Music, Arts and Food Festivals in Ireland

Updated January 2024–Annual festivals in Ireland are not just happening at the height of the tourist season. In fact, you'll discover them at any time of year.

Festivals in IrelandThis page contains affiliate links and I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

And that usually includes a combination of music, arts, food, and sports festivals for all to enjoy in all parts of the country, from north to south, east to west.

This list of annual festivals in Ireland, which is categorized by county, has been created to make it easy for you to locate fun things to do in different parts of Ireland.

It is by no means a complete list at this time.

Antrim

Atlantic Sessions
Usually takes place in Portstewart and Portrush, Co. Antrim
Novemer 2024 (date to be announced)
https://www.atlanticsessions.com/

This award-winning music festival normally features over 50 of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians.

The Portrush Harbor in Portrush. Photo: Tourism Ireland.
The Portrush Harbor in Portrush. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Entertainment takes place in local coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, specific music venues, and bars in Portrush and Portstewart on the Causeway Coast.

Auld Lammas Fair
Ballycastle, Co. Antrim
August 24-27, 2024
https://www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com/whats-on/ould-lammas-fair-p831391

Enjoying the Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, one of the annual festivals in Ireland that draws visitors and locals alike. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.
Enjoying the Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, one of the annual festivals in Ireland that draws visitors and locals alike. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.

This is Ireland’s oldest traditional fair marking the end of the harvest season.

It has been taking place in the beautiful seaside resort of Ballycastle, County Antrim since the 17th century.

Local culinary specialties include Yellowman, a locally made honeycomb, and Dulse, a dried seaweed.

Livestock is bought and sold, and there's lots of entertainment in the form of music, face painting for kids, and fortune-telling.

The annual event includes horse races on the beach, as well as an outdoor concert and fireworks display. FREE

Balmoral Show
Lisburn, Co. Antrim
May 15-18, 2024
https://www.balmoralshow.co.uk/

This is Northern Ireland’s biggest agricultural and equestrian event, drawing big crowds to the Balmoral Showgrounds in Lisburn.

Photo courtesy of Balmoral Show Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Balmoral Show Facebook.

Enjoy show jumping and marvel at the exhibition and trade show of agricultural machinery. Plenty of cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry to see as well.

The 2024 event will mark the 155th year of this popular show.

Belfast Film Festival
Many venues across Belfast
November 2024 (date to be announced)
https://belfastfilmfestival.org/

This rapidly-growing festival represents the best in new, short, and classic cinema.

Waterfront Hall, Belfast. Photo: Nick Patterson, Tourism Northern Ireland.
Waterfront Hall, Belfast. Photo: Nick Patterson, Tourism Northern Ireland.

Films are shown in several venues across Belfast, including the Strand Cinema, the Waterfront Hall, the Culturlann Centre, the John Hewitt Bar, as well as the Queen's University Film Theatre.

Belfast International Arts Festival
Events throughout the city
Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2024
https://belfastinternationalartsfestival.com/

This world-renowned international arts festival started out as a much smaller event at the Queen’s University campus in the city.

The Lanyon Building at Queen's University is famous for its Gothic Revival façade and Great Hall. The university was the first to host the Belfast International Arts Festival. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.
The Lanyon Building at Queen's University is famous for its Gothic Revival façade and Great Hall. The university was the first to host the Belfast International Arts Festival. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.

It is now one of the largest annual festivals on the island of Ireland.

It includes performances in theater, dance, classical and roots music, the visual arts, film, literature, and more.

Belfast Tradfest
Belfast, Co. Down
Winter Fest: Feb. 23-25, 2024
Summer Fest: July 21-28, 2024
https://www.belfasttraditionalmusic.com

Masterclasses, workshops, talks, and traditional Irish music sessions in pubs across the city are all part of this popular Irish music celebration known as Belfast TradFest that happens not just once a year, but twice!

If you’re a fan of the Irish trad scene, you won’t want to miss either the winter celebration or the summer festival.

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Camp Delfest
Glenarm Castle, Glenarm, Co. Antrim
July 2024 (dates to be announced)
http://www.dalriadafestival.co.uk/

Locally-produced cider is one of the many treats available at the Dalriada Festival at<br />Glenarm Castle is one of the more popular annual festivals in Ireland. Photo courtesy Tourism Northern Ireland.
Locally-produced cider is one of the many treats available at the Dalriada Festival at
Glenarm Castle is one of the more popular annual festivals in Ireland. Photo courtesy Tourism Northern Ireland.

This is a well-established festival in Northern Ireland complete with music, dance, food and drink, chef demonstrations, craft/trade stalls, exhibitions, children's entertainment, and more.

Stay for a day or the weekend. Glamping packages are available. Keep an eye on the website above for more details on what to expect at this very popular festival.

Garden Show Ireland
Antrim Castle
June 14-16, 2024 
https://gardenshowireland.com/

You’ll find a mix of gardening, food, music, and more at the Garden Show Ireland held on the grounds of Antrim Castle.

Kids will have a ball building fairy houses, creating their own flower or feather headbands, and flying their own kites.

Antrim Castle Gardens is a great place to visit any time of year. Photo: Ken Wang
Antrim Castle Gardens is a great place to visit any time of year. Photo: Ken Wang, https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentwang/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

You'll also find cooking demonstrations at the food pavilion, with lots of fresh food from local artisans to taste. Find out more by heading to the website above. Standard tickets are an affordable £12.50, with $10 tickets available for those under 16.

Glens Storytelling Festival
The festival takes place in different communities, including Ballygawley, Carnlough, Cushendall, Cushenden, Glenariffe, Glenarm, Ballycastle, and Rathlin Island.
October, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.armstory.org.uk/glens-storytelling-festival

If you are captured by stories, then you won’t want to miss this storytelling festival that celebrates the rich cultural history of the Glens of Antrim.

The beautiful Rathlin Island, off the coast of Co. Antrim. Photo: Joshua McMichael for Tourism Ireland.
The beautiful Rathlin Island, off the coast of Co. Antrim. Photo: Joshua McMichael for Tourism Ireland.

The festival includes storytellers and musicians from across Ireland and around the world.

Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival
Causeway Coast (between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island)
End of May/Beginning of June 2024 (exact dates to be announced)
https://www.rathlinsoundmaritimefestival.com/

This summer festival celebrates the maritime heritage of the North Antrim Coast, including the Rathlin Sound, the body of water that runs between the island and Ballycastle on the mainland.

Photo: Stefan Schnebelt for Tourism Ireland.
Photo: Stefan Schnebelt for Tourism Ireland.

Some of the activities include a sailing regatta and currach racing, as well as a visiting tall ship and the recreation of an “invasion” by the Vikings.

Armagh

Armagh Food and Cider Festival
Various locations throughout Co. Armagh
September 2024 (dates to be announced)
www.visitarmagh.com/foodandcider

food on a plate annual festivals in Ireland
Some of the delicious fare you can expect at the Armagh Food and Cider Festival. Photo courtesy Tourism Northern Ireland.

Are you a foodie? Ireland’s reputation for producing bland food has long gone.

This three-day festival, featuring the best artisan cider-makers in Northern Ireland, as well as food from today’s most inventive chefs, will definitely change your mind.

The festival takes place at various locations throughout the county. There are usually several free events and others for as little as £25.

Armagh Georgian Festival
Various locations throughout Armagh City
November 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://visitarmagh.com/festivals/georgianfestival/

The Armagh Georgian Festival is truly a celebration of the city's rich Georgian heritage and another one of the popular annual festivals in Ireland.

A horse and carriage ride through Armagh, one of the activities you can enjoy during the Armagh Georgian Festival. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.
A horse and carriage ride through Armagh, one of the activities you can enjoy during the Armagh Georgian Festival. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.A horse and carriage ride through Armagh, one of the activities you can enjoy during the Armagh Georgian Festival. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.

Taking place over two weekends in December, the event includes a “series of small-scale, unique experiences which celebrate the many different aspects of Georgian Armagh including buildings, history, and heritage.”

Trot the tree-lined Georgian Mall on a horse and carriage ride or take an outdoor walking tour that will bring you back to the Georgian era.

Guided tours of the city's majestic Georgian buildings are also included.



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Home of St. Patrick's Festival
Various locations across the city of Armagh
March 10-17, 2024
https://visitarmagh.com/festivals/st-patricks/



The Gathering: Stories Through Fire

The Navan Centre and Fort, 81 Killylea Road, Armagh
Three-Day Mini Festival, August 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://visitarmagh.com/places-to-explore/navan-centre-fort/

To celebrate the festival of Lughnasadh (Lunasa), the Navan Centre & Fort is putting on a 3-day mini festival this year that starts with an evening of storytelling, together with a two-course meal cooked over a fire by local culinary experts. “Games of the Past,” influenced the ancient Tailteann Games, is another activity that visitors are sure to enjoy over the weekend.

The weekend concludes with a “Wellness for the Future” session of yoga, meditation, drumming and dancing.

The Navan Fort, otherwise known as Emain Maiche. This was the royal site for Ulster's kings in pre-Christian Ireland. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.
The Navan Fort, otherwise known as Emain Maiche. This was the royal site for Ulster's kings in pre-Christian Ireland. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.

Read More: Armagh: Ireland's Orchard County

Carlow

Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas
Borris House, Borris, Co. Carlow
June 7-9, 2024
https://festivalofwritingandideas.com/

Enjoy a weekend of stimulating conversation and discussion with award-winning novelists and journalists, artists, filmmakers, political commentators, musicians, architects, and others at Borris House in the village of Borris, County Carlow.

Borris House, the ancestral home of the McMurrough Kavanaghs. Photo: Suzanne Clarke for Tourism Ireland.
Borris House, the ancestral home of the McMurrough Kavanaghs. Photo: Suzanne Clarke for Tourism Ireland.

Borris House was once the seat of the High Kings of Leinster and has been occupied by the same family for over 800 years.

The festival has been known to spill out into the village’s pubs, making for a truly inspiring and fun event.

Tickets for the 2024 festival are now on sale.

Carlow Autumn Walking Festival
In the Carlow Countryside
Sept. 4-Oct. 6, 2024
https://carlowtourism.com/walkingfestival/

The Blackstairs Mountains in County Carlow. Photo: Brian Morrison Photography, Tourism Ireland.
The Blackstairs Mountains in County Carlow. Photo: Brian Morrison Photography, Tourism Ireland.

The Blackstairs Mountains and the River Barrow feature prominently in the range of walks offered for all fitness levels during the Carlow Walking Festival, including everything from advanced mountain treks to peaceful woodland walks. Walks vary in price from €10 to €20 per person. To book your ticket, go to the website above.

Scarefest
Throughout Carlow town
Oct. 31, 2024
https://www.facebook.com/ScarefestCarlow/

Performers at Scarfest Carlow, among the annual festivals in Ireland that take place during Halloween. Photo courtesy of Scarefest Carlow Facebook.
Performers at Scarfest Carlow, among the annual festivals in Ireland that take place during Halloween. Photo courtesy of Scarefest Carlow Facebook.

This is the largest Halloween festival in Ireland's Southeast, which includes 7 days of fun, frights, and entertainment.

The International Pan Celtic Arts Festival
Carlow Town, Co. Carlow
April 2-6, 2024
http://www.panceltic.ie/

This festival is a celebration of the cultural links between the Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man.

While it is mainly a competitive event, there are many informal events to entertain others who are interested in Celtic culture.

Read More: County Carlow: The Celtic Center of Ireland

Cavan

Ed Reavy Traditional Music Festival
Town Hall, Cavan
October 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.facebook.com/EdReavyTradFest/

Photo courtesy of the Ed Reavy Traditional Music Festival Facebook.
Photo courtesy of the Ed Reavy Traditional Music Festival Facebook.

A 3-day festival celebrating the Cavan-born fiddler Ed Reavy, who emigrated to the United States in 1912.

An outstanding fiddler, Reavy recorded under the Victor label during the 1920s. He is said to have composed between 400 and 500 traditional dance tunes.

Organized by the Cavan division of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

Clare

Burren Slow Food Festival
Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare
May 19, 2024

https://www.slowfoodclare.com/festival/

A cookery demo at the Burren Slow Food Festival in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, one of the annual festivals in Ireland that focuses on food. Photo courtesy Failte Ireland.
A cookery demo at the Burren Slow Food Festival in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, one of the annual festivals in Ireland that focuses on food. Photo courtesy Failte Ireland.

Sample local artisan foods, meet the producers and growers, mix with fellow foodies, and observe cookery demonstrations from well-known chefs, all in the beautiful setting of the County Clare Burren region.

Burren Winterage Festival
Burren, Co. Clare
October 25-27, 2024
https://www.burrenwinterage.com/

A celebration of the Burren's farming tradition known as winterage. Expect a variety of farming, heritage, cultural and family events over this October bank holiday weekend.

Bronagh and Cathal O'Rourke. Photo courtesy of Burren Farm Experience Facebook.
A cow and its calf on the Burren Farm run by Bronagh and Cathal O'Rourke. Photo courtesy of Burren Farm Experience Facebook.

The 2024 program is not yet available. Keep an eye on the website above for details as the events get closer.

Doolin FolkFest
Hotel Doolin, Doolin, Co. Clare
June 14-16, 2024
https://www.doolinarts.ie/

This is a firm favorite among Irish folk enthusiasts who flock to this part of County Clare, which is already rich in Irish traditional music. Get your tickets here.

Ennis Book Club Festival
March 1-3 2024
https://ennisbookclubfestival.com/events-2024/

Ennis, Co. Clare. Photo: Maria Ryan Donnelly for Failte Ireland.
Ennis, Co. Clare. Photo: Maria Ryan Donnelly for Failte Ireland.

This is Ireland’s largest book club festival, which draws readers from across Ireland and beyond who come to Ennis to share their joy of reading and to listen to some insightful conversations. To see a complete itinerary of events, click on the link above.

Feakle International Festival of Irish Music
Feakle, Co. Clare
August 7-12, 2024
http://www.feaklefestival.ie/

Photo courtesy of Feakle Traditional Irish Music Festival Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Feakle Traditional Irish Music Festival Facebook.

The Feakle International Festival of Irish Music attracts traditional Irish music enthusiasts from across the globe.

Some of the finest musicians and performers have come to this small village over the years.

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival
Venues throughout the town
September 2024  (dates to be announced)
https://www.matchmakerireland.com/

For four weekends in September, the town of Lisdoonvarna turns into matchmaking central.

The town, known for its mineral springs since the 18th century, is also the place where singles come in the hopes of being matched with a potential spouse.

A pub in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, where the popular matchmaking festival is held. Photo: Publicis, Tourism Ireland.
A pub in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, where the popular matchmaking festival is held. Photo: Publicis, Tourism Ireland.

It’s an old tradition in the town that has been promoted by official matchmaker/horse dealer Willie Daly, making it the largest and most popular matchmaking event in Europe and yet another popular annual festival in Ireland.

Willie Clancy Summer School
Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare
July 6-14, 2024
https://www.scoilsamhraidhwillieclancy.com/

This is among the major music events in the country, drawing Irish traditional music enthusiasts who play and/or listen to the craft. Workshops and classes are available for trad musicians and singers.

A statue of Willie Clancy in the center of Miltown Malbay. Photo: Maria Ryan-Donnelly for Failte Ireland.
A statue of Willie Clancy in the center of Miltown Malbay. Photo: Maria Ryan-Donnelly for Failte Ireland.

Lots of impromptu trad sessions take place day and night on the streets of Miltown Malbay and in its pubs.

Cork

Clonakilty Guitar Festival
Clonakilty, West Cork
Sept. 13-22, 2024

http://clonguitarfest.com/

During this 7-day festival celebrating the guitar, Clonakilty is host to an array of performances and events in a variety of venues, including local schools, the town library, bars, and even butcher shops.

Photo courtesy of Clonakilty International Guitar Festival Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Clonakilty International Guitar Festival Facebook.

Most events are free, except for a few select ticketed shows.

Cork Folk Festival
Cork City
Oct. 3-6, 2024
https://www.corkfolkfestival.com/

Photo: Cork Folk Festival - Féile Chorcaí.
Photo: Cork Folk Festival – Féile Chorcaí.

The Cork Folk Festival includes performances from folk artists in 40 venues across Cork City and around the county. You’ll find everything from sean nós dancing (old-style Irish dancing) to Bluegrass, Cajun music, and much more. Many of the events are free. You can purchase tickets on the website.

Cork International Choral Festival
Cork City Hall, Cork

May 1-5, 2024
https://www.corkchoral.ie/

Cork welcomes choirs from across the world to perform in a variety of events, including gala concerts, schools concerts, national and international competitions, and world-class performances that brings the city to life for a celebration of choral music.

Cork International Film Festival
Nov. 7-17, 2024
https://www.corkfilmfest.org/

Image courtesy of Cork International Film Festival.
Image courtesy of Cork International Film Festival.

The Cork International Film Festival is an annual event that has been an integral part of Cork City’s cultural scene since its inception in 1956.

The festival is a showcase of Irish film productions, with an eclectic mix of big-budget films, world cinema, independent movies, documentaries, and short films from across the globe.

Cork Midsummer Festival
Cork City Hall, Anglesea Street, Cork
June 13-23, 2024 

https://www.corkmidsummer.com/

This festival includes 11 days of theatre, literature, dance, circus, and visual arts events.

“Gaia” at St. Colman's Cathedral, Cobh, which was part of the Cork Midsummer Festival 2022. Photo: Jed Niezgoda, www.jedniezgoda.com.
“Gaia” at St. Colman's Cathedral, Cobh, which was part of the Cork Midsummer Festival 2022. Photo: Jed Niezgoda, www.jedniezgoda.com.

Guinness Kinsale Jazz Fringe Festival
Kinsale, Co. Cork
Oct. 25-29, 2024
https://www.purecork.ie/whats-on/11141730/

An offshoot of the larger, more well-known Cork Jazz Festival, this one is equally enjoyable for jazz lovers. Events take place across Kinsale in at least 20 separate venues.

Photo: yurakrasil
Photo: yurakrasil

Given that the event is staged around Halloween, there is generally a scary theme to it all, making it an event that everyone can enjoy.

Indiependence Festival
Mitchelstown, Co. Cork
August 2024 (dates to be released)
https://indiependencefestival.com/

Considered by fans to be the best boutique festival in Ireland, the Indiependence Festival features a diverse range of performers and genres. Tickets for next year’s event are already on sale.

Kinsale Gourmet Festival
Kinsale, Co. Cork
October, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://kinsalegoodfoodcircle.ie/festivals-events

A colorful building in Kinsale. Photo: Tim Thompson for Tourism Ireland.
A colorful building in Kinsale. Photo: Tim Thompson for Tourism Ireland.

Sponsored by the Kinsale Good Food Circle, a collaboration of local restaurants, the Kinsale Gourmet Festival usually kicks off with a champagne reception at Actons Hotel in Kinsale.

This popular food festival gives visitors the chance to sample local seafood, as well as products sourced from local farmers.

The festival also includes the Mad Hatters Taste of Kinsale walking tour, where participants are escorted to all 11 of Kinsale’s Good Food Circle restaurants.

Expect to see spectacular cooking displays and taste some of Kinsale's finest fare.

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Skibbereen Arts Festival
All across the town of Skibbereen, Co. Cork
July 26 – Aug. 5, 2024
http://www.skibbereenartsfestival.com/

The whole town comes alive with art, music, theater, film, lectures, workshops, and a big street party.

High Street in Skibbereen, Co. Cork. Photo: Jonathan Billinger, CC BY-SA 2.0,
High Street in Skibbereen, Co. Cork. Photo: Jonathan Billinger, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33791733

The Guinness Jazz Festival Cork
Venues throughout the city
October 24-28, 2024
https://guinnesscorkjazz.com/

The Cork Jazz Festival is the largest in Europe. Photo courtesy Tourism Ireland.
The Cork Jazz Festival is the largest in Europe. Photo courtesy Tourism Ireland.

This is Ireland’s largest jazz festival, attracting fans from across Europe and around the world. It is also at the top of the annual festivals in Ireland list.

Approximately 1,000 musicians are expected to perform at over 80 venues at this year's 45th annual event.

The Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival
Cape Clear Island, Co. Cork
September 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://capeclearstorytelling.com/

The beautiful Cape Clear is off the coast of Co. Cork, where the storytelling festival is held each year. Photo Chris Hill for Tourism Ireland.
The beautiful Cape Clear is off the coast of Co. Cork, where the storytelling festival is held each year. Photo Chris Hill for Tourism Ireland.

The festival, held annually on the beautiful Cape Clear Island since 1994, is world-renowned as the top event in Ireland for keeping the Irish tradition of storytelling alive. It usually includes a combination of live and online events.

Derry

Carnival of Colours
Waterloo House, 44a-48a Waterloo Street, Derry
August 2024 (dates to be announced)
http://www.inyourspaceni.org/carnival

Expect to experience lots of fun at this annual event that includes a circus and street theater show. All events take place in the heart of Derry. FREE

Derry Halloween
Events throughout the city
October 2024 (dates to be announceds)
http://derryhalloween.com/

children on street annual festivals in Ireland
Lots of fun to be had at Derry's extravagant Halloween celebrations. Photo courtesy Tourism Northern Ireland.

You haven’t experienced Halloween until you come to Derry.

For three nights leading up to Oct. 31st, the city takes visitors and locals alike on an illuminated animation trail throughout its historic City Walls, incorporating a variety of haunting tales while passing specially decorated windows, making this a true witchy wonderland.

All the action takes place at the City Walls between 6 and 8 p.m. Keep an eye on the website above for more up-to-date information. FREE

Portstewart Community Red Sails Festival
The Crescent, Portstewart, Co. Derry
July 21-27, 2024
https://www.portstewartca.org/red-sails

The beach at Portstewart is a great spot to visit during the summer months and where the Red Sails Festival takes place. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.
The beach at Portstewart is a great spot to visit during the summer months and where the Red Sails Festival takes place. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.

This annual event, which usually takes place every year in the beautiful coastal town of Portstewart, includes a host of family events as well as storytelling, music, games, Victorian-themed workshops, sand sculpture making, pavement art, and more.    FREE

Seamus Heaney HomePlace
Bellaghy, Co. Derry
Ongoing Events throughout the year
http://seamusheaneyhome.com/

The Seamus Heaney Homeplace museum in Bellaghy, Co. Derry. Photo courtesy Tourism Northern Ireland.
The Seamus Heaney Homeplace museum in Bellaghy, Co. Derry. Photo courtesy Tourism Northern Ireland.

Dedicated to the life and work of Nobel Laureate and Bellaghy native Seamus Heaney, the museum was developed by the Mid Ulster District Council.

It is a purpose-built arts and literary center that includes a variety of exhibitions as well as various events throughout the year.

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Donegal

Allingham Arts Festival
Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
The Abbey Arts Centre and pubs around town
November, 2024 (dates to be announced)
http://www.allinghamfestival.com/

This is a community arts festival that takes place in Ballyshannon each November.

It is dedicated to the poet William Allingham, who was born in Ballyshannon in 1824.

Expect to see a variety of live and virtual offerings at this year's event.

A Taste of Inishowen Food Festival
Inishowen, Co. Donegal
August 2024 (dates to be announced)

http://www.clonmanyshow.com/

Held in conjunction with the Clonmany Agricultural Show, this food festival includes food demonstrations and more for the whole family.

Ballyshannon Folk & Traditional Music Festival
Across Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
Aug. 1-4 2024 
http://ballyshannonfolkfestival.com/

This is the oldest festival of its genre in the world coming from Ireland's oldest town.

The town of Ballyshannon in Co. Donegal.
The town of Ballyshannon in Co. Donegal. Photo: Andreas F. Borchert, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23300912

The great guitarist Rory Gallagher was born in Ballyshannon. Over 3 days, enjoy many of Ireland’s leading blues performers on the stage. Street busking, afternoon Blues sessions and nightly gigs at venues across Ballyshannon are all part of the fun.

Cup of Tae Festival
Ardara, Co. Donegal
End of April/Beginning of May, 2024 (dates to be announced) 
https://cupoftaefestival.com/

Held in Ardara, this small-scale festival takes its unique name from local musician John “The Tae” Gallagher.

Expect trad sessions in local pubs and a music summer school, with workshops for flute, whistle, accordion, and piano players, as well as voice lessons.

The small town of Ardara in County Donegal, which hosts The Cup of Tae Festival. Photo: Martin Fleming, Failte Ireland.
The small town of Ardara in County Donegal, which hosts The Cup of Tae Festival. Photo: Martin Fleming, Failte Ireland.

The festival concentrates on the Donegal style of fiddle playing.

This festival is not just for musicians, though. Anyone can enjoy it, especially the memorable sessions in Ardara’s pubs.

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Dunfanaghy Jazz & Blues Festival
Arnold's Hotel, Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal
September 2024 (dates to be announced)
www.facebook.com/dunfanaghymusicfestival

The popular Dunfanaghy Jazz & Blues Festival features 60+ bands from around Ireland and across the world.

Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal
Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal. Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/63035483@N06/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Earagail Arts Festival
In Various Places Around the County
July 13-28, 2024
www.eaf.ie

This bilingual festival (in both Irish and English) is billed as Donegal’s premier summer festival along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Orson Sterritt and his circus show ‘The Adventures of The Exotic Dr. Proctor” performs on The Green in Malin, part of the Earagail Arts Festival’s entertainment lineup. Photo: Donna El Assaad, courtesy of the Earagail Arts Festival Company Limited.
Orson Sterritt and his circus show ‘The Adventures of The Exotic Dr. Proctor” performs on The Green in Malin, part of the Earagail Arts Festival’s entertainment lineup. Photo: Donna El Assaad, courtesy of the Earagail Arts Festival Company Limited.

The festival usually includes lots of family-friendly events and a strong showing of alternative music and visual arts, as well as circus and theater programs from Ireland and abroad.

Events are held in various places across the county, including Arranmore Island, Letterkenny, and Malin Head, to name a few.

Inishowen International Folk Song and Ballad Seminar
Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal
March 22-25, 2024
https://inishowensinging.ie/

This 4-day festival consists of traditional singing performances, sessions, workshops, and lectures, all taking place in the villages of Ballyliffin, Dumfries, and Clonmany on the Inishowen Peninsula.

The event is organized by the Inishowen Traditional Singers Circle, which has been involved in a special project of collecting and archiving material related to traditional singing.

Irish Aerial Dance Fest
Aura Leisure Centre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
July 15-28, 2024
https://irishaerialdancefest.com/

If you’ve always wanted to be a circus performer, then these classes will give you an introduction.

Run by Fidget Feet, an aerial circus company that returns to Letterkenny annually to provide lessons to beginners, you’ll find everything from one-day taster sessions to full two-week programs.

The one-day sessions focus on getting acquainted with the trapeze, cloud swing, rope, and wall-running skills.

Mary from Dungloe International Arts Festival
Dungloe, Co. Donegal
July 27-August, 5, 2024
https://www.maryfromdungloe.ie/

Donegal native and performer Daniel O'Donnell with the 2022 winner of the Mary of Dungloe Contest, Caitlin Finn. Photo courtesy of Mary from Dungloe International Arts Festival Facebook.
Donegal native and performer Daniel O'Donnell with the 2022 winner of the Mary of Dungloe Contest, Caitlin Finn. Photo courtesy of Mary from Dungloe International Arts Festival Facebook.

A popular music and arts festival that has been hosted by the town of Dungloe for the past 50 years.

Women from several counties across Ireland, as well as from the U.S., Australia, the U.K., and Spain participate.

The festival takes its name from the famous song, “Mary from Dungloe.”

The event is a combination of street food, chef masterclasses, producer stories, entertainment, and lots more.

Sign up for Wifi Candy to Get Wifi While Traveling in Ireland – take 10% off with code IOB2024

Rory Gallagher International Festival
Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
May 30-June 2, 2024
https://www.rorygallagherfestival.com/

This four-day festival is dedicated to the life and music of rock guitarist Rory Gallagher, who was born in Ballyshannon in 1948.

Thousands of fans from around Ireland and across the world usually converge on the town to listen to 25 hours of free open-air concerts and pub gigs throughout Ballyshannon.

The 2023 festival will mark the event's 19th year.  FREE

Down

Footsteps in the Forest Festival
Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Co. Down
October 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.visitmournemountains.co.uk/whats-on/footsteps-in-the-forest-p795281

Fairy houses in Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Co. Armagh. Photo: Nagalski
Fairy houses in Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Co. Armagh. Photo: Nagalski

This annual walking festival celebrates the ancient traditions that mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter through a magical living storybook tour.

The AMGEN Irish Open Golf Championship 2024
The Royal County Down Golf Course, Newcastle. Co. Down
Sept. 12-15, 2024
https://www.europeantour.com/dpworld-tour/horizon-irish-open-2024/tickets-packages/

The Royal County Down Golf Course. Photo courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland.
The Royal County Down Golf Course. Photo courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland.

This is one of the biggest events on the golfing calendar in Ireland.

Open House Festival
2 Queens Parade, Bangor, Co. Down
August 2024 (no dates yet available)
https://www.openhousefestival.com/

This is the only month-long festival to take place on the island of Ireland.

Crowds sit on the lawn at Bangor Castle in County Down, the site of the Open House Festival, one of the popular annual festivals in Ireland worth attending. Photo: @Steven Dalgliesh @Open House Festival for Tourism Northern Ireland.
Crowds sit on the lawn at Bangor Castle in County Down, the site of the Open House Festival, one of the popular annual festivals in Ireland worth attending. Photo: @Steven Dalgliesh @Open House Festival for Tourism Northern Ireland.

Held in the beautiful seaside town of Bangor in County Down, this year's festival included a series of live events in the Bangor Castle Walled Garden, Free Music in Ward Park, Seaside Revival, the free vintage festival within a festival, plus a host of food events in restaurants across the town.

Folk on a Boat and Island Picnic also made a return to this year’s lineup, as well as the sold-out show, Snow Patrol Acoustic on the Bangor seafront.

Dublin

A Taste of Dublin
Iveagh Gardens, Dublin
June, 2024 (dates not yet released)
https://tasteofdublin.ie/


For 4 days in June each year, Dublin becomes a foodie paradise.

Pictured at the opening Taste of Dublin event held in the city’s Iveagh Gardens. Photo: Nic Mac Innes for Tourism Ireland.
Pictured at the opening Taste of Dublin event held in the city’s Iveagh Gardens. Photo: Nic Mac Innes for Tourism Ireland.

The event features some of the city’s top restaurateurs, as well as several specialty and artisan food producers.

Sample food from top restaurants or hone your skills at the many chef demonstrations available. Tickets are now on sale at the website listed above.

Bloomsday Festival
Different locations around Dublin
June 16, 2024
http://www.bloomsdayfestival.ie/

The Bloomsday Festival is an annual celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the events of which take place in Dublin on June 16, 1904.

The name is inspired by the main character, Leopold Bloom.

Dressed up in period costume for Bloomsday. Photo courtesy Tourism Ireland.
Dressed up in period costume for Bloomsday. Photo courtesy Tourism Ireland.

Events include lectures, readings, workshops, and walking tours.

Favorite places to visit include Martello Tower in Sandycove, Sweney's Chemist on Lincoln Place, Glasnevin Cemetery, and Davy Byrne's Pub on Duke Street.

The James Joyce Centre runs a special tour on the day of the event.

But you don't have to be in Dublin in June to learn about Joyce's contribution to the city. Check out the website for more information on various tours throughout the year.

Read More: James Joyce's Ulysses Novel Turns 100 Years Old

Bram Stoker Festival
Throughout Dublin City Center
Oct. 25-28, 2024
https://bramstokerfestival.com/

A costumed character at the Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin. Photo: Tourism Ireland.
A costumed character at the Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

What could be more exciting than a Dracula-themed event, especially at Halloween?

The Bram Stoker Festival, which takes place each October in Dublin, celebrates author Bram Stoker.

The Dublin native’s most celebrated novel was of course “Dracula.”

Christ Church Cathedral – O Holy Night – A Concert of Seasonal Favorites
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
December 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://christchurchcathedral.ie/whats-on/month/2023-12/

Experience the true spirit of the Christmas holiday season by hearing Christmas carols sung by the renowned choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.

The section in the Christ Church Cathedral Dublin where its choir performs throughout the year and during the holiday season. Photo: Jennifer Boyer,
The section in the Christ Church Cathedral Dublin where its choir performs throughout the year and during the holiday season. Photo: Jennifer Boyer, https://www.flickr.com/photos/jenniferboyer/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The one-hour performances will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 7, and Thursday, Dec. 8 from 6-8:30 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets, which sell out fast, so be sure to book well in advance. They usually cost around €25 per person.

Dalkey Book Festival
Takes place in pubs, cafes, shops, schools, and the local town hall
June 13-16, 2024 
http://www.dalkeybookfestival.org/

The village of Dalkey in Co. Dublin. Photo: Picasa for Failte Ireland.
The village of Dalkey in Co. Dublin. Photo: Picasa for Failte Ireland.

The Dalkey Book Festival is an annual literature festival held in Dalkey, a seaside town outside Dublin's city center, that spans four days in June.

The festival includes 60+ events celebrating Irish and international writing. The festival plays host to internationally renowned writers, including Booker Prize winners.

Take a look at the 2022 program to get an idea of the caliber of presenters at this popular event.

Dublin Bowie Festival
Venues Around Dublin
Feb. 7-11, 2024 
https://www.facebook.com/dublinbowiefestival/

This unique festival celebrates the legacy of David Bowie with a week-long series of live performances, art exhibitions, and film screenings.

Follow the festival’s Facebook page for updates and details on tickets.

Dublin Dance Festival
Across the City of Dublin
May 14-26, 2024
https://www.dublindancefestival.ie/

The Dublin Dance Festival brings artists and choreographers from around the world to Dublin’s streets with a program of contemporary dance events.

A performance at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin, part of the Dublin Dance Festival's lineup of events. Photo: Dublin Dance Festival Facebook.
A performance at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin, part of the Dublin Dance Festival's lineup of events. Photo: Dublin Dance Festival Facebook.

Expect performances, workshops, discussions, symposia, exhibitions, film screenings, and more to take place across the city.

Street events, largely in Merrion Square Park, are a popular part of the festival.

Dublin Festival of History
In various places around Dublin
Sept. 27-Oct. 13, 2024
https://dublinfestivalofhistory.ie/

This is an annual festival organized by Dublin City Libraries in partnership with the Dublin City Council Culture Company that provides a fresh perspective on history and its importance in everyday lives.

A discussion led by representatives of the Dublin Festival of History. Photo: Dublin Festival of History Facebook.
A discussion led by representatives of the Dublin Festival of History. Photo: Dublin Festival of History Facebook.

The festival, with its more than 130 free in-person and online events, attracts Irish and international historians.

Read More: The Best Time to Visit Dublin

Dublin Fringe Festival
In various places around Dublin
September 7-22, 2024
https://www.fringefest.com/

This annual celebration, on the list of annual festivals in Ireland, attracts over 30,000 people each year.

The Grattan Bridge in Dublin. Photo: littleny for Getty Images Pro.
The Grattan Bridge in Dublin. Photo: littleny for Getty Images Pro.

The 16-day event focuses on new and emerging artists, with entertainment in the form of dance, theater, live art,  visual art, and music. Expect to see 430 artists perform at this popular festival.

Dublin Pride Festival
Venues across Dublin
June 28-30, 2024 

The city celebrates LGBT life with a lively 10-day program of events that culminates in a huge parade on the streets of Dublin.

Scenes from the Dublin Pride Parade. Photo: William Murphy,
Scenes from the Dublin Pride Parade. Photo: William Murphy, https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Expect music, art, film, workshops, and a range of special events, including the Pride Run and Picnic in the Park, both held in the Phoenix Park.

There are also several social events in the evenings centered around The George and Panti Bar, a popular gay venue in the city.

Dublin Theatre Festival
September-October, 2024 (exact dates to be announced at the end of July)
https://dublintheatrefestival.ie/

This festival takes place in 20 venues across the city, including the famous Abbey Theatre, the Gate Theatre, the Samuel Beckett Theatre, and more.

The Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Photo:
The Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjaglin/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

It showcases the best of Irish theatre alongside exceptional international works. This year it will include 17 world premieres.

Howth Roots and Blues Festival
August 9-11, 2024 
https://www.howthrootsandblues.com/

The Howth Roots and Blues Festival is a 100% free music festival in Howth showcasing the best in Irish roots and blues artists.

An aerial view of Howth Harbour.
An aerial view of Howth Harbour. Photo: By Robert Linsdell from St. Andrews, Canada – Howth Harbour, Co. Fingal (506148), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68848801

The festival caters to fans of Blues, R&B, Country, Bluegrass, Americana, and Reggae. This year's lineup includes 35 free gigs across six venues around the village and Hill of Howth in a packed schedule that also includes two ticketed headline shows. Headlining this year is Dom Martin and Band, a Blues Instrumentalist of the Year for the past two years at the UK Blues Awards, as well as singer-songwriter Jack O’Rourke who will be performing a candlelit concert at St. Mary’s Church at the gates of Howth Castle. MOSTLY FREE.

Féile Binn Éadair (formerly known as the Howth Tradfest)
May 24-26, 2024
https://www.feilebinneadair.com/

Daoirí Farrell, one of the performers who played in the 2023 Féile Binn Éadair festival in Howth. Photo courtesy of Féile Binn Éadair.
Daoirí Farrell, one of the performers who played in the 2023 Féile Binn Éadair festival in Howth. Photo courtesy of Féile Binn Éadair.

Enjoy over 20 free gigs at this Irish music event. The festival is being compared to Ireland's popular Electric Picnic festival but without the admission fee. 

International Literature Festival Dublin
May 17-26, 2024
Around the village of Howth
https://ilfdublin.com/

The International Literature Festival Dublin is Ireland’s leading literary event, bringing together the world’s finest writers since 1998 for readings, conversations, debates, screenings, guided walks, and more.

New Year's Festival Dublin
Dublin City Center
December each year
http://nyfdublin.com/

Costumed performers officially launch Dublin's New Year's Eve Festival. Photo courtesy Failte Ireland.
Costumed performers officially launch Dublin's New Year's Eve Festival. Photo courtesy Failte Ireland.

This two-day festival is not your ordinary New Year's Eve party.

It is, in fact, a celebration of Ireland's culture across the centuries, including musical and dance performances, art and design exhibits, and more.

The party gets rolling on New Year's Eve with an open-air concert and a special event called the “Procession of Light.”

Proceeds from the sale of lanterns go to Focus Ireland, a non-profit providing services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Open House Dublin
Venues across the city
Oct. 12-20, 2024
https://openhousedublin.com/

This is Ireland’s biggest architectural festival that includes free admission to specific buildings in the city over the space of a weekend.

Many of the buildings are not regularly open to the public.

They include private homes and parts of the city's university and public buildings.

Collins Barracks in Dublin is one of the buildings that you can tour as part of the Open House Dublin initiative. Photo courtesy of Alan Byrne, AB Tours.
Collins Barracks in Dublin is one of the buildings that you can tour as part of the Open House Dublin initiative. Photo courtesy of Alan Byrne, AB Tours.

Pre-booking is essential. Guided tours are provided by experts and enthusiasts, including architects, planners, students, and the people who live in the buildings.

Expect lectures as well as guided walking, cycling, and Luas tours exploring the architecture along various commuter routes in Dublin.

An Open House Junior is available for children as young as 5. FREE

The Dublin Horse Show

The RDS (Royal Dublin Society), Ballsbridge, Dublin
Aug. 14-18, 2024
https://www.dublinhorseshow.com/

Horse jumping at the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS, one of the popular sports-related annual festivals in Ireland. Photo: Failte Ireland.
Horse jumping at the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS, one of the popular sports-related annual festivals in Ireland. Photo: Failte Ireland.

The Dublin Horse Show is one of the city’s iconic events and a five-day celebration of Ireland’s affinity with the horse.

In addition to the superb showjumping competitions, visitors can enjoy live musical entertainment and food offerings in the showground’s restaurants, bars, and cafes.

There's lots of children’s fun in the form of pony rides and a Kids’ Zone area, as well as shopping and people watching of course, too!

Meatopia
Guinness Open Gate Brewery
July, 2024 (dates to be released) 
https://dublin.ie/whats-on/listings/guinness-x-meatopia/

building Guinness storehouse
The exterior of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Photo: Tara Morgan for Tourism Ireland.

A mix of local and international chefs, along with brewers from the infamous St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin come together to create signature dishes and beers for this signature event.

St. Patrick's Day Festival
Dublin City Center
March 16-20, 2024
https://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/

people walking on street annual festivals in Ireland
A scene from the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

For four days, the city hosts a wide range of events, including exhibitions, talks, a number of themed walks, music shows, a craft brew and food fair, the official “greening” of Dublin, and a colorful parade that represents the many different facets of modern Ireland.

This is a St. Patrick's Day celebration not to be missed and is on the top of the annual festivals in Ireland list! MANY FREE EVENTS

Temple Bar TradFest
Temple Bar, Dublin
Jan. 24-28, 2024
https://tradfest.com/

What started out as a small traditional Irish music festival in 2006 has now become a much bigger celebration of traditional, folk, nu-folk, and rock ‘n roll.

The popular Temple Bar pub in Dublin. Photo courtesy DRTA for Tourism Ireland.
The popular Temple Bar pub in Dublin. Photo courtesy DRTA for Tourism Ireland.

Headline concerts take place in some of Dublin's iconic venues, including Kilmainham Gaol and City Hall, free concerts in intimate settings, and free late-night club sessions featuring the best up-and-comers on the Irish trad scene.

The festival also includes “TradFringe,” which includes a taste trail, exhibitions, film screenings, workshops, masterclasses, and more. If you're an Irish music fan, don't miss this one next year! FREE

The Big Grill Festival
Herbert Park, Dublin 4
Aug. 22-25, 2024
https://www.biggrillfestival.com/

This is Europe's biggest BBQ festival with over 20 restaurants participating.

No gas or electricity is allowed. Chefs must cook with live fire using natural charcoal and wood only.

Fermanagh

Fermanagh County Show 
Castle Irvine Estate, Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh
August, 2024 (dates to be released)

https://fermanaghcountyshow.com/

A popular agricultural show that highlights food, technology and innovation in farming and other rural industries. Find out more at the website above.

Read More: What is Fermanagh Famous For? Its Lakes, Waterways, and Ancient Heritage

Galway

Baboró: International Arts Festival for Children
Various events across Galway City
Oct. 11-20, 2024 (dates to be confirmed) 
https://www.baboro.ie/

This Galway festival is for children and includes music, dance, theater, literature, film, puppetry, storytelling and visual arts workshops, performances, discussions, and exhibitions running across many venues in Galway City.

Photo: Baboró International Arts Festival for Children Facebook.
Photo: Baboró International Arts Festival for Children Facebook.

Suitable for kids ages 3 to 16. Be sure to click on the website above to see the depth and range of programming that is on offer.

Clifden Arts Festival
Various locations around Clifden
September 12-22, 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
https://www.clifdenartsfestival.ie/

This is the longest-running community arts festival in Ireland and includes visual art content, music sessions, poetry readings, historical walking tours, lectures, and much more.

Clifden, Co. Galway is the location for the Clifden Arts Festival, one of the popular annual festivals in Ireland that is fun for all. Photo: Chris Hill.
Clifden, Co. Galway is the location for the Clifden Arts Festival, one of the popular annual festivals in Ireland that is fun for all. Photo: Chris Hill.

The festival usually includes creative writing, music, theatre, and film workshops and performances taking place in the local schools throughout the festival.

Galway Comedy Festival
Galway City
Oct. 22-28, 2024
https://www.galwaycomedyfestival.ie/

This festival is a major event on the comedy circuit in Ireland, attracting Irish talent as well as big international stars.

Each night’s program is rounded up with a late-night festival club in the veranda lounge of the Galmont Hotel & Spa. Plenty of entertainment in Galway’s pubs and other venues across the city during this festival week.

Galway Film Fleadh
July 9-14, 2024
https://www.galwayfilmfleadh.com/

This annual film festival was founded in 1989 as a platform for Irish filmmakers to exhibit their work to peers.

An audience in the Pálás Cinema during the Galway Film Fleadh. Photo: Harry Bo, Failte Ireland.
An audience in the Pálás Cinema during the Galway Film Fleadh. Photo: Harry Bo, Failte Ireland.

The festival serves as a platform for showcasing the boldest new films and bringing audiences and filmmakers together to celebrate them.

Galway International Arts Festival
Events happening throughout the city
July 15-28, 2024
https://www.giaf.ie/

Scenes from a parade during the Galway International Arts Festival. Photo: Tourism Ireland.
Scenes from a parade during the Galway International Arts Festival. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

There’s really something for everyone at this event, including film and theater showings, music, art exhibitions, talks, street entertainment, and more.

In 2017, the Guardian newspaper named the event one of the “Top 5 Festivals in Europe.”

Take a Trip to Ireland with Aer Lingus Vacations – See its latest discounted deals

Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival
Festival Marquee, Nimmo’s Pier, Galway City Center
Sept. 27-29, 2024
https://galwayoysterfestival.com/

a man handling oysters in front of people the best in Irish food
Oyster shucking at the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

This is the oldest oyster festival in the world and one of Europe’s longest-running food extravaganzas.

The Times of London called it “one of the 12 greatest shows on earth.”

In previous years, it was held at the popular Paddy Burke’s Bar in Clarenbridge, about 10 miles from Galway City Center, where the festival was moved in the 1980s.

a plate of oysters annual festivals in Ireland
Photo: talynshererphoto for Getty Images.

Festival events include the Opening Night, the World Oyster Open Championship competition, which is the highlight of the festival, the Party of Champions, as well as Féile Bia Na Mara – Wild Atlantic Taste.

Most of the festivities will take place in the festival marquee at Nimmo's Pier.

Galway Theatre Festival
April 26-May, 4, 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
https://galwaytheatrefestival.com/

Photo courtesy of Galway Theatre Festival Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Galway Theatre Festival Facebook.

The Galway Theatre Festival was established in 2018 as a platform for independent and emerging artists in Galway City and the entire West of Ireland.

The festival also hosts an exciting lineup of young theater companies and artists from across Ireland.

Loughrea Medieval Festival
Various locations across the town of Loughrea, Co. Galway
August 23-25, 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
https://www.facebook.com/loughreamedievalfestival/

The award-winning Loughrea Medieval Festival is a fun and educational free event for all the family.

a man banging a hammer on a helmet annual festivals in Ireland
A recreation of the skills used during medieval times in Ireland is just one of the activities that you can see at the popular Loughrea Medieval Festival. Photo courtesy of Loughrea Medieval Festival Facebook.

Includes lots of children’s activities, music, food demos, craft demos, short films, a conference, a medieval musical concert, and more. FREE

TedFest
Inishmore, Aran Islands, Co. Galway
March 7-10, 2024
http://www.tedfest.org/

TedFest, otherwise known as the Friends of Ted Festival, is an annual fan convention held each year on Inishmore island, part of the Aran Islands.

an aerial view of fields annual festivals in Ireland
An aerial view of Inishmore, the largest island of the Aran Islands. Photo: Chris Hill, Tourism Ireland.

It is specifically for fans of the Channel 4 comedy Father Ted.

The show was set on the fictional Craggy Island and followed the lives of three priests.

You can purchase tickets by going to the TedFest website.

The Galway Races Summer Festival
Ballybrit Racecourse
July 29-Aug. 4, 2024
https://galwayraces.com/summer-festival-2021/

This is another one of Galway's major events of the year and also tops the list of popular annual festivals in Ireland.

The annual Galway Races are a major event that attracts thousands of tourists and locals each year. Photo: Tourism Ireland.
The annual Galway Races are a major event that attracts thousands of tourists and locals each year. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

It is, in fact, one of the longest race meets of any horse racing festival in Ireland.

Take the Great Tour of Ireland with TourRadar Tours (starts and ends in Dublin)

Kerry

Dingle Peninsula Food & Wine Festival
Dingle, Co. Kerry

Oct. 4-6, 2024
https://www.dinglefood.com/

cake annual festivals in Ireland
Some of the delicious fare that's available at the Dingle Food and Wine Festival. PhotoA: Valerie O'Sullivan, Failte Ireland.

Highlights of this very popular festival include a combination of cookery demonstrations, workshops, a craft beer and cider trail, a farmer's forum, street entertainment, a taste trail, over 50 market stalls, children's events, wine tastings, and more.

Kerry International Film Festival
Killarney, Co. Kerry
Oct. 17-20 2024
https://kerryfilmfestival.com/

This popular film festival celebrates its 24th edition this year across a number of venues in Killarney and alongside a bespoke KIFF screening in Dingle.

Actress Jane Seymour at the Kerry International Film Festival. Photo: Kerry International Film Festival Facebook.
Actress Jane Seymour at the Kerry International Film Festival. Photo: Kerry International Film Festival Facebook.

This in-person festival includes over 30+ events, including a curated program of short films, family-friendly screenings, the best in new Irish cinema, and a host of industry-expert talks throughout the weekend.

Listowel Food Fair

Listowel, Co. Kerry
November, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.listowel.ie/event/listowel-food-fair-2021-2/

Photo courtesy of Listowel Food Fair Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Listowel Food Fair Facebook.

This is the longest-running food festival in Ireland, established in 1995.

Seminars, tastings, and cookery demonstrations are among the events at this popular event in the town of Listowel, which aims to heighten awareness of the range and quality of food in County Kerry.

Listowel Writers Week
Listowel, Co. Kerry
May 29-June 2, 2024
https://writersweek.ie/

The Listowel Writers’ Week event is Ireland’s oldest literary and arts festival. Writing in all genres is promoted. Writers and readers are encouraged to come together to celebrate the written word.

Other Voices
Dingle, Co. Kerry

December 2024 (dates not available)
https://www.othervoices.ie/events/other-voices-dingle-2022

a group of houses near the water annual festivals in Ireland
A view of the colorful town of Dingle from the sea. Photo: bkmm for Getty Images Pro.

Enjoy an incredible weekend of music from across the Dingle Peninsula. The event will be streamed live from St. James Church in Dingle and will be available on the Other Voices YouTube channel and across its other social media channels. FREE

Puck Fair
Killorglin, Co. Kerry
Aug. 10-12, 2024 
https://puckfair.ie/

The Puck Fair is one of the oldest fairs in Ireland. It takes place each year on the 10th, 11th, and 12th of August.

a girl kissing a goat annual festivals in Ireland
The Queen of Puck kisses the newly crowned goat. Photo courtesy Failte Ireland.

Each year, a wild goat is caught and brought back to town, where the “Queen of Puck,” usually a local schoolgirl, crowns the goat, “King Puck.”

This happens on the first day of the festival and is known as “The Gathering.”

The second day of the Puck Fair is known as the “Fair Day” and the third day is when the goat is released from its cage.

The Rose of Tralee International Festival
Events throughout the town of Tralee, Co. Kerry
August 16-20, 2024
https://www.roseoftralee.ie/

This is, by far, the mother of all festivals in Ireland.

What started as a humble celebration in the town of Tralee in 1959 has blossomed into a major international festival, attracting contestants and visitors from all over Ireland and around the world.

girls on a street laughing annual festivals in Ireland
Two Roses having fun during the Rose of Tralee International Festival. Photo: Dominic Walsh @ Eye Focus Ltd. For Failte Ireland

The festival’s main venue is the Dome, where the crowning of the Rose takes place.

Other events throughout the week include an “80s Night” disco, also in the Dome, and an array of street entertainment, a street market, as well as other entertainment.

Wander Wild Festival
Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry
March 22-24, 2024
https://wanderwildfestival.com/

Sunrise Morning Glory...Paloma Bayley and Liesbeth McCarthy, relaxing after their charity sunrise swim in Muckross Lake, Killarney National Park, in aid of Kerry Mountain Rescue Team, at the 2022 Wander Wild Outdoor Festival, Killarney. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan/FREE PIC***
Sunrise Morning Glory…Paloma Bayley and Liesbeth McCarthy, relaxing after their charity sunrise swim in Muckross Lake, Killarney National Park, in aid of Kerry Mountain Rescue Team, at the 2022 Wander Wild Outdoor Festival, Killarney. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan/FREE PIC***

An adventure and wellness festival set in the lakes and mountains of the 25,000-acre UNESCO Killarney National Park.

The event has doubled in scale this year with a host of outdoor events for the body, mind, and soul.

Kildare

Punchestown Racing Festival
Punchestown Race Course, Naas, Co. Kildare
April 30-May 4, 2024
https://punchestown.com/

This is one of Ireland's most popular racing festivals, with lots of entertainment for all ages, including plenty of racing to enjoy.

If you don't make it to the festival's other events, be sure to attend the final day, also known as the Ballymore Family Festival Day.

Other events include the Champion Chase, the Gold Cup, and the Champion Hurdle. The organizers say that “old races are hotly contested as old scores from the previous month’s Cheltenham Festival are settled.”

The Irish Derby

The Curragh Racecourse, Co. Kildare
June 28-30, 2024
https://raceandstay.com/rs_derby.html

an aerial view of a racecourse annual festivals in Ireland
An aerial view of the Curragh Racecourse in County Kildare. Horse racing events are among the popular sports-related annual festivals in Ireland worth attending. Photo: Sonder Visuals for Failte Ireland.

Enjoy a few days at Kildare's Curragh Racecourse, including Derby Day, which is the biggest day on the Irish racing calendar and when the world's best thoroughbreds come to compete.

Even if you don't dress up for the event, it's fun to watch not only the racing but the fashion as well!

a fountain in a lake annual festivals in Ireland
The K Club where the Irish Open Championship will be played in 2023. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Kilkenny

Kilkenny Arts Festival
Various locations around Kilkenny
August 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.kilkennyarts.ie/

This is the longest-running arts festival in the country.

a river with a castle nearby annual festivals in Ireland
The River Nore in Kilkenny, with Kilkenny Castle in the background. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Expect a range of performances in different genres, including theater, dance, classical music, Irish traditional music, chamber music, and much more.



Booking.com

Laois

Electric Picnic
Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois
August 16-18, 2024
https://www.electricpicnic.ie/

Photo: Tourism Ireland.
Photo: Tourism Ireland.

A popular music and arts festival held in Stradbally Hall in Co. Laois.

This is Ireland’s largest gathering of music and arts.

The Electric Picnic has established itself as one of the world’s most unique festivals, with a great selection of music, art, theatre, and comedy, among other things.

Forest Fest Music Festival
Emo Village, Co. Laois
July 19-21, 2024
https://forestfest.ie/

A unique award-winning Irish music festival showcasing the best of Irish trad and folk. Expect to see an eclectic mix of over 80 artists across four stages.

National Ploughing (Plowing) Championships
Ratheniska, County Laois
Sept. 17-19, 2024
https://www.npa.ie/

The National Ploughing Championships is an outdoor agricultural show that includes a plowing contest.

It is held every September and draws large crowds who come to see the competition and the more than 1,700 exhibitors of farm machinery.


You’ll see horse-drawn and tractor plowing, as well as the chance to witness pole climbing competitions, sheep shearing contests, and much more.  An all-round fun day for all ages.

Old Fort Quarter Festival
Portlaoise, Co. Laois
June, 2024 (dates to be released) 
https://www.facebook.com/oldfortquarter/

The town of Portlaoise turns into a medieval center of importance as the town celebrates its heritage.

children in costume and a dog annual festivals in Ireland
Children dressed up in costume for the Old Fort Quarter Festival in Portlaoise, a 3-day event that normally attracts up to 22,000 people, making it one of the more popular annual festivals in Ireland and more specifically, the country's midlands region. Photo: Old Fort Quarter Festival Facebook.

Part of the celebrations includes a free heritage pub trail, an artisan food market featuring organic offerings from local producers, street theater, games and face painting for children, heritage talks, and more. FREE

Portarlington French Festival
Portarlington, Co. Laois
July 2024 (dates to be announced)
http://portarlington.ie/the-french-festival/

Portarlington's strong French connection makes it the ideal place in Ireland for an annual French festival.

Each July, visitors enjoy a weekend of arts, theater, street entertainment, music, dance, and sporting events, all with a distinctive French flavor.

Among the more interesting events at this fun festival is the International Snail Eating Competition. Lots of French fare to enjoy as well, in addition to a market highlighting local producers.

The Folly Festival
Cullohill Castle, Galesquarter, Co. Laois
July 5th weekend, 2024
http://thefolly.ie/

Considered Ireland's first gender-balanced event, this music, comedy, and culture festival is a fun event for all the family.

Timahoe Heritage Festival: The Vikings Return
Throughout the village of Timahoe, Co. Laois
June 1, 2 2024  
http://timahoeheritagefestival.com/

The basis for this festival comes from the Viking raid on the village in 919 AD.

a round tower and old church annual festivals in Ireland
The round tower in Timahoe was built around the 12th century, several centuries after the Vikings raided the village. The church beside it is a Church of Ireland building constructed in the 19th century. Photo: Keith Ewing, https://www.flickr.com/photos/kewing/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The highlight of the event is a 10-mile (5K) road race called “The March of the Vikings,” following the original route the Vikings most likely took from their fort in nearby Dunrally to the village.

The annual event includes music, storytelling, a crafts fair, a Viking battle reenactment, and much more. FREE

Limerick

Limerick Racecourse
Limerick
Throughout the year
https://www.limerickraces.ie/

horse racing annual festivals in Ireland
Photo courtesy of Limerick Racecourse Facebook.

Limerick Racecourse hosts up to 18 racing fixtures throughout the year, including National Hunt and flat racing. Check the website above for more details on what to see.

Pigtown Limerick
Venues throughout Limerick
September/October 2024 (dates to be announced)
http://pigtown.ie/

To celebrate Limerick’s bacon industry, the city puts on a month-long culture and food series that highlights the great food that is available locally.

a river with buildings nearby annual festivals in Ireland
The city of Limerick hosts another one of the annual festivals in Ireland focused on food. Photo courtesy of Failte Ireland.

The festival includes guided food heritage tours each Saturday during the month of September, which takes in Limerick’s Georgian Quarter, free cookery demos, as well as a number of themed restaurant events.

Louth

Boyne Musical Festival
Drogheda, Co. Louth
July, 2024 (dates to be released)
https://boynemusicfestival.com/

Classical chamber music is the main focus of this popular festival, but there are other things to enjoy too, including poetry readings, exhibitions, lectures, and a series of workshops for children.

All take place at Townley Hall, a beautiful Georgian mansion in the Boyne Valley.

Boyne Valley International Film Festival
Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Co. Louth
Aug. 9-11, 2024
https://filmfreeway.com/BoyneValleyInternationalFilmFestival

A festival that celebrates film in the historic medieval town of Drogheda.

Brigid of Faughart Festival
Dundalk and Faughart, Co. Louth
Jan. 31-Feb. 5, 2024
http://www.brigidoffaughart.ie/

This annual festival celebrates Saint Brigid, Ireland's female patron saint, through a series of lectures, workshops, stories, music, poetry, dance, myth, and more.

A portrait of Saint Brigid by Patrick Joseph Tuohy. Photo: Public Domain.
A portrait of Saint Brigid by Patrick Joseph Tuohy. Photo: Public Domain.

Other festival activities include a guided walk through the landscape of Brigid, as well as St. Brigid’s Cross weaving workshops for children and adults.

Mayo

Achill International Harp Festival
Achill, Co. Mayo
October 2024 (no dates released)
https://www.facebook.com/AchillHarpFestival/

The aim of Achill's Harp Festival is to shine a spotlight on the harp as the most significant symbol of Irish culture in the beautiful surroundings of Achill.

Tuition from festival harpers as well as other leading Irish tutors will be available to suit all levels of harp students.



Climb Croagh Patrick
Murrisk, Co. Mayo
July 30, 2024

If you're up for it and you are interested in carrying on the tradition of climbing “The Reek” (otherwise known as Croagh Patrick, Ireland's Holy Mountain), you'll want to be prepared.

While Saint Patrick is said to have climbed the mountain during the 5th century and fasted at its summit for 40 days and 40 nights, it was also a pagan pilgrimage route, dating as far back as 3,000 BC, when pagans climbed the mountain to celebrate the start of the harvest season.

a mountain annual festivals in Ireland
Croagh Patrick in Co. Mayo, Ireland's Holy Mountain. Photo courtesy of Seamus Keane.

Wear good hiking boots and be prepared for a steep climb in certain places, with plenty of loose stones to contend with as well. The view from the top is well worth it, however. FREE

Siamsa Sraide Festival
Swinford, Co. Mayo
August 2024 (dates to be released)
http://bit.ly/2LgAR44

This is one of the largest street festivals in Co. Mayo.

children playing instruments annual festivals in Ireland
Children busking during the Swinford Siamsa Sráide Festival, one of the annual festivals in Ireland that attracts lovers of Irish music and heritage. Photo: Swinford Siamsa Sráide Facebook.

The 2023 festival celebrated 39 years of “ceól, spraoi, craic agus cómhra” in the town (“music, fun, craic, and conversation”).

A parade, as well as walks, trad sessions, and a ceili, are part of the fun at this popular County Mayo event. FREE



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Meath

The Fairyhouse Easter Festival
Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Co. Meath
March 30-April 1, 2024
https://www.fairyhouse.ie/

Among annual festivals in Ireland, this is a big one. It usually takes place over the Easter holiday and features notable thoroughbred horses from the industry.

It is also the venue for the Irish Grand National, which will take place next year on April 9th.

Lots of music and festivities to be enjoyed at this popular County Meath event.

Winter Solstice
Brú na Boinne complex, Newgrange, Co. Meath
Dec. 21 or 22, 2024
https://heritageireland.ie/2019/12/behind-the-scenes-at-newgrange-at-the-winter-solstice/

a passageway surrounded by rocks Newgrange Visitor Center
The passage tomb at Newgrange. Photo: Brian Morrison for Tourism Ireland.

The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year and is celebrated in several places around Ireland, but most notably at Newgrange in County Meath.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice occurs on either Dec. 21st or 22nd, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn.

For 17 minutes at sunrise, direct sunlight enters the Newgrange monument through a small opening above the entrance known as the “roof box,” thereby illuminating the chamber.

Monaghan

Harvest Time Blues Festival
Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan
September, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.harvestblues.ie/

If you’re a Blues lover, you’ll find plenty to entertain you at this annual County Monaghan festival, one of the popular annual festivals in Ireland.

The festival includes three-act plays that run from 10 p.m. to the wee hours each night of the festival. You’ll also find smaller acoustic sessions in more intimate settings around town.

A Blues Trail offers a varied program of free events as well.

Patrick Kavanagh Weekend
The Patrick Kavanagh Centre
Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan
September 2024 (dates to be announced)

https://patrickkavanaghcentre.com/

people sitting on yellow couches annual festivals in Ireland
The interior of the Patrick Kavanagh Centre. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

This annual weekend of lectures, talks and discussions, workshops, poetry readings, and art exhibitions is a celebration of the life and work of one of Ireland’s most famous and beloved poets, Patrick Kavanagh.

Offaly

Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival
Birr, Co. Offaly
August 2-10, 2024
https://www.birrvintageweek.com/

This year, the town of Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival celebrates its 55th anniversary.

Expect to see vintage cars — everything from fancy Rolls Royce cars to humble motorbikes, carriages, and early tractors — as well as the playing of vintage sports like costumed lawn tennis, croquet, and more.

a blue vintage car annual festivals in Ireland
A vintage car on display at the Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival, one of the popular annual festivals in Ireland worth attending. Photo courtesy of Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival Facebook.

Street entertainment, an antique/fine art fair, fun in the local pubs, and a special program of movies at the local movie theater are all part of this fun weeklong series of events.

Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championships
Birr Castle Gardens, Birr, Co. Offaly
September, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://irishballooningassociation.com/

The Irish ballooning championships event is the longest-running in the world and is not just for balloon enthusiasts.

Anyone can enjoy watching these colorful balloons soar into the air above the beautiful Birr Castle grounds on the 50th anniversary of the competition.

hot air balloons annual festivals in Ireland
Photo: mblach

Ballooning is dependent on the weather and the balloons will only fly if the weather is good.

Roscommon

O’Carolan Harp Festival
Keadue, Co. Roscommon
July/August, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.ocarolanharpfestival.ie/

The O’Carolan Harp Festival, which takes place in Keadue, Co. Roscommon, remembers Turlough O’Carolan, the blind harpist, who died over 250 years ago.

a sculpture on a street annual festivals in Ireland
A statue of the famous blind harpist Turlough O'Carolan in the village of Mohill, Co. Leitrim. Photo: By Sarah777, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15523920

The legendary composer of instrumental harp music and song, he is most famous for creating Carolan’s Concerto.  He is buried in this small village.

Entertainment includes music and theater performances, as well as fun activities for kids.

Táin March Festival
Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon
July, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.rathcroghan.ie/event/tain-march-2023-storytelling-event/

The interior of the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre in Co. Roscommon. Photo: Reblis for Failte Ireland.
The interior of the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre in Co. Roscommon. Photo: Reblis for Failte Ireland.

Celebrate the Táin March Festival 2023 with an even of storytelling, Hear the stories of Queen Maeve, Cúchulainn and An Táin Bó Cuailnge – The Cattle Raid of Cooley, one of Ireland’s an epic tale that will be re-told in all its glory at the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre. Call 071-9639268 or email [email protected] to reserve your spot. Free

Sligo

Black Pig Festival
Enniscrone, Co. Sligo
July, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.facebook.com/EnniscroneEvents/

Inspiration for the Black Pig Festival, held in the seaside village of Enniscrone in Co. Sligo each July, is based on an old legend that tells of a wild boar covered in poisonous bristles that rose from the nearby ocean.

Once the villagers recovered from the initial fright, they ran the boar out of town and killed it in a nearby field.

Thinking the boar was no longer poisonous once dead, one person touched it and died instantly. It was buried soon after, and the mound is still there for all to see.

a pig sculpture annual festivals in Ireland
This sculpture was created by local artist Cillian Rogers and is the mascot for the Black Pig Festival, one of the popular annual festivals in Ireland celebrated in County Sligo. Photo: Owen Doody, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13762767

A sculpture of the boar was created by local artist Cillian Rogers and is situated close to the outskirts of the town.

Entertainment for the four-day festival includes a Black Pig procession, an outdoor funfair, and much more.

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival
July 6-14, 2023 
https://www.cairdefestival.com/

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is billed as “a unique coming together of artists and audiences.” The event, another one of the annual festivals in Ireland, usually includes dance performances, writing workshops, and exhibitions.

Sligo International Summer School Jazz Project
Throughout the town of Sligo
July 23-28, 2024
http://www.sligojazz.ie/

The Sligo Jazz Project is comprised of two parts, a festival, and a school that runs side by side.

The weeklong event also includes performances, workshops, and masterclasses for aspiring and working jazz musicians.

bridge in town over river annual festivals in Ireland
The Garravogue River in Sligo town, with the cathedral in the distance. Photo: Colette Connolly.

Since its creation in 2005, the event has grown to become one of Europe’s most important jazz education events.

Tubbercurry Old Fair Day Festival
Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo
August, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.facebook.com/Tubbercurryoldfairday/

Step back in time and imagine what a fair day might have looked like in rural Ireland.

the wheels of a carriage annual festivals in Ireland
An old carriage from the past is pictured at the 2019 Tubbercurry Old Fair Day event, one of the popular annual festivals in Ireland. Photo: Marie Brouder, the festival's PRO.

This modern-day heritage and craft festival showcases the area’s local heritage traditions, crafts, and various arts-based activities, including agricultural demonstrations, vintage displays, and animals.

Live music and street entertainment are all part of the fun, as well as artisan food stalls, kids' play zones, and more.

Yeats Summer School 
Sligo Town, Co. Sligo
July 11-19, 2024
https://www.yeatssociety.com/yeats-summer-school/

The Yeat’s Summer School, established in 1958, in honor of the poet William Butler Yeats who spent many summers in Sligo, contains a diverse program of lectures, week-long seminars, and drama workshops.

While it might seem academic, there are other events that anyone can enjoy.

a house annual festivals in Ireland
The Yeats Summer School, one of the annual festivals in Ireland worth attending is held in The Yeats Society building in Sligo. Photo: Commons Wikimedia.

The summer school runs in conjunction with the Tread Softly Festival and that event includes theatre, exhibitions, family events, and guided walks in the local area.

Warriors Festival
Strandhill,  County Sligo
August, 2024 (date to be announced) 
https://warriorsrun.ie/

This annual 15-km (9 miles) is not for the faint-hearted.

Expect to start at the Cannon Gun in the seaside town of Strandhill and then make your way up the mountain and around Queen Maeve's cairn at the summit of Knocknarea.

The run finishes at the beachfront.

large stones annual festivals in Ireland
Queen Maeve's Cairn on top of Knocknarea in Co. Sligo. Photo: Baca12 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43138612

Part of the run is on paved runs, but at least 6 kilometers of it includes a 700-foot climb through fields, loose gravel, and unsurfaced, heather-covered paths.

The downward descent is not easy either, with runners traveling over slippery slopes, even in dry weather.

Wild Roots Festival
Hazelwood, Co. Sligo

May 31-June 3, 2024
https://wildroots.ie/

a boat on the water annual festivals in Ireland
Photo courtesy of Wild Roots Music, Performance, Arts. & Adventure Festival Facebook.

Enjoy classical, indie rock, folk, jazz, and pop concerts, combined with yoga workshops, art installations, artisan food offerings, circus dance, and drama events, pop-up shows, and theater productions, all in a beautiful lakeside setting.

Read more here.

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Tipperary

Clonmel Applefest
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Sept. 26-29, 2024
https://www.clonmelapplefest.ie/

Clonmel Applefest celebrates what is genuine and authentic about County Tipperary’s culture and heritage.

This annual festival in Ireland is focused on Clonmel, in particular.

Colorful characters are part of the Clonmel Applefest celebrations. Photo: Clonmel Applefest Facebook.
Colorful characters are part of the Clonmel Applefest celebrations. Photo: Clonmel Applefest Facebook.

The festival began in 2017 with the launch of the “Apple Treasures” project created by local artists.

It explored the history of apple growing and cider making in the Clonmel region.

Lots and lots of activities to enjoy at this annual event, including harvest-related workshops, circus performances, live music, a bakery competition, book readings, and more.

Clonmel Junction Festival
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
June 28-July 7, 2024
https://www.junctionfestival.com/

This multi-disciplinary festival celebrates the town of Clonmel and all the artists who live and work there.

Its focus is on theater, circus, dance, rock, world music, and comedy, among other things.

Photo courtesy of the Clonmel Junction Arts Festival Facebook.
Photo courtesy of the Clonmel Junction Arts Festival Facebook.

In the past, many of the town’s unused shops and offices have been converted into artist spaces for workshops and other arts-related events.

The Common Thread Café grew out of this and is now a permanent fixture in Clonmel.

Artists from the United States, mainland Europe, Scandinavia, and the UK have all performed at this popular festival.

Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival
Dromineer, Co. Tipperary
September/October 2024 (dates to be released)
https://www.facebook.com/DromineerLitFestival/

The historic town of Nenagh and the area around the beautiful Lough Derg is the setting for this popular literature festival.

a round tower annual festivals in Ireland
Nenagh Castle in Co. Tipperary is the setting for one of the annual festivals in Ireland known as the Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival. Photo: Brian Morrison for Tourism Ireland.

Events take place at Nenagh Castle, in the Nenagh District Heritage Centre, and aboard the Ku-Ee-Tu on Lough Derg.

Workshops, poetry writing, and musical performances are also part of the festival's diverse line-up.

Tipperariana Book Fair
Fethard Ballroom, Fethard, Co. Tipperary
Feb. 4, 2024
https://fethard.com/histor/event.html

This is considered Ireland's premier annual book fair, with an affordable admission price of €2 per person.

There is something for every book lover at this popular event, including inexpensive second-hand paperbacks to rare books costing hundreds of euros.

Book dealers from across Ireland come to this event each year.

Waterford

All Together Music Festival
The Curraghmore Estate, Curraghmore, Portlaw, Co. Waterford
Aug. 1-4, 2024
https://www.alltogethernow.ie/

This is usually billed as a sustainable and environmentally-friendly festival.

a large house from the air annual festivals in Ireland
Curraghmore House from the air. The beautiful grounds are the setting for the environmentally-friendly All Together Music Festival, which is among the annual festivals in Ireland growing in popularity. Photo: Failte Ireland.

The event is held in the beautiful Curraghmore House & Gardens, the home of the 9th Marquis of Waterford, and highlights critical issues surrounding climate change, fair-trade practices, and more.

Entertainment includes a variety of musical groups.

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Imagine Arts Festival
In venues across Waterford city and county
October 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.imagineartsfestival.com/

Celebrating the arts in Waterford, this festival is now considered one of Ireland’s premier arts events.

a castle in Ireland annual festivals in Ireland
Waterford's Copper Coast. Photo: Luke Myers, Failte Ireland.

It also encompasses the Waterford Writers Weekend.

This year's line-up includes music, literature, dance, visual arts performances, and history.

Check the website above for more information on tickets and more.

Spraoi International Street Arts Festival
Waterford City
Aug. 2-4, 2024
http://www.spraoi.com/

Over three days, enjoy free street theater, dance, spectacle, contemporary circus performances, and music shows.

Artists come from around the world to this popular festival.

cyclists on a road annual festivals in Ireland
Cyclists on the Waterford Greenway. Photo: Failte Ireland.

Waterford Festival of Food
Various locations around Dungarvan
April 19-21, 2024
https://www.waterfordfestivaloffood.com/

This is one of Ireland’s largest and longest running community food festivals. The main hub for the 3-day festival is in the scenic harbour town of Dungarvan, with events also taking place in nearby Lismore, Villierstown, Kilmeaden, Cappoquin and Ardmore, making it a unique showcase of the flavours and characters local to this food region.

Waterford International Film Festival
Garter Lane Arts Center, Waterford
November, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.waterfordfilmfestival.net/

The Waterford International Film Festival, another one of the annual festivals in Ireland, showcases the works of national & international filmmakers and artists.

a woman annual festivals in Ireland
Photo courtesy of Waterford International Film Festival Facebook.

This year’s festival, now in its 17th year, will be a blend of cinema and online screenings, with live events taking place at Odeon Cinema in Waterford City.

Expect to see a selection of live-action films, animation, documentaries, and music videos.

Waterford Harvest Festival
Waterford City, Co. Waterford
September, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://harvest.giy.ie/

This popular event celebrates the food heritage of Waterford. Expect to see many small artisan producers as well as food from larger companies.

a man behind a counter serving food annual festivals in Ireland
A vendor at the Waterford Harvest Festival. Photo: Failte Ireland.

You’ll find cookery demos, food tours, tastings, workshops, and restaurant trails that focus on local produce.

Waterford Winterval Festival
Waterford City, Co.  Waterford
November/December 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.winterval.ie/

a red and white tram annual festivals in Ireland
The Winterval Express Train at the Winterval Christmas Market in Waterford, one of the Christmas holiday-related annual festivals in Ireland. Photo: Chris Hill, Failte Ireland.

Winterval is Ireland’s largest Christmas festival and returns this year for its 10th anniversary.

Lots of fun events at this holiday event, including Santa’s arrival to Waterford, the Waterford Eye, the Winterval Carousel, the Winterval Circus, Magic at the Apple Market, and Winterval’s Wizards & Dragons; among other activities.

Wexford

Feile Samhain Family Weekend
Hook Lighthouse, Hook Peninsula, County Wexford
Oct. 29-30, 2024
https://hookheritage.ie/event/feile-samhain-family-weekend/

Learn more about the history and mystery of the Celtic festival known as Samhain (“Sow-in” – sounds like the female pig) this Halloween season.

Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann
Various locations around Wexford Town
Aug. 4-11, 2024
http://fleadhcheoil.ie/

Scenes from the annual Fleadh Cheoil, which was held in Derry (Londonderry) in 2013. Photo: Gardiner Mitchell for Tourism Ireland.
Scenes from the annual Fleadh Cheoil, which was held in Derry (Londonderry) in 2013. Photo: Gardiner Mitchell for Tourism Ireland.

This is the country’s biggest traditional Irish music festival that is also a major competition welcoming young musicians from around the world.

Wexford Fringe Festival/Wexford Opera Festival
Various venues across Wexford town
October – November, 2024 (dates to be announced)
http://www.wexfordfringe.ie/

The festival incorporates the Wexford Festival Opera and the Wexford Spiegeltent Festival, with over 300 fringe events planned, many of which are free.

people performing on a stage annual festivals in Ireland
A performance at the Wexford Festival Opera, part of the Wexford Fringe Festival, one of many music-related annual festivals in Ireland. Photo courtesy Failte Ireland.

Entertainment in the form of cabaret, comedy, theater, literary recitals, as well as musical and visual art will be available. Z

Historical walking tours and literary recitals are also on the program of events.

Write by the Sea
Stella Maris Centre, Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
September, 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://writebythesea.ie/

If you're an emerging or even an established writer, you'll feel right at home at this literary festival, now in its sixth year.

a beach annual festivals in Ireland
The waterfront in Kilmore Quay, a small fishing village in Co. Wexford where Write by the Sea is held. It is one of the annual festivals in Ireland that you can attend. Photo: Victorgrigas – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17648692

The program each year includes a mix of talks, readings, interviews, and workshops on topics such as marketing one's book online, writing for the stage, on TV, and radio, approaching publishers, and more.

Wicklow

Bray Jazz Festival
Bray, Co. Wicklow
May 3-5, 2024
http://www.brayjazz.com/

This popular music festival, one of the many annual festivals in Ireland, draws performers from around Ireland and abroad. All About Jazz calls it “one of the very best small jazz festivals in Europe.”

a man playing a trumpet annual festivals in Ireland
Photo: yurakrasil

Events usually take place in the Bray Town Hall, the Harbour Bar, and the Mermaid Arts Centre.

Hallow’en Horror at Wicklow Gaol
Wicklow Gaol, Co. Wicklow
October 2024 (dates to be announced)
https://www.wicklowshistoricgaol.com/

Experience Halloween at Wicklow’s Historic Gaol and hear true stories from inside the jail's cell walls, either on the Night Tour on Oct. 28th or the Paranormal Tour on the 29th, which was named Ireland’s ultimate virtual reality experience.

a lady with a lantern annual festivals in Ireland
Ghost tours are a regular at the Wicklow Gaol. Photo: Brian Morrison Photography for Tourism Ireland.

You can purchase tickets from the website above.