- Music, art and culture lovers can indulge in the destination’s rich heritage across various live events
- Annual Leprechaun hunt takes place in May
Famed for wild coasts and sweeping landscapes, the island of Ireland offers the perfect backdrop for outdoor festivities, spanning the rich arts, food, music and culture of Ireland; be it in a city, the countryside or by the sea.
Highlights include the acclaimed Galway International Arts Festival, on the stunning Atlantic coast; the 11th annual Burren Slow Food Festival showcasing some of the country’s best gin and raw cheeses; and Dublin’s Bloomsday which recreates the famous day in James Joyce’s literary feat – Ulysses.
The Burren Slow Food Festival, Lisdoonvarna, Ireland
Celebrating its 11th year, the Burren Slow Food Festival brings together some of the regions best food and drink producers, chefs and writers for a weekend of talks, demonstrations and workshops. Food lovers will be able to sample further delights from the Artisan Food Producers’ Market, explore through guided walks, enjoy a traditional Burren Slow Food Banquet in the Burren Storehouse and a champagne and seafood picnic on a boat by the Cliffs of Moher.
How: 12 – 14 May and ticket prices start from £41. For more information, please visit www.slowfoodclare.com
The Annual National Leprechaun Hunt, Carlingford, Ireland
Fun for all the family, the annual National Leprechaun Hunt makes a return to the Siabh Foy Mountains on 21st May 2017. The search for the infamous Carlingford Leprachauns takes place annually. Irish folklore has it that if you catch one, you are granted three wishes – or in this case, participants could be in for a chance to win up to £1,700 in prizes. Register online and get hunting!
How: 21 May, 11am – 5pm. Ticket prices start from £4.50. Please visit for more information www.nationalleprechaunhunt.com/
AVA Music Festival and Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland
The two-day AVA (Audio Visual Arts) Festival in Belfast is a grassroots festival and conference which celebrates the strong electronic music and digital visual arts that has emerged from Northern Ireland. This year, AVA will be expanding into a two-day event, showcasing 90 artists, across three stages over two days at T13 Belfast. The lineup this year includes Jeff Mills, Ben UFO and Or:La.
How: 2 – 3 June. For more information, please visit http://avafestival.com/
Bloomsday, Dublin, Ireland
James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is brought to life through a day of celebrations, in honour of Leopold Bloom, the central character in the infamous book. Bloomsday, celebrated annually on the 16th of June, is the day depicted in the novel which follows the life and thoughts of Bloom and a host of other characters – both real and fictional, in and around Dublin. Bloomsday involves a range of cultural activities, including readings and dramatisations and pub crawls.
How: 16 June. For more information please visit www.bloomsdayfestival.ie/about/
The Galway International Arts Festival, Galway, Ireland
The vibrant city of Galway on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, is home to one of the country’s most iconic art festivals. A celebration of creativity from around the world, the city transforms into a medley of plays, comedy shows, live gigs, silent discos and concerts, which often spill into the streets of Galway for impromptu street parties. Already scheduled to perform this year – Brian Wilson of the Beach boys and Passenger, along with Landmark Productions’ electrifying ‘Woyzeck in Winter’, a fusion of two masterpieces: Büchners Woyzeck and Schubert’s Die Winterreise.
How: 17 – 30 July. For more information, please visit http://www.giaf.ie/events
Kilkenny Arts Festival, Kilkenny, Ireland
Held inside the grounds of the 12th Century Kilkenny Castle, the Kilkenny Arts Festival is the longest running art festival in all of Ireland. Host to some of Ireland’s top musicians, performers, writers and artists they perform on stage, along with maestros from Iran, China, France and Switzerland. The region is home to some of the world’s most incredible seafood and traditional recipes, so be sure to stop for a bite to eat at the Michelin-starred Campagne or the famed Langton Room. Full line-up to be announced later in the year.
How: 11 - 20 August. Ticket prices start from £25. For more information, please visit www.kilkennyarts.ie/
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, County Clare, Ireland
Before there was Tinder, there was the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. A 150-year tradition, it’s one of Ireland’s oldest festivals bringing together over 60,000 people annually from around the world. Taking place in the small County Clare town every September, the event promises hopeful romantics the prospects of finding true love.
How: Free to attend and runs throughout the month of September. For more information, please visit www.matchmakerireland.com/
Another Love Story, County Meath, Ireland
A weekend of musical celebration, discussions, film, food and yoga, Another Love Story is designed to bring together the mind, body and soul. Held at the beautiful Killyon Manor, this intimate ‘house party’ weekender is a bespoke event filled with curated music, art and shows designed to inspire creativity and harness new friendships.
How: 18 – 20 August. Tickets start from £310, including a bell tent. For more information, please visit http://www.anotherlovestory.ie/
Lammas Fair in historical Ballycastle, Antrim, Northern Ireland
Held annually since the 17th Century, the two-day Ould Lammas Fair features more than 400 stalls of arts, crafts and locally produced farm products. The origins of the fair are embroiled in the myths and legends of Ireland and will showcase local specialties, including ‘Yellow Man’ – a sweet honeycomb candy – and a red seaweed known as ‘Dulse.’ There will also be plenty of live music and is a chance for visitors to get-to-know the locals.
How: 28 – 29 August and the event is free to attend. For more information, please visit www.ballycastle.info/info/lfair/lfair.htm
Electric Picnic Music and Arts Festival, County Laois
Set on the idyllic setting of Stradbally Hally, Electric Picnic promises a weekend of live music, captivating entertainment and unique experiences. In 2016, the Chemical Brothers, LCD Soundsystem and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds headlined with mind-blowing performances. This year promises to be another stellar year of acts, including The XX, A Tribe Called Quest and Interpol will perform, amongst other big names.
How: 1 – 3 September and tickets start from £65. For more information, please visit www.electricpicnic.ie/
The Northern Ireland Potato Festival
A celebration of the mighty spud! The festival showcases all that is local, fresh and seasonal, bringing together members of the public and the farming community in celebration of all aspects of the local potato industry. Following the launch of the festival in 2013, the event has continued to draw in crowds of up to 7,000. The Potato Festival is held in a region known and respected for the strength of the local agri-food industry, world-class food and beautiful scenery, and is free to members of the public. Once again our aim is to promote this important economic sector to tourists and local visitors alike.
How: October 2017, date to be confirmed and it’s free to attend. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/nipotatofestival/
For more details, please visit www.ireland.com
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