This October Púca Festival will celebrate Ireland as the origin of Halloween in Trim and Athboy, County Meath, featuring great musicians, comedians, storytellers and spooky processions.
Finally returning to County Meath after a two-year hiatus, the Púca Festival will celebrate the country's heritage, traditions and talent in the historic towns of Athboy and Trim. There's no more fitting location to celebrate Halloween than in County Meath, where the October holiday began as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.
The Púca Festival program was launched on Tues, Sept 13, at Dublin Castle by Ireland's Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin, Director of Product Development Orla Carroll, and Paul Lawler the Festival Director.
The multi-talented lineup in the newly launched program includes The Academic, Imelda May, Gavin James, Sharon Shannon, Kíla and Seo Linn, joining the previously announced King Kong Company, Block Rockin’ Beats, Lisa Hannigan, Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow Cabaret, Blindboy, Joanne McNally, Neil Delamere, David O’Doherty, Jason Byrne and more.
Developed by Fáilte Ireland, in partnership with Meath County Council, to tell the origin story of Samhain or "Summer’s End", Púca was devised to encourage more international visitors to visit Ireland during October and November and to encourage domestic visitors to explore different regions of Ireland. Working in partnership with Irish artists, seanchaí storytellers, and the local community Púca showcases the best in contemporary Irish music, spectacle, and performance, and is now in its third year.
Speaking at the program launch in Dublin Castle, Minister Martin said “Immersive festivals play an important role in delivering brilliant visitor experiences, giving domestic and overseas visitors a unique opportunity to experience the very best of our culture, people and places.
"Halloween is a globally recognized holiday and Fáilte Ireland’s Púca festival is an excellent opportunity to promote Ireland as the place where it all began."
Orla Carroll, from Fáilte Ireland, added: "Púca Festival aims to position Ireland internationally as the home of Halloween and will build on existing work already taking place in Ireland’s Ancient East to tell the region’s ancient story."
Here are just some of the wonderful events in the 2022 Púca Festival:
Arrival of the Spirits Samhain Procession
The festival ceremonies officially commence with the Arrival of the Spirits Samhain Procession on Sat, Oct 29. Join in the Samhain Procession as it weaves its way through the eerie dark streets of Trim, making its way to the magical Trim Castle where the entertainment continues. This illuminated procession will be a sight to behold with large-scale processional pieces, music, fire, and performances not to be missed. Spectators are invited to celebrate the Samhain spirits and create their own masks, with dressing up highly encouraged.
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The Púca Big Top Stage in Trim will host high-profile headline acts each night including, Imelda May, Gavin James, The Academic, King Kong Company and Block Rockin Beats, Lisa Hannigan and Cathy Davey, and many more.
Comedy stages are set to host a stellar lineup of comedy favorites such as David O’Doherty, Joanne McNally, Neil Delamere and Jason Byrne.
The Morrigan Stage at Trim Castle Hotel will feature the Blindboy Live Podcast Show, Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow, Davina Devine – The Queens of Halloween Spooktacular with Mother DJs, and a late-night party at the Púca Festival Club.
The Darnley Lodge Hotel Athboy will host live performances from The High Kings and the Dublin City Ramblers – 50th Anniversary Celebration Tour
At Trim Castle, the Boann Stage will feature free ticketed events with the talented Sharon Shannon, Seo Linn, and much more.
Driven by a passion for folklore and mythology, Candlelit Tales at the Morrigan Stage in Trim Castle Hotel will be breathing life into old stories, for young and old, in keeping with Ireland’s wonderful storytelling heritage.
Food lovers will rejoice at the Jack O’Lantern Harvest Market taking place in Trim Castle across the weekend. Attendees can expect to discover a wonderful showcase of local producers offering up tasty treats and creepy crafts that are sure to satisfy Halloween appetites.
Fairgreen in Athboy
On the Fairgreen in Athboy, an all-ages Irish-themed Celtic Voyage Circus will delight families, while after dark the Samhain Circus celebrates the creme de la creme of creepy cabaret, hair-raising high wire acts and sideshow elements, fire performances, and much more.
The Fairgreen in Athboy and Hill of Ward will host this year's celebration of Samhain, with a living historical village, walking tours, processions and spectacle, and exciting surprises.
For more information and tickets visit PucaFestival.com.