If there is one thing Irish people are known for its throwing a good party. Anyone who has celebrated Saint Patrick’s day either in Ireland or abroad know we try to live up to our reputation. For the summer though, Irish music festivals are some of the best in the world.
Although I am a little biased. Having been to quite a few festivals around the world I can confidently say that Irish music festivals can hold there own.
With a huge variety of music, arts and entertainment provided in varying degrees, you can find a festival for almost any taste, especially during the summer months.
I have reviewed some festivals on older posts. I think this piece will give you a much better understanding of Irish music festivals and what to expect.
For full disclosure, I will let you know which festivals I have attended and when I’m talking about friends experiences and opinions of the festivals they attended.
10 Amazing Irish music festivals
Let’s start with Irelands largest and most popular music festival. Electric Picnic has grown into Ireland’s largest music festival since the passing of Oxegen in 2012. For many, it also marks the end of summer so you can be sure it’s an awesome party.
With a huge mixture of musical talents, art shows and events taking place over three days it’s hard not to like Electric Picnic. With the possibility to camp or just attend during the day Electric picnic is at the peak of Irish music festivals.
You can find everything from hip-hop and jazz to traditional Irish music and electronic performances. The headliners have included Kendrick Lamar, the XX and the prodigy in recent years.
Genre: Indie, Rock, Hip-Hop, Comedy
Date: 30th August-1st September 2019
Location: Stradbally, Laois
If Electric picnic is to mark the end of the Irish music festivals season then Life fest could be seen as the one to start the summer. An unashamedly electronic festival.
Life fest has emerged as one of the most important events in the electronic music scene in Ireland. Such big name acts include Nina Kravix, DJ EZ and Charlotte de Wit.
Set on the grounds of Belvedere house, the backdrop to this place is insane. With a lake that provides a break for sun lovers throughout and four incredible stages, this is one fun party.
The three-day camping event is one of dancing, partying and enjoying some heavy techno vibes. I attended a few years ago and I happily surprised with the big names which the organisers have brought to Ireland.
Genre: Techno, House, EDM
Date: 24th-26th May 2019
Location: Belvedere House, Westmeath
Body & Soul
This is definitely my favourite Irish music festival to make the list, Body & Soul has it all and in a nicely packaged form. I would definitely consider this more of an arts festival than the others on the list as there is so much to do here besides the music.
Think yoga, silent discos, art displays, hot tubs, food tasting and a whole lot more. This is definitely an Irish festival that shouldn’t be missed.
Held on the grounds of a castle, the set-up camping and the atmosphere is all very personal. You can wander among strangers and friends and have an equally amazing time.
I wouldn’t consider this a big name kind of event. At least I hardly knew any of the acts which I saw. From indie to electronic and Trad the music here blends perfectly with the atmosphere.
So get your hippie outfits out and enjoy the weekend of activities.
It is also a very family friendly events so don’t be shocked when you see kids enjoying the atmosphere just as much as you.
Genre: Indie, Electronic, Rock, Comedy, Performance art
Date: 21st-29th June 2019
Location: Ballinlough Castle, Westmeath
Live at the Marquee
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@bandpicturethis at #liveatthemarquee in Cork a few weeks ago. Got this shot just as the ticker tape exploded! 🎉🇮🇪 #irishmusic #irishband #cork #corkcity #music #concert #concertphotography #travel #travelcouple #travelphotography #instamusic #instagood #instatravel #travelgram #travel #instalike #instapic #picturethis #travelawesome #traveladdict #traveladdicts #colour #pink #purple #livemusic #musiclover #travelling #traveller #fun #nofilter
Live at the marquee is easily my favourite Cork festival. Not merely a music festival, Live at the Marquee is practically an institution now. It brings in some of Ireland’s top acts along with a few internationals of the months of June and July.
Consisting of multiple one-day events Live at the Marquee is an amazing way to spend some time in Cork city. It is also a great way to see some of your favourite acts in a personal setting.
Being day events it is an ideal way to spend some time in the city should you be travelling from out of town.
Genre: Comedy, Trad, Rap
Date: June 8th- July 7th 2019
Location: Cork City, Cork
In the two years since I attended Longitude, the lineup and crowd have changed quite considerably. Now marketed as a hip-hop festival I am not sure how it will be in the upcoming years.
What I do know is, it definitely draws in a younger much more Dublin orientated crowd. So if you are 25+ I would probably stay away.
That being said I am kind of envious of some of the lineup for this year which includes Asap Rocky among others. Held in Marlay Park, the location makes it ideal for day-trippers living in Dublin or at least within Kildare and Wicklow.
Expect a billion Instagram pictures to be taken and quite a few underage drinkers. This, of course, happens at all festivals in Ireland, but you will definitely notice it more here if you re in an older age bracket.
Genre: Rap, Hip-Hop
Date: 5th-7th July 2019
Location: Marlay Park, Dublin
All Together Now
One of Irelands newest music festival, All Together Now (ATN) is definitely a contender for the busy August bank holiday. At least according to my friends who attended last year.
The intimate setting, camping, great organisation and has been untouched by the masses makes it something special.
A recent problem of many Irish music festivals lately is there growing popularity. All Together Now (ATN) has at the moment avoided those who are not interested in the merits of the festival. But simply there to take a few snaps and drink in a field.
I’m not knocking it, but some festivals are designed to be special. From all accounts All Together Now (ATN) is definitely aiming to do this.
The former has of electric picnic wat he main organiser until his untimely passing and seeing how well electric picnic is young it can only mean good things for this under the radar as of now detail.
Genre: Indie, Rock, Performance art
Date: August Bank Holiday
Location: Curraghmore Estate, Waterford
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Dave Sheridan & Padraig McGovern here from the heady heights of Mary Street in the delightfully intimate setting of Gerrard’s Church. This series of late evening dusk recitals presented some of the most important and influential musicians working in traditional music today & these two are no exception. Exceptional. #davesheridan #padraigmcgovern #gloamsessions #gerrardschurch #discoverboynevalley #visitdrogheda #comhaltas
Stepping away from the more modern music festivals we have a the Fleadh Cheoil. One of Ireland’s premier traditional festivals, the event showcases as much Irish culture as possible over a three day period.
The Fleadh has been running since 1951 and in recent years it has amassed over 250,000 visitors. The event showcases traditional Irish music to the masses.
You will find competitions, concerts, gigs and intimate shows that otherwise would be difficult to come across in modern Ireland. The 2019 show will be held in Drogheda and previous events have been held throughout the country.
The aim is to bring people to more rural areas to truly enjoy the huge programme of events that this Irish music festival has morphed into.
Genre: Traditional Irish music, song and dance
Date: 11th-18th August 2019
Location: (Various) Drogheda, Louth-2019
Forbidden fruit is the go-to Dublin June bank holiday festival of the summer. Held in Kilmainham goal the location and lineup always ensures a great crowd and atmosphere. If the weather is good then this can be one of the best weekends of the year.
With the option of weekend and day tickets, you can pick and choose what to see and what days to go. As they are day festivals it is always best to have somewhere to stay in Dublin.
Getting out of the city can be a headache so be sure to plan ahead.
This year acts include Skepta, Paul Kalkbrenner and Danny Brown.
Genre: Hip-Hop, Indie, Electonic
Date: June bank holiday
Location: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin
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My time is drawing near where I will hand back the reins to the awesome team at the #wildatlanticway. As one of my last posts I thought we would get back to the #waves and the #surf So, Lets learn a bit about Big Wave surfing….and how is it possible in Ireland? There is no better qualified person to answer that, than Irish surfer Conor Maguire. @conormaguiree is a brilliant big wave surfer from #bundoran, #donegal. This recent clip taken at #mullaghmore , is part of a film I created called “An Introduction into Irish Surfing” which will premiere at this years @shoreshots_surf and Adventure Film Fest. 🎥 Shore Shots takes place at the Model in #Sligo on April 20 – 22nd. Grab your tickets before its too late. www.shoreshots.ie The festival is great for anyone interested in surfing, adventure, film making and photography. The whole Irish surf world will be there. I’ll be one of the guest speakers if you fancy any more of me!! 😁 #surf #Ireland @irishtowsurfrescue @redbullire @redbull @redbull_surfing My name is 📷@ianmitchinson and this is my #wildatlanticway #takeover #mullaghmore #sligo 🏄🌊
One of the more interesting music and arts festivals on this list. Sea sessions provide a stunning outdoor setting, incredible surf competitions and a chilled vibe not found at many of the other festivals that have made this list.
Held in Bundoran County Donegal it is the largest surf festival of its kind in Ireland. Showing its popularity it has sold out in record time for four years in a row.
You can enjoy the eclectic mix of music, watch some of Ireland best surfers and join in yourself. Better yet simply take in the natural beauty that Bundoran provides in easily one of Irelands most idyllic festival settings.
Genre: Indie, Trad, Comedy, EDM
Date: 21st-23rd June 2019
Location: Bundoran, Donegal
Unlike the Fleadh Cheoil. Dingle Tradfest aims to bring in performers from both home and abroad to celebrate their unique styles of music. Showcasing modern and individual talent in the traditional setting of Dingle is one great way to see a fusion of Ireland old and new.
This is taken directly from Kerry tourism site. “Included in the festival is a series of night-time and lunchtime concerts as well as a music session trail and some outdoor events including a session on the top of Mount Brandon. The goal of the festival is to promote Irish music in a new and unique way and one of the highlights of this will be the Saturday night Traditional Irish music disco”.
Genre: Modern and traditional Trad
Date: September 2019
Location: Dingle, Kerry
As you can see, Ireland definitely doesn’t disappoint with the huge array of music festivals to choose from. Varying from traditional Irish music festivals to the more European electronic and indie scene, when choosing an Irish music festival this year you will be spoilt for choice.
Have you attended any Irish music festivals? If so which ones?