Ireland’s sunny season will soon be upon us, so start laying your plans right now to make the most of this window of opportunity. While the country’s biggest festivals will surely already be on your radar, we thought we’d highlight a few of the island’s lesser known gems, with a little something to suit everybody. It’s time to get your culture on!
Into its second year, All Together Now is set to be another treat this summer. The late John Reynolds, one of the founders of Electric Picnic, was also one of the founders behind ATN in Waterford. Situated on the picturesque grounds of Curraghmore House, you can expect music from the likes of The National, Patti Smith, Hot Chip, as well as spoken word performances, comedy, theatre, debate, art and workshops. And what’s more? It takes place during the August bank holiday weekend.
When? August 2nd-4th
Now in its tenth year, this family-friendly festival takes place at Beaulieu House and Gardens in Co. Louth and celebrates the campervan lifestyle, the beauty of Ireland’s outdoors and the quality of our nation’s talent. While the festival has grown around campervans, you don’t need to own one to attend as there’s a campsite that any attendee can avail of. Acts like King Kong Company, Sharon Shannon and Afro Celt Sound System will be performing at the event this year.
When? May 31st – June 2nd
“Delve deeper. Learn, question, broaden the mind.” Celebrating its 10th birthday, Body & Soul will be bringing its biggest and most elaborate festival yet. B&S is a music, arts and culture festival, that’s set in a beautiful woodlands for endless exploration. Some of the main acts this year include Santigold, Modeselektor and Soak, along with an abundance of art installations, spoken word, comedy and be sure to check out their walled gardens!
When? June 21st-23rd
Love Sensation, a massive music & arts festival aimed at the LGBT+ community and allies, will be launching this August in Dublin. Lily Allen, Clean Bandit and Soulé will be among the headline acts, with many more! Resident celebrity Cormac Cashman states “we’re really going all out on this, expect world-class pop headliners on the main stage, electronic, house & disco in the dance tent and a couple of surprises on the George stage.
When? August 12th-18th
An International Street Art festival started by The Walls Project. Each year, Waterford City is transformed into an open-air gallery where over 30 artists are invited to get creative! This event takes place over the duration of 4 days, where you can wander the streets of Waterford City and soak up the incredible pieces by artists such as Aches, Omin and Dan Leo.
When? August 22nd-25th
“AVA is an Audio Visual Arts Festival & Conference that celebrates, amplifies and develops the strong current of electronic music & digital visual arts.”
This two-day event features talent from the Republic of Ireland, the North and around the world. Taking place in Belfast, you can expect appearances from performers such as Avalon Emerson, Ben Sims and The Black Madonna, as well as a conference with key artists including Red Bull Music and Horse Meat Disco.
When? May 31st – June 1st
Lovers of contemporary and traditional bluegrass as well diverse styles of folk music won’t want to miss this event organised by seasoned musicians for the discerning listener. Having earned a reputation among fans of these musical genres as an unmissable event in its 11 years of existence, you can expect great gigs, workshops, masterclasses and more.
When? June 7th-9th
Located on the grounds of Killyon Manor in Co. Meath, here you’ll find music, art, discussion, yoga and art. You can look forward to acts like Christian Löffler, The Redneck Manifesto and Lubomyr Melnyk.
When? August 16th-18th
Dublin’s creative scene has been absolutely booming of late, with loads of slick places to check out in the city. Whether you want somewhere quirky for a coffee that will be ultra ‘Insta-worthy’, or an art gallery off the beaten track for some afternoon browsing, we’ve got seven of the best spots in town that creatives will love.