like wonderful fun for everyone. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a street festival, certainly not one such as this.

    1. It is a huge event. About 100 000 visitors come to Waterford for the weekend. I had other things to do this year, but couldn’t ignore beloved festival – hence the post πŸ™‚

    1. It is an international festival πŸ™‚ Street performance art is popular in many countries and dates back to antiquity. Fits well in Medieval Waterford πŸ™‚

  4. My husband is looking up Waterford and this festival up on the internet to add to our bucket list, Inese. It always looks so fun. Someday! Thanks for sharing the lively city with me once again. πŸ™‚

    1. Diana, if you do go to Ireland some day, make it in August πŸ™‚ First weekend you would stay in Waterford and watch Spraoi – it is an international festival, and you would feel like you have traveled Europe for free πŸ™‚ Booking in advance is essential though ❀

    1. Thank you! Morbid&Sons are only three years old, but they are loved here πŸ™‚ Don’t know about Baba Yaga, but the other collectives are decades old and have traveled the world with their shows. Spraoi always invite excellent musicians and actors. Here is a brochure if you are interested. You can read about all participants.

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚ Yes, a lot of fun all over the city centre, from morning until late, for two weekend days πŸ™‚ If I am correct, it is the 27th year of Spraoi in Waterford. I have never been to every performance, and this year I only went to see these six. It was fun anyway πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Andrea! I love them too πŸ™‚ I didn’t have a chance to watch more shows this year. There had to be 35-40 shows, and I have no idea how many musicians were playing in the pubs. They say about 200 actors and musicians were involved altogether.

    1. I only watched these six shows. It is a huge festival, I just posted the programme in the comments. Well worth to visit. I adore the Morbid family, but most of the international visitors were new to me.

  5. When I was a kid, dying seemed to be such a distant thing whose existence was vaguely affirmed once or twice when someone was run over by a train in the town. It was somewhat like the fainter stars up there. No wonder Morbid & Sons are struggling to survive.

    How did Baba Yaga land up in Waterford, Izbushka and all? Perhaps the folklore has crossed the Channel and settled in the communities there.

    The festival was a feast to the eyes, but what struck me was the immediacy with which it was presented. Thank you for the memorable trip.

    1. Thank you, Uma! I wish I could take more pictures like I usually did before. The last four weeks were tough.
      I think there were 35 collectives and about 200 musicians and actors performing this year. It is a huge international festival, and its culmination is a monster parade and fireworks Sunday night. All the city centre is a stage.

  6. What a hoot. Baba Yaga a favorite. Love her costume and the ideology behind it. The rest an entertaining venue to behold Another wonderful tour you have taken me on. ❀

    1. Thank you so much, Joseph. I usually watch most of the acts, but this year I only went to see these six. It is a very colorful festival, and there is also a monster parade and fireworks.
      I was surprised to see Baba Yaga. To be honest, she was not exactly from Russia. She was from the UK. Still, it was the first example of Slavic folklore at Spraoi, and it was fun.
      Sending you love from Waterford ❀

    1. Thank you Irene! It is only a tiny fraction – they usually have about 200 performers. Some years I watch most of the acts, but this year I had to restrict myself to these six.

        1. Yes, they perform from Friday night to Sunday night, for 30 minutes several times a day. There are many venues and stages.

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