Biggest festivals Ireland

Top Biggest Festivals Ireland Guide – Calendar Highlights

Ireland is known for its lively festivals all year round. From the unique Puck Fair in Killorglin to the romantic Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, there’s something for everyone1. The festival schedule for 2023-2024 is packed with events that celebrate Irish culture. This includes the mental health awareness festival First Fortnight, the rich TradFest, and the dazzling Dublin International Film Festival23.

Key Takeaways

  • Ireland hosts a wide range of lively festivals, all reflecting its rich culture.
  • February stands out with 11 festivals, offering diverse cultural experiences in that month2.
  • The Imbolc International Music Festival, spanning 8 days, is the longest festival in early 20242.
  • First Fortnight and TradFest provide deep cultural immersion.
  • The Dublin International Film Festival, screening over 100 movies, is a major event3.

Introduction to Irish Festivals

Irish music festivals and outdoor events in Ireland show its rich culture. They bring together the community, celebrating various cultural aspects like music, dance, and more. Everyone, from locals to tourists, can join in and learn about Ireland’s traditions.

Take TradFest, for example. It lights up the city with traditional Irish music each year. It’s a big hit because of the authentic musical moments it offers2. Then there’s the Dublin International Film Festival. Since 2003, it has wowed the audience with more than 1,500 films, making it a top festival in Europe4. This event boosts Ireland’s position in the global film scene while welcoming fans worldwide.

Irish music festivals

Outdoor events aim to bring people together and share different cultures. The Galway Early Music Festival, for example, invites people to experience music and dances from the 12th to 17th centuries. It’s a big draw for folks from near and far4. Then, the Ortús Chamber Music Festival focuses on education and uniting Irish and international musicians4.

Whether it’s enjoying films at the Dublin festival or listening to ancient tunes at the Galway music gathering, these events connect people to Ireland’s past and creative spirit.

Winter Festivals in Ireland

Winter in Ireland lights up with engaging festivals, offering varied experiences and warmth. These festivals, from music to multi-culture events, bring joy to all.

First Fortnight

First Fortnight battles mental health stigma with arts’ transformative force. This festival spans several counties, hosting cultural events like music and theatre. It aims to provide joy and comfort during the winter season2.


TradFest Temple Bar, at places like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, highlights traditional Irish music. It’s known as one of Ireland’s top music fests. It mixes old and new musical talent, blending tradition with new ideas2.

First Fortnight

Dublin Lunar New Year

The Dublin Lunar New Year mixes Asian and Irish cultures in a vibrant festival. It includes parades, cultural acts, and food, making it a diverse celebration. It connects the Asian and Irish communities, bustling with cultural exchanges and joy5.

These winter festivals show Ireland’s rich cultural scene, with events for everyone. They are perfect for those looking for mental health awareness, traditional music, or multi-culture vibes. They offer deep cultural engagement with Ireland’s diversity.

Spring Festivals in Ireland

In Ireland, spring brings a burst of festivals filled with creativity and culture. You can join big parades or smaller choral events, there is something for everyone. This season is full of energy and enjoyment.

St Patrick’s Festival

The St Patrick’s Festival is at the centre of Irish spring celebrations on March 17th. It’s a time for the country to shine, with parades, fireworks, and many cultural events. This festival is the biggest in March, showing the pride of Ireland with joyous activities for everyone to enjoy2.

Dublin International Film Festival

The Dublin International Film Festival is a key event in the spring calendar. It showcases both Irish and international films, making Ireland a film industry hotspot. People from around the world gather to watch a variety of films, creating a unique storytelling experience. Through its films, the festival promotes the art of filmmaking.

Fingal International Festival of Voices

From March 7th to 10th, the Fingal International Festival of Voices takes place in Dublin2. It’s all about choral music and singing. Choirs and vocal groups worldwide come to share their love of music. This festival is loved by music fans and keeps the spirit of creativity alive through a shared musical journey.

Spring festivals in Ireland

Summer Festivals in Ireland

Summer festivals in Ireland are full of life and culture. They include literary meet-ups, art shows, and traditional events. These events welcome people of all interests.

Bloomsday Festival

The Bloomsday Festival honours James Joyce’s book Ulysses on June 16. It brings together fans to follow Leopold Bloom’s Dublin journey. With readings, shows, and tours, the festival merges the past with the present. It’s a highlight for anyone who loves books or culture.

Bloomsday Festival

Galway International Arts Festival

The Galway International Arts Festival takes place in July. It mixes music, theatre, and art, attracting people from all over. This diverse program lights up Galway, making it a major arts hub during the summer6. The festival’s popularity has helped Galway shine globally.

Puck Fair

The Puck Fair in Killorglin, County Kerry, dates back over 400 years and is held in August7. It’s known for crowning a goat as king and a few days of fun. This festival celebrates community and heritage, a vital part of summer in Ireland7.

Autumn Festivals in Ireland

As autumn arrives, Ireland buzzes with festivals celebrating music, literature, and art. The Dublin Theatre Festival shines, introducing new Irish work and global shows. This highlights Ireland’s dynamic cultural scene. It’s a time for creativity and self-reflection, inviting everyone to share unique experiences.

Autumn festivals in Ireland

  • Guinness Jazz Festival in Cork: Hosting over 1,000 musicians from 30 countries, marking its 30th year8.
  • The Bundoran Ocean Festival in Co. Donegal: Celebrates the ocean through art, photography, cinema, food, and events8.
  • The International Poetry Festival in Gorthahork: Offers a EUR 7,000 prize for the highest worldwide haiku8.
  • The Dublin Marathon: A historic event running for 28 years, taking participants through the historic streets of Dublin8.
  • The Limerick City International Poetry Festival at Belltable Arts Centre: In its 11th year, celebrates contemporary poetry8.

Ireland’s autumn events turn the season into a cultural feast. With a myriad of festivals showcasing arts in various forms, it’s a lively season for both visitors and locals. Everyone can dive into Ireland’s cultural scene during these vibrant weeks.

Festival NameDescriptionKey Highlights
Guinness Jazz FestivalIn Cork, celebrating its 30th year1,000+ musicians from 30 countries
Bundoran Ocean FestivalIn Co. DonegalArt, Photography, Cinema, Food
International Poetry FestivalIn Gorthahork, Co. DonegalEUR 7,000 prize for best haiku
Dublin Marathon28-year historyHistoric streets of Dublin
Limerick City International Poetry FestivalAt Belltable Arts Centre11th year, celebrating contemporary poetry

Biggest Festivals Ireland

Ireland’s top festivals not only grab global attention but also show off the country’s rich culture. The Cork Jazz Festival is a biggie, top three in the world7. The Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, over 60 years old, brings lots of people together to enjoy Irish music and dance7.

Every year, the Galway Arts Festival adds life to the city in July, making it a key event1. Then we have the ancient Puck Fair in August, going strong for over 400 years, always a hit7.

biggest festivals Ireland

The Rose of Tralee Festival, also in August, is one of the country’s biggest and oldest events17. Then, in September, the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors each year7. And, let’s not forget the Galway Oyster Festival, a foodie heaven since 19547.

Here’s a table to show the main festivals and their details:

Cork Jazz FestivalOctoberCork
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireannAugustVarious
Galway Arts FestivalJulyGalway
Puck FairAugustKillorglin
Rose of Tralee FestivalAugustTralee, Kerry
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking FestivalSeptemberCounty Clare
Galway Oyster FestivalSeptemberGalway

Festivals Highlighting Irish Music

Irish music festivals are key in keeping the culture alive. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is a top one for its tradition. It draws people to witness real Irish music and dance. The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, on the other hand, brings lively acts. Each year, it stamps Cork as full of music and life.

Irish music festivals

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann brightens Ireland with its music and dance. It joins musicians from around the nation. This makes it a buzzing Irish community. More than just fun, it helps keep Irish culture in the spotlight.

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is famous for its exciting shows. It firmly places Cork among preferred jazz destinations. By mixing local and global talent, it always feels new. For visitors, it’s a must-see for fresh vibes.

Dublin Dance Festival

The Dublin Dance Festival showcases dance’s modern side. It takes place each May, pushing for positive changes through dance. This festival offers shows, classes, and talks4. It shows Ireland’s support for different arts beautifully.

“Celebrating the rhythm of Ireland, one dance step at a time.”

Festival NameHighlightLocation
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireannTraditional Irish MusicVarious locations across Ireland
Guinness Cork Jazz FestivalJazz PerformancesCork
Dublin Dance FestivalContemporary DanceDublin

These events aren’t just fun; they are rich in Irish music. From Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann’s old tunes to Cork Jazz’s lively acts, they cover the Irish music scene. People come to enjoy and learn about Ireland’s music and culture.

Family-Friendly Festivals in Ireland

Family-friendly festivals in Ireland are perfect for families to have fun and share cultural activities together. The Belfast Children’s Festival is known for its many activities just for kids. It has things like theatre and arts, making it great for families to join in.

The Kaleidoscope Festival, held at Russborough House in Co Wicklow, brings top music and arts for families9. It features acts like Nile Rodgers and Chic. Plus, you’ll find plenty of stuff for kids to do, making it a great family event9. It’s on from 30th June to 2nd July, offering a weekend of fun10.

Cruinniú na nÓg is full of over 600 free events for kids all over Ireland9. It means there’s lots for children to discover and create. The Body & Soul Festival, situated at Ballinlough Castle in Co Westmeath, has a special children’s area called “Soul Kids”9. This event runs from June 16th to 18th, making it a great spot for a family trip10.

The All Together Now Festival in Co. Waterford, from August 4th to 6th, has a big children’s programme and a family hangout called Kids Together910. It’s perfect for families as they can enjoy the lively vibes together. The Galway International Arts Festival, happening from July 17th to 30th, also offers family-friendly shows and activities10.

The Spraoi International Street Arts Festival in Waterford includes over 200 shows and a festival parade9. It has street theatre, music, circus, and more. This festival is full of excitement for everyone in the family. Lastly, the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival has open-air music recitals suitable for all, mixing art with a welcoming vibe9.

Festivals Celebrating Irish Culture

Ireland celebrates its rich culture with well-known events like the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival and National Heritage Week. These festivals help keep old traditions alive. They also bring people together, creating a sense of togetherness and history.

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival in September is truly special. It brings together over 20,000 people. They meet in the village’s many places to find love and friendship, supported by old local practices7.

This festival is famous for helping singles find partners. It’s deeply connected to Irish customs, having a long history in the area11.

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

National Heritage Week

National Heritage Week is a big event that lasts many days. It invites everyone to explore Ireland’s fascinating history. With various activities, the festival educates and entertains, building a collective love for Ireland’s past11.

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival and National Heritage Week are key cultural events. They make the Irish cultural calendar vibrant. These events are not just about the past. They also connect people today, celebrating Irish culture’s true spirit.


Ireland’s festivals are much more than yearly occasions. They beat with our country’s heart, showing who we are. From winter’s lively charm to autumn’s colourful joy, each festival lets us dive into different aspects of life. This includes music, food, stories, and dance. Our festivals make Ireland a top cultural spot.

Fleádh Cheoil na hÉireann is one, drawing 250,000 people yearly12. Then there’s the Galway International Arts Festival, with 400,000 visitors including local and global attendees13. These events don’t just entertain. They teach and bring everyone together. With over 10,000 festivals, Ireland is united in cherishing our culture and history13.

Feel the buzz at the Electric Picnic Festival, or enjoy the ancient Puck Fair in Killorglin13. Our large festivals show Ireland’s warm welcome like no other. The St. Patrick’s Festival is a prime example. It fills our streets with parades, great music, and lively dance14. Every year, these cultural events let us celebrate and welcome the world warmly. They keep Ireland at the forefront of culture, making each festival a lasting memory for everyone.


What are some of the top festivals in Ireland?

Some of Ireland’s top festivals are the St Patrick’s Festival, Galway International Arts Festival, and the Dublin International Film Festival. They showcase Ireland’s cultural wealth, luring visitors worldwide.

Can you provide an introduction to Irish festivals?

Irish festivals are lively, highlighting traditional music, dance, and arts. They’re held outdoors, bringing people closer to Ireland’s culture and history. Key events like the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and TradFest Temple Bar are part of this.

What are the notable winter festivals in Ireland?

In winter, Ireland hosts First Fortnight, promoting mental health using arts. Also, there’s TradFest Temple Bar for Irish music and Dublin Lunar New Year for diverse celebrations.

Which festivals are celebrated during spring in Ireland?

Spring sees Ireland buzzing with the St Patrick’s Festival and Dublin International Film Festival. Also, there’s Fingal International Festival of Voices, focusing on choral music and singing.

What summer festivals are popular in Ireland?

Ireland’s summer favourites include the literary Bloomsday Festival and the vibrant Galway International Arts Festival. Puck Fair is another highlight, known for crowning a goat king.

What can one expect from autumn festivals in Ireland?

Autumn festivals like the Dublin Theatre Festival offer a cultural feast. They include new plays and international shows, attracting a mix of people for creativity and reflection.

What are some of the biggest cultural events in Ireland?

Major events are the Cork Jazz Festival and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann for Irish music and dance. They draw huge crowds, enriching Ireland’s cultural scene.

Which festivals highlight Irish music?

Look out for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann for Irish tunes and the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival for jazz. The Dublin Dance Festival also shines, celebrating dance.

Are there any family-friendly festivals in Ireland?

Indeed, there’s the Belfast Children’s Festival with fun for the young. It features theatre, art, and interactive activities, adding joy to family life.

What festivals celebrate Irish culture?

For Irish culture, there’s the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival and National Heritage Week. They honour Ireland’s history with various activities and events.

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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) .