With the arrival of summer comes summer music festivals, and there are few better places to experience a concert in the upcoming months than in Ireland.
The country is host to events big and small and offers a wide variety of music as well as activities ranging from surfing to raving, and falconry to comedy shows.
Here’s a look at all the outdoor festivals not to miss in the Emerald Isle in the upcoming months:
1. Electric Picnic, County Laois August 31 - September 1&2
Featured Acts: The Cure, Sigur Ros, The Killers. Along with the world’s premiere rock bands, this festival also includes modern Irish acts Bell X-1, Glen Hansard, and Land Lovers among others. “Ireland’s Glastonbury” will have the distinction of being the largest festival in the country with an expected crowd of over 32,000.
2. Galway Arts Festival, Galway City, July 16-29
Featured Acts: Christy Moore, Damien Dempsey, Sam Amidon, The Fall. One of the biggest and most popular summer festivals in the emerald isle features top quality musical acts along with dance and the visual arts offerings. The 100,000 festival goers will be exposed to writers, artists, dramatists from all over the world.
3. Castlepalooza Music and Arts Festival, County Offaly, Charleville Castle, Tullamore, August 3 -5
Featured Acts: Le Galaxie, The Charlatans, GHOSTPOET. This boutique Irish festival supports local music as well as food culture and production. It is set in a bucolic Charleville Castle in Tullamore. Proving you should not judge a festival by its size, Castlepalooza is regularly nominated as the “Best Small Festival in Europe.”
4. Live at the Marquee, County Cork, Dockland, Centre Park Road, June 7 – July 7th
Featured Acts: Justice, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Imelda May, The Specials. This eclectic music festival found its start in 2005 when Cork was designated the European Capital of culture. Shows take place over multiple days in a huge tent on the east side of town in the Docklands.
5. Indiependence Festival 2012, Cork Ireland, August 3 -5
Featured Acts: 2MANYDJS, British Sea Power, Power, Feeder. Set on a 52 acre farm among the Galtee mountains in Mitchelstown, this festival lives up to its independent moniker by featuring music from bands mainly from Cork. The event also features 80s and electro music themed party tents for those who rather dance to the music than watch it.
(video of band British Sea Power)
6. Sea Sessions Surf Music Festival, Co. Donegal, June 29 – July 1
Featured Acts: Happy Mondays, Kaiser Chiefs, Rev Run (Run D.M.C.) & DJ Ruckus (DJ set. This festival is located on the beach in Bundoran, serving as the site of the surfing competition known as the Expression session. Besides experiencing concerts one can take in a wide array of eclectic sport demonstrations including bmx biking, skateboarding, mountain biking, beach soccer and ultimate Frisbee.
7. Body and Soul Festival, Co. Westmeath, June 22-24
Featured Music Acts: M83, Spiritualized, St. Vincent. The festival prides itself on its relationship with its surroundings and environment. The pristine grounds surrounding the Ballinlough Castle offer festival attendees a natural escape in designated quiet areas in lakes and walled gardens.
8. Spirit of Folk Festival, County Meath, September 21 - 23
Featured Music Acts: John Spillane, The Lost brothers, The Henry Girls. This event features the best folk, trad, and bluegrass in Ireland and the UK. You can also explore other folk traditions such storytelling, archery, and historical reenactments all on the grounds of Dunberry park in Ireland.
9. Cairde Summer Festival, Sligo, July 1– July Featured
Musical Acts: Madu, Liam O’Maonlai, Niwel Tsumbu, Morgan Szymanski. This weeklong fest brings offers an eclectic mix of dance, visual, art and more. A Shelly River model boat race will kick off the festivities as an homage to the love of boats shared by Sligo’s proud son artist Jack Butler Yeats.