The best Irish summer festivals in 2023: a handy guide to over 60 events around the country

From Dalkey Book Festival and All Together Now, to Electric Picnic and Clifden Arts Festival, there is no shortage of entertainment across the country this summer

Will this be our first “normal” summer since 2019? Summertime cultural festivals are a particular pleasure of the Irish summer, whether experiencing stellar Irish or international work in the delicious intimacy of a festival, or enjoying smaller festivals that reflect and draw on local pleasures or specific interests.

With last year’s trepidation a memory, there’s a sense of hope and pent-up expectation and expansion.

Here’s details of some of what festival programmers have in the works for this year – big and small, long-established and fresh on the block, niche and come-all-ye, from hooley to high-brow.

This isn’t all of it. Whatever the flavour, bring it on.



Bealtaine Festival May 1-31: The month-long nationwide celebration of arts and creativity as we age is up and running, with hundreds of events, in-person and online, in almost every county, ranging from The Golden Flood of Memory (story of memories through movement, collaboration between Limerick residents and choreographer Katy Hewison), to singers Tom Dunne and Jerry Fish and musician Alan O’Connor on The Songs that Shaped Us; and from Unshrinking Violets: 50 years of Lesbian activism to Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, celebrating links between writers of different generations (Niamh Mulvey and Joseph O’Connor talking with Henrietta McKervey). Plus Bealtaine’s flagship Dawn Chorus in Waterford’s Dunmore East, LGBTQ+ celebrations, and circus workshops in Galway.

STAMP Festival of Creativity May 19-21: Benchspace, Cork Craft & Design, Sample-Studios and Shandon Art Studios host over 50 art, design and craft events, exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, screenings and markets, at Cork’s Counting House.

Made in Darndale May 26-28: North Dublin Summer Arts Festival returns for a second year, with music, dance, story, song, circus and performance in a joyous cross-community celebration. Featuring The Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow, CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Courtney’s Daredevil Circus, Sharyn Ward, Mark Flynn at The Bell Square and The Darndale Park Big Top, Darndale, Dublin 17. All events free, and for all ages, but some are ticketed because of capacity.

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival May 29-Jun 5: Verdi’s Macbeth, a political thriller full of intrigues, murders, and passion (and unforgettable arias), at Lismore Castle, Waterford, is the star of Ireland’s summer opera festival. With 21 events and 103 international and Irish artists at 12 venues in Lismore, Youghal, Dungarvan and Fermoy (including quirky Dromore Yard, a semi-restored 19th century farmyard on the banks of the River Blackwater). Concerts and recitals and feature tenor Ian Bostridge; cellist Nadège Rochat; Irish Baroque Orchestra with Peter Whelan and mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy. Plus festival recital series around the area, four free open-air recitals in Lismore, Youghal, Dungarvan and Fermoy, formal opera or picnics.

Dublin Dance Festival May 16-28: Irish and international artists pose questions and celebrate dance’s transformative power. Three large-scale performances at the Abbey: Trajal Harrell/Schauspielhaus Zürich Dance Ensemble; Oona Doherty’s new show Navy Blue; and Emanuel Gat Dance Company’s LOVETRAIN2020 “musical” to Tears for Fears hits. At Project, there’s a new immersive installation from DDF artist-in-residence Luke Murphy, shows from Compagnie Catherine Gaudet and Marco D’Agostin, a Pan Pan world premiere. Plus Emma Martin’s ceremonial performance/installation with dancer Mufutau Yusuf (Junior) at the Complex, a new interactive and inclusive dance piece for children by Marc Brew at the Ark, free performances at Wood Quay Amphitheatre and Liz Roche’s digital dance installations.

West Wicklow Chamber Music FestivalMay 17-21: Performances at Russborough House and St Mary’s Church Blessington, by saxophonist Jess Gillam and her ensemble, violinist Patrick Rafter, Navarra Quartet, Apollo 5 vocal ensemble, cellist Jamal Aliyev, plus rising stars Amy Gillen and Frasier Hickland. Events for younger audiences include Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals with pianists Soo-jung Ann and Fiachra Garvey (festival founder) with Irish Chamber Orchestra.

International Literature Festival Dublin May 19-28: Literary celebration at Merrion Square Park, with over 180 events (including tons for families and children, plus a Fringe programme), national and international authors and unconventional literary experiences. Among a vast programme are actor and gourmand Stanley Tucci, Schitt’s Creek screenwriter Monica Heisey, novelist, essayist, and short-story writer Mary Gaitskill, a conversations strand including Karl Geary and Elaine Feeney, Niamh Mulvey and Joseph O’Connor. The prestigious Dublin Literary Award winner is announced on May 25.

Africa DayMay 21: Day of music, dance and entertainment at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham (11am-6pm, free and non-ticketed). It’s a diverse celebration of African cultures and Ireland’s growing links with the continent, with almost 40 performers, artists and African cultural organisations taking part. Including live music by Celaviedmai, Discovery Gospel Choir, Rhythm Africana, Kiruu, SBEZ, Troy Okay and Monte DJ; cultural village of African culture, art, industry and craft; dance and spoken word areas featuring performances by Tobi Balogun, No Whahala Crew, The Zoryanna, Iggy Kelly and the Congolese Community in Ireland; and children’s entertainment.

Live at the MarqueeMay 27-Jun 29: Series of gigs at Ballintemple, Cork, including Joanne McNally and Vogue Williams, two days of The Frames, Bingo Loco XXL, Tommy Tiernan, Bell X1, Christy Moore, Olly Murs, The Waterboys, and Sonny Fodera headlining a one-day line-up on June 24.

Listowel Writers’ WeekMay 31-Jun 4: Packed programme in the convivial Kerry town, curated by Stephen Connolly, including Paul Brady in conversation with Paul Muldoon, young novelists Tess Gunty (US National Book Award for Fiction winner), Megan Nolan and Michael Magee, workshops with Stephen Sexton and Wendy Erskine. There’s also Richard Ford and Joseph O’Connor; Claire Kilroy and Lucy Caldwell; Fergus Cronin and Nithy Kasa; Eimear Ryan and Rebecca Perry, lunch poems, workshops. Opening night sees award presentations of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, the Pigott Poetry Prize and the John B Keane Lifetime Achievement Award.


Forbidden FruitJun 3-4: Signalling the start of the summer music festival season on the June bank holiday weekend, the 11th edition sees two days of music and art in the grounds of Dublin’s Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. Acts include Central Cee, Rina Sawayama, Rachel Chinouriri, Annie Mac, Ben Böhmer, Eric Prydz, slowthai, Honey Dijon, Eliza Rose, ROMY.

K-FESTJun 2-5: The 10th visual and performing arts festival in Killorglin, Co Kerry, featuring emerging artists. Over 60 events including workshops, music events, craft markets, pop-up galleries, art installations and exhibitions, in disused buildings, empty shop-fronts and non-traditional arts spaces.

Cat LaughsJun 2-4: Kilkenny city’s long-running comedy festival has a new twist this year with artistic director Angela Squire and festival veteran Naoise Nunn introducing Nine Lives, a series of mixed bills, each with nine comics in 90 minutes, pairing the return of top Irish comedians with standups from England, Scotland and Wales who’ve never played in Ireland before.

Carlow Arts FestivalJun 7-11: Kicking off the summer’s arts festivals with music, circus, dance, theatre, visual arts, street art across town and at Festival HQ in Carlow College grounds. Including Irish premieres of three European works blurring artforms: From Belgium, Dag Taeldeman’s and Andrew Van Ostade’s BodyBodyBodyBody journeys to the edge of trance, rooted in folk traditions of the Italian tarantella. In MOS, Greece’s Ioanna Paraskevopoulou and Georgios Kotsifakis appropriate everyday objects to live-score scenes from zombie horrors, nature docs and classic Westerns. Sorry, But I Feel Slightly Disidentified... by Benjamin Kahn (France/Belgium) explores race, gender and status. Plus family events including interactive Wires, Strings & Other Thing, and the Carnival of Collective Joy on the streets, co-created with local children for Cruinniú na nÓg on June 10.

Dublin International Chamber Music Festival (formerly Great Music in Irish Houses) – Jun 7-12: Irish and international artists perform chamber music in interesting and unique spaces, including free performances and a concert for children. Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time in Kilmainham Gaol alongside four newly commissioned solo works for violin, cello, clarinet and piano (composed by Cenk Ergün, Amanda Feery, Gráinne Mulvey and Jonathan Nangle, and performed by Finghin Collins, Carol McGonnell, Mia Cooper and Marc Coppey). South African cellist Abel Selaocoe’s festival debut with the Bantu Ensemble at the Printworks, Dublin Castle. Irish pianists Máire Carroll, Thérèse Fahy, Ruth McGinley, Veronica McSwiney and Fionnuala Moynihan perform works written and nominated by women in Townhall in the Windmill Quarter. Ian Wilson’s new Voces amissae (Lost Voices) at Dublin Castle’s Castle Hall, performed by Dutch singer Nora Fischer and the Ficino Ensemble. Plus core repertoire of the chamber music canon by musicians including Philippe Cassard, Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective and Quatour Ébène in venues from Killruddery and Castletown to the Botanic Gardens.

Tradition NowJun 10-11: Two-day festival of traditional Irish music and folk, with concerts on National Concert Hall’s stages, including Dublin folk act a lazarus soul, and Reflecting Migrations (with Irish Traditional Music Archive) celebrating the living tradition, with Steve Cooney, Nava, Moxie, Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin, John Blake, Brían MacGloinn, Jesse Smith, Kseniya Rusnak, Esosa Ighodoro. Other performances include Hack-Poets Guild, Landless, Maija Sofia, Aoife Ní Bhríain with Catrin Finch, and Méabh Ní Bheaglaoich.

Cruinniú na nÓgJun 10: Creative Ireland’s national day of creativity for children and young people. Over 600 free events and activities all over Ireland, from prehistoric pottery classes in Leitrim to Slime Labs in Longford, and from rap concerts at Cork’s Elizabeth Fort to photography tours in Dublin.

UCD Festival, Celebrate and Be InspiredJun 10: University showcase with 130-plus free public events, with live performance masterclasses, interactive science displays, creative workshops and family-friendly activities. Including talks by authors Roddy Doyle, Lisa McInerney, Emilie Pine, Elaine Feeney, Nicole Flattery; and a Delta Blues Project music workshop.

Bloomsday FestivalJun 12-18: The festival takes place across Dublin city, celebrating Ulysses and Joyce, organised by the James Joyce Centre, boasts a multitude of events, including the Hibsen concert, an evening of music, literature and song based on his short story collection Dubliners, and several theatre pieces, from Cois Céim’s Go to Blazes based on a Ulysses episode, to Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom a solo show performed by Aedín Moloney, to Falling Through the Universe, a play by Declan Gorman. Plus tons of walking tours, exhibitions, children’s events, music, lectures.

Galway Folk FestivalJun 13-18: The second edition, showcasing folk, roots and traditional music from Ireland and beyond, on four stages in Monroe’s Live, at outdoor pop-up gigs and in Seapoint Ballroom, plus family events and a local food market. Line-up includes Steve Earle, The Sharon Shannon Trio, Kíla, Niamh Regan, Steve Earle, Inhaler, Teenage Fanclub, The Whileaways, Ispíní na hÉireann.

Cork Midsummer FestivalJun 14-25: Director Lorraine Maye promises a playful festival with the city as stage, where Millennium Hall becomes a beach for Sun & Sea’s opera performance watched from above, the Marina Market Warehouse is a meeting point for collisions of artforms and audiences, and John Redmond St is transformed with oceans of multicoloured foam by artist Stephanie Lüning. Other highlights include aerial flight Freefalling from Georgina Miller, directed by Lynne Parker; an installation holding space for play, co-created with Traveller children and adults and artists Eszter Némethi and Claire Murphy; live performance of Ode to Joy, through the perspective of deaf culture. There’s a focus on street performance, community creativity and emerging artists, plus tons of new work, from Circus Factory Cork, BrokenCrow theatre, drag act Candy Warhol, choreographer/performer Andrea Williams, emerging theatremakers Loom, Aaron O’Neill.

Malahide Castle summer concertsJun 14-30: A series of gigs at Malahide Castle and Gardens, Co Dublin, including Depeche Mode, Paolo Nutini, Blur, Sam Fender, Florence + The Machine, Sting and Hozier.

Dalkey Book FestivalJun 15-18: Stellar line-up of 100 writers and thinkers from across the world descending on the historic seaside town, 30 minutes south of Dublin city. Hollywood arrives in the form of Tom Hanks; the 78 events also encompass authors Masha Gessen, David Brooks, Richard Ford, Ruby Wax, Sebastian Barry, physicist Brian Cox, historian Peter Frankopan, musician The Edge, journalist Helen Lewis, economist Linda Yueh, the Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg, architect Orla O’Kane, and comedians including Dylan Moran, Deirdre O’Kane, Kevin Gildea and Ian MacPherson.

Folks’ MusicJun 16-17: Louth Contemporary Music Society’s annual summer festival in Dundalk, Co Louth, with music to suit lots of different folks. Including Irish traditional musicians; Chamber Choir Ireland; four saxophone players from Spain; two string quartets, from London (Explore Ensemble) and Dublin (Esposito Quartet); composers from Italy, Canada, the United States, England and Ireland; new work by two American LCMS regulars, Linda Catlin Smith and Cassandra Miller; folk incantation How to Fold the Wind by Caroline Shaw; and more.

Sea Sessions Bundoran – Jun 16-18: The south Donegal surf and music festival’s first wave of acts on the main beach in the town centre includes headliners Kasabian, Becky Hill and the Coronas. The big beach party also features Cian Ducrot, Girls of the Internet, Grooverider, Katie Phelan, King Kong Company, MC Fokus, Odhran Murphy, Ryan Mack and Zion Train.

Galway Ukulele FestivalJun 16-18: Fourth year of the festival will have more than 300 ukulele players, with performances by Ukulele Simon, League of Ukulele Gentlemen, Zoe Bestel, Roisin Erskine, The Sneaky Tequilas, and the Galway Ukers at An Taibhdhearc. They’ll showcase a diverse range of ukulele musical styles, from traditional Irish music to contemporary pop and rock. Plus workshops, Street Flash mob, golden uke competition, ukulele ceilidh.

Body & SoulJun 16-18: A creatively curated celebration of the summer solstice at Ballinlough Castle Estate, Co Westmeath. The independent festival describes itself as a mix of wild party and restorative retreat, and this year includes electronic supergroup Moderat, Indigenous funk 7-piece BCUC, The Blaze, Fever Ray, Alison Goldfrapp, The Blessed Madonna, Kojaque, Denise Chaila, Kneecap, Gemma Dunleavy, The Murder Capital, DJs Gilles Peterson and Shanti Celeste, Aoife Nessa Francis and Sorcha Richardson, plus talks, podcasts and comedians. The theme of community features throughout founder and director Avril Stanley’s weekend, from the Masquerade Ball to the closing ceremony Pagan Rave, and also spotlighting creative communities from across Ireland through performances, workshops, talks and panels.

Beyond the Pale Jun 16-18: Following its first year, the music and arts festival plans three days of music, art and food in the surrounds of Glendalough Estate, Co Wicklow. Headlining the eclectic bill are Hot Chip, Grace Jones, Thundercat, Jon Hopkins and Leftfield, with 400+ artists and performers including a large arts line-up of installations, performance giants, circus, cabaret, contemporary art and pop art, comedy, family events, food talks, wellness, theatrical, storytelling and interactive performance.

Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas Jun 16-18: Gathering in the grounds of Borris House, Co Carlow, with novelists Bernadine Evaristo, Ian McEwan, Dawn O’Porter, Ben McIntyre, Deborah Levy, Elaine Feeney, Katherine Rundell, Michael Ondaatje, Monica Ali, historians William Dalrymple and Manchán Magan, poet Simon Armitage, musicians Adam Clayton, Bill Whelan, Liam Ó Maonlaí and Dónal Lunny, plus film-makers, journalists, activists, comedians.

Hinterland Jun 22-25: An eclectic mix of literature, politics, sport, lifestyle and children’s fiction in Kells, Co Meath, and again incorporating the two-day Hindsight history festival, looking back at the Decade of Centenaries. Guests include Roger McGough, Liz Nugent, Richard Ford, Edel Coffey, John Boyne, Joseph O’Connor, Bill Whelan, Cristín Leach.

Night and DayJune 24-25: The second summer festival in Lough Key Forest Park, Co Roscommon, has a lineup including Mercury Rev, Hot House Flowers, Pillow Queens, Gruff Rhys, David Keenan, Wallis Bird and Emma Langford. There will also be lots of family fun, as well as the existing activities of the forest park, from ziplines to kayaking.

West Cork Chamber Music Festival Jun 23-Jul 2: One of Europe’s premiere chamber music festivals, with world-class musicians in the beautiful West Cork town of Bantry. Highlights include The Biber Mystery Sonatas (postponed from 2022) performed by Ensemble Vintage Koln with newly commissioned poems by Ruth Padel. Also: Armida Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Ragazze Quartet, Ardeo Quartet, Ensemble Diderot, Alina Ibragimova, Nurit Stark, Mairéad Hickey, Viviane Hagner, Caroline Melzer and Trio Gaspard.


Cairde Sligo Arts Festival Jul 1-9: Taking over the venues, streets and public spaces of Sligo, including The Seas Above coastal spectacle by Donegal-based LUXE at dusk and dawn; The Hare, new theatre by Bob Kelly and Clare Monnelly; Les Lumières, a preview of Twisted Lane’s immersive work-in-progress set in a mature forest; The Lonesome Boatman, a new family circus show by Colm O’Grady; two-day Cairde in the Park with music, local food, Tumble Circus and Síolta Circus. A diverse music line-up including LOAH, Plúirín na mBan, Myles Manley, Bog Bodies, Nepalese Trio Kanta Dab Dab; talks and readings featuring Una Mannion, Eoghan Daltún, Dani Gill, and more.

Clonmel Junction Arts Festival Jul 1-9: The multidisciplinary Tipperary festival premieres Hucklebuck, an immersive homage to showbands directed by Jack Reardon; co-produces Found by Aideen Wylde, with Broken Crow Ensemble/Everyman Theatre; and hosts a range of new work in the Festival Dome including Fishamble’s King. Plus Piano Sessions in STAC Chapel, a Roger Doyle commission, Divine Voices for dance, soprano and piano by John Scott/Irish Modern Dance Theatre, and performances by Aileen Cahill with Andreea Banciu, Vale and composer-performer Eamon O’Malley. Rounded out with talks, workshops, aerial dance from Fidget Feet, an exhibition trail and a nightly music trail.

Willie Clancy Summer School Jul 1-9: Traditional Irish music, song and dance event in Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, marks 51 years, with instrument and dance classes, lectures, workshops, recitals and céilithe all week.

Longitude Jul 1-2: The line-up for the music festival in Marlay Park, Dublin, includes Calvin Harris, Travis Scott, MK, Anne-Marie, Belters Only, Lil Uzi Vert, Metro Boomin, Joel Corry, Flo, Jazzy.

Irish Youth Dance Festival Jul 1-2: Youth dance companies and international guests including the National Youth Dance Company, Scotland, plus dance residencies, symposium, at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin.

Iveagh Gardens festivals – Jul 6-30: Two festivals, of music and comedy, in marquees in the grounds of the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin. Live @ the Iveagh Gardens, July 6-23, has gigs by Janelle Monáe, Damien Dempsey, KALEO, The Waterboys, Father John Misty, Two Door Cinema Club, Bell X1 and Imelda May. Followed by the Paddy Power Comedy Festival, July 27-30, with multiple mixed bills of comics each night.

Sult FestivalJul 7-8: Two-day festival in Gweedore, Co Donegal, with acts including Dean Lewis, Lyra, Ash, Jenny Greene and Reevah. Camping is available.

West Cork Literary Festival Jul 7-14: Workshops, readings, professional development, events for children and young people in Bantry, with line-up including Graham Norton, India Knight, Donal Ryan, Darina Allen, Rory O’Connell, Catherine Ryan Howard, John Banville, Megan Nolan, Raymond Antrobus, Disha Bose, Adam and David King, Clara Kumagai, Sally Hayden and Alice Zeniter.

Otherside Music & Arts FestivalJul 7-9: Promising three hedonistic days of music, dance, art, wellness, food, and connection on Rock Farm, nestled in an expansive valley in Slane, Co Meath. The line-up includes Bombay Bicycle Club, CMAT, Maverick Sabre, Indigo De Souza, SBTRKT, Confidence Man, Maya Jane Coles, Fatima Yamaha.

Earagail Arts FestivalJul 8-23: Immersive and participatory experiences in circus, music, spoken word, theatre, across Donegal, from the western islands of the Gaeltacht to the eastern lowlands. Line-up includes two free night-time, outdoor events in Buncrana and Arranmore Island with landscape spectacle group, Luxe; five days of Home with The Henry Girls; Choice Music Prize winner Anna Mieke; two Wild Atlantic Weekends of circus and street theatre, in Raphoe and Gweedore; concerts at An Grianán Letterkenny including Flook, Na Casaidigh, Usher’s Island with Lisa O’Neill, and a tribute to Donegal musical family the Campbells.

Galway Film FleadhJul 11-16: The 35th edition of the International film festival, at the Town Hall Theatre and Pálás Cinema. Hundreds of events showcasing emerging and renowned filmmakers, Irish film talent and world cinema, award-winning documentaries and Irish and international short films, in screenings, Q&As, interviews, panel discussions.

Quarter Jul 14-16: DIY music and arts Quarter Block Party in Cork City returns, but without the block to party on. Concerts across Cork City by Elaine Howley, Junk Drawer, Maija Sofia.

Continuous Patterns – Jul 14-15: Mini-festival of two evenings of music, art, food and fun in the grounds of IMMA, Dublin.

Galway International Arts Festival Jul 17-30: The full line-up is announced on May 16, but initial plans include a revival of Enda Walsh’s Bedbound, starring Colm Meaney and Brenda Meaney, directed by Marc Atkinson Borrull. Gravity & Other Myths return to the festival with an ambitious new acrobatic/physical theatre show, The Pulse, where 30 acrobats and 40 choir-singers create a towering human structure of muscle, bone and voice that unites and divides. The Pulse will be at a new festival theatre, the biggest indoor temporary venue GIAF has created, at University of Galway’s Kingfisher. Gigs at the Big Top include Kettama, Pavement, Bell X1, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Kaiser Chiefs, The Saw Doctors and the Coronas. Plus more theatre, opera, circus, visual arts, plus First Thought Talks.

Forest Fest Jul 21-23: Three days of music, arts, entertainment, street food, camping and glamping at Emo Village, Co Laois. With more than 90 acts lined up, including headliners James, The Proclaimers, Ash, Peter Hook & The Light, Suede, Bell X1, Paul Brady, Gabrielle, Suzanne Vega and Sharon Shannon. The festival will also feature the new Forest Fleadh and a children arts and entertainment programme from Port’ Art Collective.

When Next We Meet Jul 22-23: Lisa Hannigan, Talos, Daithí, Niamh Regan, Tipperary’s Kyoto Love Hotel and Smythy at the music weekend in Clonmel’s Raheen House Hotel.

Belfast TradFestJul 23-29: Traditional music, song and dance bringing together both Irish and Ulster-Scots musical traditions, including a summer-school, concerts, talks, lectures, sessions, céilís.


Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival Aug 4-12: One of Ireland’s longest-running community arts festivals (part of Birr Festivals Collective of five festivals) features national and international visual arts, theatre, music, street theatre, workshops, exhibitions and community events, including Vintage Sunday Parade, Vintage Market, fireworks in the town’s historic venues.

Spraoi International Street Arts FestivalAug 4-6: On the road (literally) for 30 years, Waterford’s free summer street party hosts hundreds of local, national and international artists and musicians performing 200 shows: street theatre, music, contemporary circus, comedy and spectacle. Over 20,000 expected for Sunday’s festival parade in the city’s medieval streets, followed by fireworks.

Indiependence Music & Arts Festival Aug 4-6: Multiple stages on a tree-lined 52-acre site in Mitchelstown, Co Cork near the Galtee mountains, headlined by Anne-Marie, Two Door Cinema Club and The Coronas, joined by Annie Mac, Belters Only, Inhaler, Jax Jones, Jenny Greene, We Are Scientists, Erica-Cody, All Tvvins, Caity Baser, Joesef, Cian Ducrot and Editors.

All Together NowAug 4-6: The fourth chapter has 18 stages of music, art, theatre, spoken word, comedy, food and hidden gems in the grounds of Curraghmore Estate, Co Waterford. The initial line-up includes Iggy Pop, Jamie xx, Caribou, Loyle Carner, Villagers, Jessie Ware, Sugababes, Lankum, Max Richter & RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Billy Bragg, TV Girl, Saint Sister, The Scratch.

Kilkenny Arts Festival Aug 10-20: Director Olga Barry’s programme for the festival’s 50th anniversary promises unique collaborations. The line-up so far includes Asylum Productions/Once Off Productions’ new site-specific theatre in The Local; and John Scott Dance Company premiering Migration Sonata, bringing diverse communities together through movement and song. The Hubert Butler Lecture celebrates festival connections with poet Seamus Heaney; Martin Hayes co-curates global music dialogues in Marble City Sessions; and a Butler Gallery exhibition focuses on the art of sport. The Secret Garden Music Series brings exceptional artists to Kilkenny’s streets and gardens in free, open-air pop-up concerts, while Encounters treats single audience members to intimate performances.

Waterford Walls Aug 11-20: Ninth year of the international street art festival hosting artists from all over the world creating large-scale spectacular murals around Waterford city, and expanding into the county and new locations. Central hub at the Forum in the Glen for individual and family activities including live art, workshops, walking tours and music.

Chamber Music on ValentiaAug 17-20: The 10th festival, in stunning locations in the landscape and seascape of Valentia island, Co Kerry, curated by pianist Mary Dullea. Featuring the first instalment of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti, Fidelio Trio’s innovative Pop Archive, four days of concerts, workshops and opportunities to work with international musicians.

Another Love Story Aug 18-20: Irish and international artists grace the intimate festival stages in the grounds of 18th-century Killyon Manor, Co Meath, for a weekend of music, art, conversation and food, along with James Holden, Sofia Kourtesis, Martin Hayes, Theon Cross, Rachael Lavelle with Glasshouse Ensemble, Charlie Bones, Moving Still, JFDR, Lisa Hannigan.

Masters of Tradition Aug 23-27: Musicians across the spectrum of Irish traditional music perform in Bantry, West Cork, curated by fiddle player Martin Hayes.

Desmond O’Halloran Music Weekend Aug 24-26: Celebrating the Inishbofin maestro with concerts, workshops, arts events and free traditional and folk music trails across the Connemara island venues and landscapes.

EVA International Aug 31-Oct 29: Biennial of contemporary art across Limerick city, featuring new commissions and existing works from internationally acclaimed artists, a guest programme curated by Sebastian Cichocki, new work from six Ireland-based artists, a new commission by artist Bea McMahon, and Never Look Back, revisiting EVA’s 45+ year history. Opening weekend introduces performances by artists Sharon Phelan, bela and Antonina Nowacka.


Electric PicnicSept 1-3: A rock’n’roll circus: large-scale gathering of music, art, theatre, comedy, food and holistic health in the grounds and woods of Stradbally Hall, Co Laois. Headliners include Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi, The Killers, Fred Again.., Niall Horan, Steve Lacy, Idles, Tom Odell, Rick Astley, Amyl & The Sniffers.

Sounds from a Safe Harbour Festival Sept 7-10: Festival of music, dance, art and conversation, curated by Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National, actor Cillian Murphy, playwright Enda Walsh and Mary Hickson. First headliners include Feist’s Multitudes; European premiere of Bonny Light Horseman with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra; Wilco, supported by Anna Mieke; Ye Vagabonds Lighthouse Constellations, an evening of collaborations. Ticketed and free events in intimate venues across Cork City.

Music in Monkstown Sept 8-10: Classical festival featuring some of the world’s great musicians in Monkstown’s parish church, Co Dublin: international violin and piano duo Maria and Nathalia Milstein, and the Piatti String Quartet, both performing with festival founder, clarinettist John Finucane; pianist Lance Coburn and Vox Amicum Brass plus; premiere of new commission for clarinet and piano by Shaun Davey, Irish traditional musician Aoife Ní Bhriain and friends, flautist Valentine Laporte (Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year) and post-concert jazz.

Dublin Fringe FestivalSept 9-24: Back at full tilt this year, a curated programme of aerial work, site-specific experiences in new-found locations and artists situating the individual in the streets of a rediscovered city. Promising new voices, new artforms and first-time makers across the city, from joining artists in a bathtub, to travelling the breadth and history of Phoenix Park, guided by new director David Francis Moore.

New Ross Piano FestivalSept 20-24: Niche festival curated by pianist Finghin Collins, hosting world-class pianists in the small Co Wexford town since 2006, for concerts, collaborations between artists across classical genres, and a day of jazz piano.

Clifden Arts FestivalSept 14-24: The longest-running community arts festival in Ireland, featuring literature, music and visual art, with the town and Connemara hinterland as a focus, plus creative writing, music, theatre and film workshops, performances in local schools, an arts trail and solo and group exhibitions.

Culture Night – Sept 22: All-island celebration of culture and creativity sees the Arts Council partnering with artists, local authorities, arts organisations to present thousands of free events and activities into the evening, in-person, online and broadcast.

Write by the SeaSept 22-24: Friendly and intimate literary festival in the fishing village of Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford, with lively talks, readings, interviews and workshops from a broad range of best-selling, established and emerging Irish and international writers. The programme will be announced in July.

Dublin Festival of History Sept 25-Oct 15: Irish and international historians talk and debate in free Dublin City Council festival shining a fresh perspective on history and its importance in our everyday lives. In the 23 city libraries and other venues, including the popular Big Weekend at Dublin Castle’s Printworks. Talks are programmed as Gaeilge, in ISL and for those with accessibility requirements. Organised by Dublin city Libraries and Dublin City Council Culture Company.

Dublin Theatre Festival Sept 28-Oct 15: Showcasing world-class Irish and European theatre, across the city’s theatre venues.

Galway Cartoon Festival Sept 29-Oct 6: When is a joke not a joke? When it’s a jar. The Galway Cartoon Festival celebrates the impact of laughter – on minds, lives and governments – with local and international guests, laughter-filled exhibitions, talks, workshops, wild excursions, and live drawing events, from Richard Chapman and team.

Deirdre Falvey

Deirdre Falvey

Deirdre Falvey is a features and arts writer at The Irish Times