Arts festivals Northern Ireland

Arts Festivals Northern Ireland – Explore Cultural Events

Do you know that annually, the City of Derry Jazz Festival hosts over 70 performances in various locations? This turns the city into a musical paradise1. Northern Ireland is rich with arts festivals. It offers a wide range of cultural events for everyone. Festivals in Belfast, like the Glens Storytelling Festival, last for five dazzling days1.

Explore the music at the Roe Valley Folk Festival. It brings a mix of folk traditions and lively dance1. Or visit the Atlantic Sessions, a four-day event with 50 artists, set in 20 venues along the coast1. These festivals showcase the vibrant Irish culture. In the Derry-Londonderry area, you can enjoy events such as the Stendhal Festival and the Oscar linked Foyle Film Festival, showing the city’s artistry1.

East Belfast’s Eastside Arts Festival is a must-visit. It lets the local community’s creativity shine through music, comedy, and workshops for all age groups in the summer1. Festivals are found everywhere in Northern Ireland, from busy Belfast to the peaceful countryside. They all highlight the area’s commitment to its cultural history.

Key Takeaways

  • Northern Ireland’s vibrant arts scene is shown through its many festivals, adding to the cultural events schedule.
  • The five-day Glens Storytelling Festival is key in Belfast, reflecting local traditions1.
  • The Roe Valley Folk Festival offers a mix of music and dance to celebrate various folk traditions1.
  • The four-day Atlantic Sessions showcases 50 artists in 20 coastal venues across Northern Ireland1.
  • East Belfast’s Eastside Arts Festival highlights local talent with various summer events1.
  • Derry-Londonderry organises big festivals such as the Stendhal Festival and the Foyle Film Festival, boosting its cultural scene1.

For more information, visit Northern Ireland Arts and Theatre Events.

The Georgian Festival in Armagh

The Georgian Festival in Armagh is a must-see event. It’s filled with rich history and cultural fun. This exciting festival runs for four days, from 28th November to 1st December 2024. It shines a light on the city’s past and its lively community2.

This event mixes old-time charms with today’s excitement. It attracts visitors from all over the country.

Rich Georgian Heritage

The city’s architecture tells tales of its Georgian past. For example, the Robinson Library has been around since 1771. It’s Northern Ireland’s oldest library2. The Armagh Observatory, a key place for studying stars since 1790, is also open to visitors during the festival2.

These spots let you step back in time and see the city’s history up close.

Costume Parades and Events

A celebration of the Georgian era wouldn’t be the same without grand costume parades. The festival has lots of these events. People dress up in beautiful period clothes, showing off the era’s grace. A highlight is Georgian Day, which is on Saturday, 30th November2. It includes fun things like carriage rides and The Great Georgian Banquet.

Armagh Georgian Festival

Children’s Christmas Market

Family fun is central to the Armagh Georgian Festival. The Children’s Christmas Market is full of joy and holiday surprises. From 23rd to 26th November 2023, enjoy the kids’ shows at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. You can see “The Alien Who Stole Christmas” and “Mission Santa” space pantomime3.

Tickets for “A Fairytale of Armagh” go on sale from 07 November. These events make Christmas special for all ages3.

There are plenty of both paid and free activities to enjoy. Everyone can have fun. You may like the events at Armagh Courthouse or the Georgian-themed Christmas Tea. Go online to the official Visit Armagh website for the latest details and to book your spot.

Home of St. Patrick Festival

At the Home of St. Patrick Festival in Armagh, dive into Irish culture. This event honours St. Patrick with Northern Ireland’s finest music, songs, and dances4. Armagh, the place where St. Patrick started his first churches in the 5th century, is full of history and tradition. It’s the perfect spot for these festivities4. The festival lasts nine days, from the 10th to the 18th of March. It’s one of the most genuine St. Patrick’s celebrations in the UK and Ireland5.

Home of St. Patrick Festival

A Lively Showcase of Culture and Music

This festival has something for everyone. You can listen to music from famous artists like Phil Coulter and Sandy Kelly. There’s also an Aran knitting workshop, film showings, and guided tours4. In Armagh City, known for its cathedrals dedicated to St. Patrick, these fun activities happen in various locations. They show how creative the city is5. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Armagh County Museum or the Armagh Robinson Library. They have ancient books and items that tell the story of early Christian Ireland5.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the festival’s main event. It’s a joyful occasion that brings people together. At the parade, you’ll hear live music, see traditional dances, and enjoy family-friendly activities. Cities like Belfast and Derry also have big celebrations. They add to the festive feel with parades, music, and food stands6. These parades are essential for keeping our Irish heritage alive and cherished.

CityMain Events
ArmaghMusic, Dance, Film Screenings, Workshops, Parade
BelfastCéilís, Trad Trail, Parade
Derry~LondonderrySpring Carnival Parade, Live Music, Food Stalls
EnniskillenLand & Water-based Activities, Traditional Parade

7 Hills Blues Festival

The 7 Hills Blues Festival in Armagh is a top event for blues and roots music fans. It’s part of the Belfast summer festivals. The festival turns Armagh into a place filled with amazing music.

World-Class Blues and Roots Music

The 7 Hills Blues Festival is among the biggest in the UK and Ireland. It shows off a lot of talent, drawing people from all over. From August 6 to August 9, over 50 acts will perform, from stars like Mary Coughlan and Ronnie Greer to local favourites like Cup o’Joe and The Bear Necessities7. Plus, there are many free gigs around the city, making it easy for anyone to join in.

Events Across Multiple Venues

More than 20 places in Armagh will hold events for the festival. It’s the fifth year, and it keeps getting bigger, with more people coming each time7. There will be shows that sold out in the past. And for the first time, there’s a special bus making travel from Belfast to Armagh easier7.

For families, there are kids’ workshops and a family fun day at The Shambles Yard. And for those who love to shop, there will be music while you browse. It’s a weekend of fun for all7.

7 Hills Blues Festival

Glens Storytelling Festival

The Glens Storytelling Festival is hosted in the lively Belfast arts area1. It’s a five-day event that celebrates local storytelling. The festival also supports Irish folk traditions and community festivals1. This gathering shows the power of stories that have been shared for many years. It will be held from the 19th to the 22nd of October 20238.

Glens Storytelling Festival

People coming to the Glens Festival can enjoy many things. There are workshops for children, walks to learn about the past, and live storytelling9. These activities are part of a big cultural picture. They show how important stories are for building a community.

The festival has something for everyone, young and old9. So, whether you like the magical tales or the community feeling, you’ll have a great time. The Glens Festival is a special place that shows why stories matter.

Roe Valley Folk Festival

Will you join us at the Roe Valley Folk Festival? It’s a highlight of our year. This festival, in beautiful Roe Valley, showcases Irish culture through art and folk music and dance.

Roe Valley Folk Festival

Eclectic Mix of Folk Music and Dance

Music and dance are at the heart of this event. You’ll see a variety of folk traditions, both local and from around the world. Whether you enjoy fast-paced jigs or heartfelt songs, there’s something for you.

The Stendhal Festival near Limavady is a key player in celebrating culture in Northern Ireland, running since 201010. The Roe Valley Folk Festival also contributes to the area’s cultural vibrancy, attracting both locals and visitors.

Family-Friendly and Youth Events

The festival is very family-oriented. It aims to get young people involved in the rich folk traditions. There are storytelling sessions and workshops for kids and families to enjoy together.

The upcoming Stendhal Festival will also be diverse, featuring top acts like Hot Chip and Heather Small11. This approach helps create a welcoming, community feel at these events.

For anyone interested, Stendhal Festival tickets are £80 for two days for adults11. There are also affordable eco camping and campervan options. Such pricing underscores the festivals’ aim to be inclusive and fun for all.

Come to the Roe Valley Folk Festival and discover a world of heritage, music, and dance. Be part of something that connects us and keeps our culture alive.

Atlantic Sessions

The Atlantic Sessions is a four-day music festival in Portstewart and Portrush, known for Northern Ireland’s lively music scene. This year, it hosts 110 musicians in over 20 venues for more than 40 free gigs and headline events1213. From 15th to 18th November, you can enjoy Northern Ireland’s music, featuring both local and new acts13.

Music Events Across Portstewart and Portrush

In Portstewart, the Atlantic Sessions showcase local music, including performances by Brand New Friend12. Headliners include Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and Phil Taggart from BBC Radio 1, as well as The 4 of Us. This mix highlights Northern Ireland’s music talent1213. The festival also includes more than 50 bands, offering a rich variety of music styles from the Causeway Coast13.

Live At The Beach Music Festival

Live At The Beach is a key event at the Atlantic Sessions, set against the North Coast’s beautiful scenery. While some shows are ticketed, most are free, making it a welcoming space for everyone12. It also joins with the Taste Causeway food event, combining local dishes with great music in Portstewart and Portrush13.

Atlantic Sessions music festivals Northern Ireland

Stories & Music Of The Causeway Coast

Atlantic Sessions reserves special nights for the Stories & Music Of The Causeway Coast, sharing local tales and songs. Both new and seasoned artists, like Pale Lanterns and Rebekah Fitch, perform. This shows the growth of Northern Ireland’s music culture13. Plus, there are amazing deals on stay and food, making the festival even better for all12.

Belfast International Arts Festival

The Belfast International Arts Festival began in 1962. It has been a key part of Belfast’s culture for 60 years14. In October, the city becomes alive with art. It includes theatre, dance, music, and more14.

Belfast International Arts Festival

Diverse Arts and Entertainment

The festival offers many types of art for diverse tastes. It includes plays, dance, and innovative visual arts. People look forward to its varied and exciting programme each year14.

Global Artists and Performers

The event is known for its international flair. Performers worldwide come to showcase their art. This year, the festival runs from October 12th to November 5th in over 30 locations15. It helps introduce new cultural experiences to Belfast15.

The festival faced a crisis in 2007 but the community saved it. Even after losing a major sponsor in 2016, it has thrived. Now, it’s known around the world14.

This festival shows Belfast’s growing arts community. Everyone can enjoy its top-notch events. It’s a major part of Northern Ireland’s cultural life15.

Feile an Phobail – West Belfast Festival

Feile an Phobail, or the West Belfast Festival, is a lively celebration of Irish and global culture. It started in 1988 and has now become Ireland’s biggest arts festival by the community. It shines a light on different artistic forms, mixing local customs with worldwide influences16. The festival runs all year with key events like the August Féile, Féile an Earraigh, and Draíocht. Each of these adds a special touch to the community’s life17.

Best of Irish and International Culture

From music to theatre and visual arts, Feile an Phobail is bursting with creativity. The carnival parade stands out, bringing over 20,000 people for a big party17. It mixes Irish and global features, making it a party for everyone. Big names such as Westlife, Mary Black, Gerry Adams, and Ardal O’Hanlon have been a part, giving everyone a diverse cultural experience.

Events Around Falls Road

In Falls Road’s rich setting, Feile an Phobail welcomes everyone for cultural sharing. The August Féile draws in thousands, boosting community spirit and joy16. Projects like the Youth Arts celebrate the amazing skills of young ones16. For locals or visitors, the festival’s workshops, shows, and community events have something special. This makes its mark deep and wide.


What are some notable arts festivals in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland is home to many prominent arts festivals. These include the Belfast International Arts Festival and the Roe Valley Folk Festival. People enjoy cultural activities like theatre, music, and traditional arts at these events.

What can I expect at The Georgian Festival in Armagh?

The Georgian Festival in Armagh is a celebration of its Georgian heritage. It features people dressed in period costumes and horse-drawn carriage rides. The Great Georgian Banquet and a Christmas Light Show are its highlights.

What makes the Home of St. Patrick Festival unique?

The Home of St. Patrick Festival in Armagh is a lively tribute to Ireland’s patron saint. It shows Irish culture, music, and dance, climaxing with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This event encourages everyone to enjoy the fun and wear shamrocks.

What is the 7 Hills Blues Festival about?

The 7 Hills Blues Festival in Armagh is a big summer event. It fills the city with blues music and excitement, with shows at over 20 venues. It’s a weekend where music lovers can have a great time together.

What can visitors expect at the Glens Storytelling Festival?

In Belfast, the Glens Storytelling Festival lasts five days. It celebrates the area’s tradition of storytelling. By telling stories, it highlights the important role of stories in Northern Ireland’s culture.

What kind of events are featured at the Roe Valley Folk Festival?

The Roe Valley Folk Festival highlights folk music and dance. It’s for all ages and has storytelling for kids. The aim is to keep the community’s folk traditions alive.

What are Atlantic Sessions known for?

Atlantic Sessions is a four-day music festival by the coast. It shows off Northern Ireland’s musical excellence with over 20 performances. Music with a view, like Live At The Beach, and local stories round out the experience.

Which types of performances are highlighted at the Belfast International Arts Festival?

The Belfast International Arts Festival offers a wide range of performances. It shines a light on global and local talent in fields like theatre, dance, and literature. This makes it a great place for anyone who loves the arts.

What is the focus of Feile an Phobail – West Belfast Festival?

Feile an Phobail, based in Falls Road, is a lively mix of local and global culture. It includes music, arts and workshops. These events are meant to bring people together and share culture.

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Healing Spirit festival takes place at Drummany Spirit, Milltown, Cavan, Ireland on the 4rd to 5th August 2024. Our festival is run by our small community group, Drummany Spirit, is family and child friendly and is alcohol and drug free. This boutique festival features a large lineup of live music, plus a large array of holistic events and practices including sweat lodges, yoga classes, movement meditation (ecstatic dance), pranayama/breathwork, meditation; plus alternative healing and therapies, crafts, art, drumming circles and talks by leading authorities on personal and spiritual growth, sustainability, conscious living, and healing.

We are set on beautiful sacred land overlooking Lough Oughter in Cavan. Drummany Spirit is a community group which hosts the festival each year. 2024 is our third year running the festival and it's been a major success so far with new friends from across Ireland and abroad attending. You can see the festival lineup here, see photos from previous years here and you can get tickets here (note: the festival has very limited capacity and is almost sold out) .