drink free festivals Ireland

Discover Ireland’s Top Drink Free Festivals for All Ages

Ireland is full of fun and vibrant festivals that focus on culture and entertainment. These festivals are family-friendly and do not serve alcohol. You can enjoy music, maritime heritage, and films without the need for drink1.

In January, check out the First Fortnight festival, happening in many places in Ireland from the 5th to the 28th. It’s one of the biggest events that doesn’t focus on alcohol. Likewise, the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast from the 6th to the 28th offers over 100 events and draws 60,000 visitors, celebrating culture1.

In Kildare, the Brigid 1500 festival will take place from January 27th to February 27th. This event is all about heritage and tradition. Also, the Imbolc International Music Festival in Derry offers music and runs from January 28th to February 4th1.

Key Takeaways

  • A rich array of themes from music to cinematic arts are covered in these family-friendly festivals.
  • Embrace the true spirit of Irish conviviality devoid of alcohol influence.
  • Events like the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Imbolc International Music Festival are standout options.
  • Participate in cultural celebrations and heritage festivals rich in tradition.
  • Experience open bar events replaced by meaningful activities and communal spirit.

Rory Gallagher International Festival, County Donegal

The Rory Gallagher Festival pays a great tribute to a rock legend. It’s held in Ballyshannon, his birthplace. People from over 20 countries come together every year for this amazing event. It will celebrate its 20th edition from May 30 to June 2, 202423.

Rory Gallagher Festival

Event Highlights

This festival started in 2002 and is now a big draw for fans of Rory Gallagher and rock lovers3. There are exciting pub and street sessions and big concerts that pay homage to the amazing guitarist. You’ll also hear music inspired by Rory’s collaborations with legends like Muddy Waters.

The Rory Gallagher Festival is famous for its great drinks and fun atmosphere. You can enjoy small acoustic shows in pubs or big acts on outdoor stages. The event showcases a wide range of music styles. Come and feel the true spirit of this festival in Ballyshannon as we celebrate one of our all-time top musicians.

Cork Harbour Festival, County Cork

Feel the heartbeat of maritime culture at the Cork Harbour Festival. It takes place in County Cork over ten days, from June 1st to June 10th, 2024. You will find over 80 events for all ages, covering everything from exciting sports like dragon boating to stunning art exhibitions4. And guess what? It’s free to enter, making it perfect for families wanting fun without spending anything5.

maritime culture

Activities for All Ages

This festival is packed with activities for every family member. There are walks with beautiful views, talks filled with interesting stories, and cycle tours for those who love adventure4. Families can enjoy attractions like playgrounds and special maritime activities, making it a perfect day out for all4.

Everyone looks forward to the An Rás Mór, Ireland’s top long-rowing race, bringing competitors from across the globe. It’s an amazing showcase of adventure on the seas4. Even if you’ve never rowed before, this event will capture your heart and imagination.

For kids, the floating classroom offers a unique chance to discover marine life and nature. It’s hands-on, making learning incredibly fun. This experience blends education with entertainment, making it a top pick for young attendees.

Here’s a glimpse of some main events:

EventDateLocationCostAttractions
Cork Harbour Festival1st-10th June 2024Cork CityFreeDragon Boating, Kayaking, Cycle Tours
An Rás Mór Rowing Race9th June 2024Cork CityFreeLong-Distance Rowing
Rockchapel Gathering Weekend7th June 2024NewmarketFreeCommunity Events
Cork Carnival Of Science8th-9th June 2024Cork CityFreeScience Exhibits

This festival is a real celebration of the sea, its stories, and the happiness it brings. Come to Cork City and County for an experience that will be remembered by your whole family5.

Sea Sessions Surf and Music Festival, County Donegal

Join us at the Sea Sessions Surf and Music Festival, County Donegal’s heart. Here, surf meets music excellence on the beautiful Bundoran beach. You’ll see top surf events and enjoy music from artists like Clean Bandit, Becky Hill, and more6.

This festival is perfect for those who love music and the beach. It offers activities like beachfront yoga, workshops, and beach sports. You can also enjoy cultural experiences and tasty food and drinks for free6.

The Sea Sessions Festival has grown to offer much more. Now, it has wellness programmes, glamping, and chill zones for families and adults alike6. This year’s festival, from June 21st to 23rd, 2024, offers many fun activities7.

As Donegal Town marks its 550th birthday, the event gets special historical charm7. So, join us, soak up the sun, and have blast at the Bundoran beach and the lively music scene. Best of all, you can enjoy all this with free drinks!

Galway Film Fleadh, County Galway

The Galway Film Fleadh is always a treat, bringing Irish and global films together. It runs from the 9th to the 14th of July in Galway City, offering a peek into many film worlds8.

Galway Film Fleadh

Cinematic Feast

In 2024, expect 80 films, including 25% that have never been seen before. This includes over 100 new short films, giving new filmmakers a chance to shine9.

But it’s not just movies. There are film industry talks that go deep into filmmaking. Plus, pitching competitions have started movies that went on to be a big deal.

Then, there are filmmaking classes with top experts. They’re great for people in the industry already and those who dream of making films.

The Fleadh welcomes all, from the curious to the pros, even stars. Brian Cox, from Succession, will get a top honour, showing how big this festival is9.

EventDates
Galway Film Fleadh9th to 14th July
Galway International Arts Festival15th to 28th July
Galway Races Festival29th July to 4th August

In short, the Galway Film Fleadh is a must-see for film fans and creators. It’s a blend of Irish filmmaking and a global film journey in Galway City. Don’t miss the flicks, the talk, and the learning this festival offers.

Spraoi International Street Arts Festival, County Waterford

The Spraoi International Street Arts Festival in County Waterford is a dazzling event. It shows off lively street performances and creative skills. It brings local and global artists together for a jam-packed weekend of fun10. It marks its 30th year by offering nearly 200 free street arts, music, and entertainment events. This shows how much the festival has grown since 1993, when it started with just five attractions10.

vibrant street performance

Exuberant Street Arts

The streets of Waterford pulsate with live street performance and community fun. This draws a wide mix of people. Up to 25,000 people watch the shows each year10. With thousands of locals and visitors joining, the city becomes a place of great joy and creativity10.

This time, the theme is “Area 051”. It features acts from around the globe, like Beautiful Bones from Scotland, and Be Flat from Belgium. They will present “Follow Me”, a Parkour acrobatics spectacle on the city’s buildings10. A parade, planned for 12 weeks by Spraoi’s Artistic Director Mike Leahy and his team, is expected to be a highlight10.

The festival gives a special spot for local artists too. For example, the Our Place Our Music event, supported by Waterford Credit Union, features musicians from Waterford only10. The famous Butterfly Band is getting back together to play their music live10. There will also be performances showing off 1990’s rave, British SKA, and medieval dance music brought by Glasgow’s SURGE Festival

Being one of Ireland’s top summer arts events, Spraoi is a key place for street shows that celebrate the city’s spirit and history. It ensures everyone takes part and leaves a mark on visitors10. A memorable firework show over the medieval city will close the festival. It’s something not to miss for all, young and old.

Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival, County Offaly

Join us at the Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival. It’s a mix of community arts, vintage fun, and lively theatre. Running from August 4th to August 12th, it’s a well-loved event in County Offaly113. There are lots to do in different places to keep everyone happy11.

Birr Castle exploration

Family-Friendly Fun

Enjoy unique attractions such as steam parades and donkey races, perfect for family fun3. The festival also features captivating theatre and live music. You can listen to everything from Irish traditional songs to country rock bands113. Each day brings something new, like karaoke or surprise events11.

There are also talented artists, as well as Elvis impersonators, to entertain11. Make sure to visit the historic Birr Castle. It’s known for its beautiful gardens and a famous telescope. This adds to the festival’s unique vintage vibe3. The Singing Pubs session and quizzes are also great fun11.

Local restaurants offer exciting menus and deals during the festival. Branded merchandise is on sale, thanks to support from the Arts Council11. The funding also helps bring in essential staff. This ensures a vibrant atmosphere throughout the festival week12.

This event brings together older times with today. It’s a place for community arts, fun for all family members, and memorable moments. Make sure not to miss the Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival3.

drink free festivals Ireland

Discover Ireland’s lively festival scene without the need for alcohol. These events range from historic gatherings to modern celebrations, offering enriching experiences in arts, culture, and social life.

Top Picks

Across Ireland, from Belfast to Cork, you’ll find cultural events happening throughout the year. Festivals last a few days to a whole week, giving visitors plenty of time to join in1. Popular events including the TradFest and Mother Tongues Festival shine a light on Irish traditions and varied languages, making Ireland’s culture vibrant1.

Notable for their global appeal is the Fingal Festival of Voices. It brings together singers and artists from worldwide, making it an internationally loved event1. The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast is another highlight, drawing thousands without the need for alcohol, showing a wide interest in alcohol-free activities1.

best Irish festivals

The festival scene is always evolving, with events like Brigid 1500 pushing new concepts and themes forward1. Ever-growing, festivals like the Ortús Chamber Music Festival are finding their place, catering to specific music preferences1.

Hosted in various places like Dublin, Meath, Mayo, and Limerick, it’s convenient for all to attend1. These festivals offer something for everyone, promoting inclusive, fun experiences without alcohol.

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, County Wexford

The Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in County Wexford is a wonderful celebration. It happens from August 4th to August 11th, 202413. Over half a million people are expected to visit. This will bring more than €60,000,000 to Wexford’s economy14. Wexford County Council, Fáilte Ireland, and Wexford Credit Union are supporting it. It highlights the rich Wexford musical heritage14.

It’s not just about music. There’s a fun vibe with plenty of drinks and a mix of 15,000 musicians, dancers, singers, and storytellers. They come from all over Ireland14. There are cool things to do like competitions, concerts, and workshops13. The festival gets really fun at community concerts. These are special because they show how Irish culture is alive and loved.

traditional Irish music

This year’s festival starts in the National Opera House on March 30th, a special date for Wexford’s culture15. The Blackwater Céilí Band will perform, having won the top Ulster prize15. Also, Ceoltóirí na Sláine, with 85 young musicians from around Wexford, will play too15.

RTÉ and TG4 will show the festival live. This means it can be enjoyed by Irish people worldwide, around 80 million of them. Síle Seoige, a famous media figure, will also be part of the fun15.

Listowel International Storytelling Festival, County Kerry

Dive into Ireland’s storytelling soul at the Listowel International Storytelling Festival. Since 2019, it’s been a must-visit in mid-September when the weather turns, welcoming all to share tales by the fire16. It’s a key event for story lovers, mixing workshops from around the world with local flair.

Celebrating Storytelling

This festival pulsates with the ancient Irish tradition of seanchí. It brings people together with stories and songs from across Ireland and beyond16. You’ll find lively acts, poetry, music, and special things for kids16. Legends share their stories, like Eamon Kelly and Batt Burns16. The area’s storytelling magic inspired famous writers like John B. Keane, adding to its charm16.

Looking to improve your storytelling game? The festival has you covered with workshops led by top talents. What’s great is, the fun doesn’t need drink to flow, so you can focus on creativity and making friends.

Irish storytelling heritage

The event jives with Kerry’s other gems, like the Harvest Races (September 22-28) and the Kerry Film Festival (October 17-20)17. Want to join? Drop them an email at listowelstorytellingfestival@gmail.com, or check their website at16.

Dublin Theatre Festival, County Dublin

The Dublin Theatre Festival is Europe’s longest-running event of its kind. It offers a stunning mix of shows around the city. During the festival, you can enjoy Irish and international plays. This creates a unique blend of premieres and timeless favourites.

This festival lasts over two weeks and showcases top international acts. It gives local Irish talent a chance to perform with stars from around the world. The festival makes use of normal and unusual places as stages. This changes the usual theatre experience. Dublin is known for its many festivals. The Dublin Theatre Festival makes the city even more exciting and full of fun18.

This event also offers many open bar opportunities. They let you enjoy the art with a drink, in a friendly atmosphere. Dublin’s spirit of coming together shines during these events. The city’s regular events highlight its varied culture and fun nature18.

The festival uses special and famous locations for some of its shows. This makes it a key part of Dublin’s lively culture. Starting at the end of September, it fits well with other cultural events in the city. Dublin then truly becomes a centre for top world performances and new Irish theatre18.

Experience the captivating allure of Dublin’s theatrical landscape and witness the global celebration of artistry at the Dublin Theatre Festival, a splendid journey through Ireland’s rich theatre heritage and contemporary achievements.

Conclusion

Ireland’s festivals offer a rich, drink-free cultural experience. The Rory Gallagher International Festival in Donegal and the Galway Film Fleadh stand out. They showcase Ireland’s spirit through music, art, and family fun, all without alcohol.

The Cork Harbour Festival and Sea Sessions blend seaside vibes with family activities. They ensure everyone, young and old, has a great time. These events are wheelchair friendly, with free rentals for all19. 7,500 chairs are available under tents and stages19, making it comfy for guests.

The Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival host unique shows like donkey races. The Dublin Theatre Festival impresses with its top-notch plays. There are info tents and charging spots19, keeping everyone connected. With their alcohol-free focus, these events spotlight fun, cultural learning, and family time.

These festivals are more than just alcohol-free. They deepen your link to Ireland’s culture. They’re ideal for families and create a welcoming vibe for all. Let’s celebrate Ireland’s lively, sober cultural events.

FAQ

Are these festivals suitable for families?

Yes, these festivities are perfect for families. They avoid alcohol to make the fun for everyone. There’s lots to do for kids and adults alike.

Do any of these festivals include complimentary beverages?

Some may offer free non-alcoholic drinks. But, the main attractions are cultural and entertaining events.

Can I enjoy these festivals without missing the presence of alcohol?

Absolutely! These events are full of Irish culture and traditions. You won’t feel the absence of alcohol amidst the vibrant activities.

What kind of music can I expect at the Rory Gallagher International Festival?

The Rory Gallagher International Festival features all sorts of live music. You’ll see performances in pubs and on streets. There are also big concerts celebrating Rory Gallagher’s music.

Expect a lively atmosphere with lots of skilled musicians.

Are there water activities at the Cork Harbour Festival?

Yes, there are plenty of water-based events at the Cork Harbour Festival. You can try sailing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. And don’t miss the exciting An Rás Mór rowing competition.

Can I participate in surf competitions at the Sea Sessions Surf and Music Festival?

Yes, at the Sea Sessions, you can join the surfing contests. Or watch as top surfers compete. All this with the stunning backdrop of Bundoran beach.

What does the Galway Film Fleadh offer to film enthusiasts?

The Galway Film Fleadh is a treat for film lovers. It brings together Irish and international films. There are talks, masterclasses, and a competition.

This competition could launch your film career.

What makes the Spraoi International Street Arts Festival special?

The Spraoi Festival turns Waterford into an international street art playground. Expect dynamic shows, including a firework finale. It’s all about bringing the community together.

What type of activities are available at the Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival?

Birr’s festival offers a mix of old and new. You’ll find steam parades, donkey races, and antique markets. Not to mention, there’s theatre, and you can explore the historic Birr Castle gardens.

What is unique about Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann?

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is full of Irish music and culture. You can enjoy live concerts, food, crafts, and spontaneous street performances.

It’s a great place to see famous and new musicians.

What does the Listowel International Storytelling Festival offer?

This festival celebrates stories with music and workshops. It’s for all ages. You’ll hear stories told by experts in a friendly and creative setting.

What can I expect at the Dublin Theatre Festival?

The Dublin Theatre Festival has top-notch shows. It presents Irish and global plays. It’s a showcase of the best in theatre.

How do these festivals celebrate Irish culture without alcohol?

These events showcase the heart of Irish culture without alcohol. They focus on family, fun, and bringing people together. With exciting events, they prove celebrations don’t need alcohol to be great.

Source Links

  1. https://www.theirishroadtrip.com/festivals-in-ireland/
  2. https://www.independent.ie/regionals/donegal/news/june-bank-holiday-events-in-donegal-pride-festivals-and-live-music-across-the-county/a835791906.html
  3. https://www.discoverireland.ie/guides/speciality-festivals-ireland
  4. https://www.purecork.ie/whats-on/11141468/cork-harbour-festival
  5. https://www.purecork.ie/whats-on/categories/festivals
  6. https://www.viberate.com/festival/sea-sessions-surf-and-music-festival/
  7. https://www.govisitdonegal.com/festivals-and-events
  8. https://thisisgalway.ie/galway-festivals-galways-events-and-festival-calendar/
  9. https://www.galwaytourism.ie/event/galway-film-fleadh/
  10. https://waterford.fyi/spraoi-festival-celebrates-its-30th-anniversary-this-weekend/
  11. https://www.birrvintageweek.com/pub-entertainment
  12. https://www.offalyexpress.ie/news/midland-tribune/1501229/exciting-new-additions-lined-up-for-birr-vintage-week-arts-festival-in-2024.html
  13. https://special-ireland.com/immerse-yourself-in-irish-culture-festivals-music-and-traditions-you-cant-miss-in-2024/
  14. https://www.independent.ie/regionals/wexford/news/fleadh-cheoil-na-heireann-will-showcase-wexfords-rich-tradition-of-music-song-and-dance/a1298427634.html
  15. https://www.nationaloperahouse.ie/whats-on/show/fleadh-cheoil-na-heireann-2024
  16. https://listowel.ie/event/listowel-international-storytelling-festival-2/
  17. https://blog.danlinehansbar.com/whats-on/festivals-in-kerry/
  18. https://www.visitdublin.com/guides/festivals
  19. https://dublinirishfestival.org/faq/

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) .