Famous for its crystal and its Viking roots – not to mention the oldest city in Ireland – Co. Waterford has an enduring reputation as a hub of artistic and cultural innovation.

These are the upcoming events and initiatives you won’t want to miss as Ireland embraces its creative and artistic prowess as part of the government-led Creative Ireland initiative. From music to street performances to food and film festivals, there’s so much to see and do in 2017 and over the next few years.

Meet the King of the Vikings

A thoroughly modern exploration of Waterford’s Viking history, King of the Vikings is the world’s first virtual reality Viking adventure. Participants are immersed in the story of King Reginald (of Reginald’s Tower) and the broader impact of the Vikings on Waterford City. The VR tour just opened this summer and runs May – October 7 days a week.

Ceolchoirm Dhaonscoil na Mumhan

Waterford’s vibrant Gaeltacht area will showcase an integral part of the county's culture and heritage through a Gala Concert featuring traditional Irish musicians, singers, and dancers from near and far. The concert will take place in Halla Pobail na Rinne, An Rinn on Thursday, August 24 at 8.00pm.

Stop, Look and Listen

As part of a wider Heritage Interpretation Plan for the Waterford Greenway, the Stop, Look & Listen project has recorded 20 traditional songs along the Greenway by local Waterford singers and these are presented on Google maps and Facebook video links.


Digicol Photography

Digicol Photography

ArtBeat in Waterford is a free open-air music festival in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle. ArtBeat takes place every Saturday throughout the summer until the end of August. Kick back, relax with a cuppa or a glass of wine, and listen to top class acts like Exiles, Chasing Felix, and The Sunshine Factory.

The Story of Glass

Blowing glass at Waterford Crystal

Blowing glass at Waterford Crystal

Waterford has a long association with glass-making and many people in Waterford have stories to tell of their association with this highly skilled craft. This project will include the recording of an oral history of glass-making in Waterford and the incorporation of design and artistic elements through talks by glass artists, exhibitions and creative use of glass in performance arts.

Waterford Genealogist in Residence

This is sure to be a favorite with visitors from abroad and is the result of a partnership between Creative Waterford, Waterford Museums, and Waterford Libraries. This is a pilot project intended to (a) provide a walk-in & online family research advice information point and (b) collaborate on the provision of courses on online research.

Waterford Harvest Festival

Waterford Harvest Festival celebrates the food and food heritage of Waterford and is all about local food, with something to suit all tastes, such as cookery demonstrations, tastings, workshops, and picnics. The festival, which runs from September 8 – 10, is a modern nod to the pagan harvest celebrations of yore.

I am Waterford 

This inspiring campaign aims to connect people around the world with pride in their Waterford heritage. The Facebook group has amassed an impressive 12,000 members already, with many more connecting and sharing their Waterford pride and connections via the #IAmWaterford hashtag. A number of in-person events to bring Waterfordians together are also planned. Share your #IamWaterford story to join in! 

Reader in Residence Program

Reading enables creativity and Waterford already supports the Waterford Writers Festival. This Reader in Residence pilot program will engage an author to travel to libraries and their communities around the County promoting reading and literacy.

The Waterford Greenway

The Waterford Greenway is a spectacular 30 mile off-road cycling and walking trail along the former railway line between Waterford and Dungarvan. The Greenway crosses through rich agricultural land and the River Suir, passing viaducts, old railway stations, and heritage sites. This highly accessible new amenity affords people of all ages a chance to enjoy a family day out and to enjoy the natural environment and local history along the Greenway.

Waterford Walls

Image: Waterford Walls/Facebook

Image: Waterford Walls/Facebook

Waterford Walls is an international street art festival that transforms Waterford City into an open-air gallery. Waterford Walls invites street artists to transform Waterford’s walls, making Waterford an essential cultural attraction in Ireland. Now in its 3rd year, Waterford Walls encourages collaboration between art and architecture to bring the streets and buildings to life with color. The festival will take place on August 17 – 20, 2017.

Waterford Film Festival

The Waterford Film Festival, which runs November 3 – 6, concentrates on short films with a very diverse program of screenings, ranging from drama, comedy, documentaries, and animation to experimental and student work.

Waterford Winterval

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The very popular Christmas Lightshow is repeated every 30 minutes on weekday evenings in Cathedral Square. This year the Lightshow will run from November 24 to December 22. It is a favorite with kids (of all ages). It also features entertainment and a Christmas market.

Spraoi International Street Arts Festival

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

This annual festival of street performance and spectacle took place August 4 – 6 in Waterford City. Visitors and locals alike enjoyed street performances of the absurd, beautiful, and hilarious variety, a line-up of musical acts, and a parade. Look out for more in 2018!

Check out Waterford’s full culture and creativity plans here.

Is there an upcoming cultural event in Waterford you think people should know about? Tell us in the comment section.