It’s the June bank holiday weekend which can only mean one thing. Its festival time! All over the country, there are fabulous festivals taking place. From small boutique events to large-scale productions, there is something for everyone. So pack the bags and plan a day trip in to least one from the list below. Support the local communities who have put in so much work to make sure that you have a wonderful weekend. We have lots of ideas on www.inspireme.ie so there are no excuses.
Literature in Listowel
Starting off our festival list is Listowel Writers Week. This is the oldest literature festival in the country, and attracts some of the top writers, artists and poets from around the country and abroad.
On Friday why not join Rick O’Shea and his panel as they discuss their favourite books. Or Niall Breslin (Bressie) who shares his learnings on mindfulness and meditation. On Sat 1st, top crime writers Will Dean, Jane Casey and Liz Nugent discuss their craft, while Roddy Doyle will talk about popular culture in Ireland through his award-winning novels. There are workshops, arts and crafts, treasure hunts and book readings for children of all ages throughout the weekend. Sunday 2nd has Steph Booth chatting to Marian Richardson about her memoir, Married to Alzheimer’s, a detailed account of her time living with and caring for her husband actor Tony Booth. This is just a small snapshot of some of the incredible programme of events in the heritage town of Listowel, in the Kingdom of Kerry. Find out more here.
Magic in Mountshannon
On the banks of Lough Derg is the historical village of Mountshannon. And this June bank holiday it welcomes visitors for its Roots and Wings Arts Festival. There will be sculpture and art, music and workshops throughout the weekend. Theatrical delights include ‘The Humors of Bandon’ and ‘Strolling through Ulysses’. This is also a very family-friendly weekend, with watersports, puppet shows, a dog show and lots more to keep little ones entertained. On Monday 3rd there is a free guided Ard Aoibhinn walk across the bog, stopping at the historical Dolmen. For all information on this festival gem see here.
Glorious festival in Galway
The Carrabane Arts Festival is going from strength to strength each year. There will be drama and comedy from Damian Tierney, and 4 award winning short plays in the Village Theatre. Sat 1st has a Sound and Voice Workshop and a Magic Show, as well as a Family Heritage and Photography bike Ride, so bring the bicycles and the cycling helmets. Musical treats the Whileaways and headline act Brian Kennedy, or opera if that is more your style. With workshops from pottery to slime, there is something for everyone. So head west this Bank Holiday weekend. See here for all the details.
Anyone with even a passing interest in all things equestrian will know of Tattersalls International Horse Trials and Country Fair. Some of the best horses and top riders in the country and around the world will be headed for Ratoath County Meath, to compete in dressage, cross country and show jumping competitions. As well as the magnificent horses, there is also a country fair with a shopping village, crafts and artisan foods. This is always a fun family day, with action taking place everywhere you turn. On Sunday the Hound Parade takes place in the main arena at 3pm, and you can bring your own pooch for the very popular Dog Show. See here for all the details.
The historical Oakfield Park will be playing host to the always popular Oakfest. This family-friendly music festival has two full days of music, food and so much more. For the grown-ups, Alabama 3 Acoustic and The Academic are the headline acts. The Frank and Walters, Little Hours and many other top class acts will also be taking to the stage. For the smallies, there will be a children’s disco dome, face-painting, arts and crafts puppets and storytelling. Check it out here.
Celebrations in Cork
Cork Harbour is the place to be in the first week of June for the Cork Harbour Festival. The action starts off with the Ocean to City Rás Mór. Then throughout the city and county there will be over 70 different maritime events from water activities to guided walks, open days and open sails. You can try your and at kayaking at SeaFest, or a spooky Ghost trail. If seafood is your gourmet delight be sure to check the seafood market, crab fishing or try your and at seaweed foraging. All information is available here.
In the gorgeous seaside town of Youghal County Cork there will be a unique Moby Dick Festival, to celebrate where the famous novel was turned into a film, over 60 years ago. This family friendly festival will have street music and a Ceili. There will be a monster teddy bears picnic, storytelling and treasure hunts. Don’t miss the Ocean parade, and the ball race down Windmill Hill. With a drumming workshop, puppet show and sandcastle competition, little ones will be exhausted at the end of this fun-filled weekend. Find out more here.
Brilliant in Balbriggan
Balbriggan Summerfest is back again this June Bank holiday weekend. There is a fun-filled programme of events throughout the weekend including a Vintage Fair, a talent show, and the tasty sounding Great Balbriggan Bake Off. Those feeling energetic should aim for the 5k Road Race. There is something for all ages with a pet show and sandcastle competition for the little ones, and a Senior Citizen’s Tea Party and Bingo. Live music, fireworks and a family fun day will ensure a carnival atmosphere. See here for all the information.
This is just a small sample of the festivals which are taking place all over the country this bank holiday weekend. While we all hope the sun will be shining, there is no excuse no matter what the weather is like. It’s time to embrace the start of the summer.
Happy June Bank Holiday.
As usual, all the details were correct at time of publication, but please be sure to confirm details with the event organisers before you travel. Check out InspireMe.ie for lots more great festivals happening throughout the summer.