Here's why you don't want to miss the world's largest celebration of Irish music and culture this August.
Milwaukee Irish Fest is back at the Henry Maier Festival Park this August 17 - 20 for four days of music, culture, and craic. Not only can you enjoy Irish music spread across 18 stages but the festival is packed with Irish shopping markets, fun family events, and delicious Irish food & drink choices.
Want to experience Milwaukee Irish Fest as a VIP? The festival's Fáilte Club VIP experience lets you enjoy the festival from an exclusive setting – an upper deck overlooking the Miller Lite Stage! Watch performances of Gaelic Storm, Boxing Banjo, and more from an elevated view. VIP sells out fast so learn more and get your VIP tickets here.
The music performances you can't miss at Milwaukee Irish Fest:
Traditional Irish and bluegrass group Boxing Banjo
Hailing from the picturesque west coast of Ireland, Boxing Banjo have quickly become one of the hottest musical properties around. Their live shows exude a feel-good factor combining a myriad of instruments including button accordion, banjo, guitar, fiddle, and bodhrán. Their sound transcends musical boundaries, effortlessly fusing Irish Traditional, Bluegrass, Old-time, and Folk music and song bringing listeners on a truly captivating musical voyage like no other.
Indie folk-rock groups The Coronas and Hermitage Green
The Coronas seventh album, Time Stopped was released in October and went straight to number one on the Irish album charts, making them the first and only self-released Irish band in history to have a third consecutive number-one album, an amazing feat for the Dublin trio.
Hermitage Green has built a dedicated legion of fans across the globe thanks to their captivating and unforgettable live sets. Their unique arrangement of instruments that includes the bodhrán, djembe, rhythmic guitar, and banjo sets them apart as a truly original offering of Irish Music.
Folk ballad duo Colm & Laura Keegan
Irish singer-songwriter Colm Keegan and his wife, Scottish Cellist Laura Durrant, are best known as principal performers in the world-renowned singing group Celtic Thunder. Joining the group in 2011, they have featured on three Celtic Thunder DVDs and four CDs, the CDs repeatedly rocketing to #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart.
Singer-songwriter Wallis Bird
Irish-born, Berlin-based Wallis Bird's new album HANDS documents her subsequent process of change, and its consequences, with a distinctive style, making it – hands down, naturally – one of the most honest albums you’ll hear at a time when honesty is at a premium.
Canadian folk duo Cassie & Maggie
Nova Scotian sisters Cassie and Maggie have been lighting up the world with their unique blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic instrumentals and vocals. Appearing on stages across North America, the UK, and Europe the sisters have enchanted audiences far and wide with lively fiddle, piano, and guitar arrangements, stunning sibling vocal harmonies in both English and Gaelic, all complemented by their intricate and percussive step dancing style.
Their new album, The Willow Collection showcases not only their musical ability but the depth and variety of their musicianship.
TradFest & The Scattering
Milwaukee Irish Fest is partnering with TradFest to bring emerging artists in Ireland to U.S. audiences. Catch TradFest artists all weekend long at The Snug Stage from The Finns, Polly Barrett, and MEGA-Trad.
While The Scattering is where all the musicians come together to close out the festival with one big epic finale, featuring both traditional Irish tunes and traditional Irish folk songs! The Scattering takes place on Sunday, August 20, at 8 pm at the Aer Lingus Stage.
Cultural Highlights at Milwaukee Irish Fest
History, genealogy, politics, literature, modern culture, and more will be discussed at this year’s Hedge School. Brendan O’Leary, Lauder Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Honorary Professor of Political Science at Queen’s University, Belfast, will present “Irish Pasts - Transformations of Ireland, North and South: 1958-2023.”
He will review the dramatic transformations of both jurisdictions in Ireland in his lifetime, paying special attention to religious, economic, and party-political transformations, noting the reversal in the comparative performance of the two polities in the last sixty-five years.
Milwaukee Irish Fest is delighted and honored to have Minister James Browne visiting the festival and speaking at the Hedge School. He’ll talk about Ireland today and the country’s challenges and opportunities.
Chef Tom Flavin at the Callen Celtic Kitchen
This year’s featured chef in the Callen Celtic Kitchen at Irish Fest is Tom Flavin, a chef and food consultant from Limerick, Ireland. Enjoy food demonstrations all weekend long from Chef Flavin at the Callen Celtic Kitchen.
Jameson Whiskey Tastings
Join Jameson Brand Ambassador Jenna Murray at the Jameson Cottage for entertaining and informative insight into the fine art of Irish whiskey distilling and tasting. Visit irishfest.com to view tasting prices and times.
Irish Language Tent
Brian Ó Conchubhair will speak both in the Irish Language Tent throughout the festival weekend. At the Irish Language Tent, one of his discussions will center around the history of the Irish language and its movement in the United States.
Irish Fest’s Gaeltacht Tent
Join Alicia Guinn for a sean-nós dance demonstration and workshop at Irish Fest’s Gaeltacht tent! Alicia Guinn is a leading teacher of sean-nós dance in the United States. Her teaching style reaches beyond dance steps to the culture and history of Irish dance. With expertise rooted in the dance traditions of Galway and Clare, Alicia helps students develop joy, fluency, flow, musicality, and personal style in their dancing.
Download the FREE official festival app, available on Apple and Android devices, to make your own festival itinerary and to view the weekend’s program!
Milwaukee Irish Fest is presented by CelticMKE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Irish, Irish American and Celtic cultures.