From impromptu sessions in your local bar to the thrilling beat of U2, Ireland has always been home to the best sounds of music
Whether you want to mosh with the best of them in an outdoor field, or stroke your chin to a spot of jazz in a salubrious club, music is at the heart of social life in Ireland.
Buskers line the streets, festivals set small towns and villages ablaze and traditional music sessions entertain revelers in pubs across the country.
Further afield, Ireland’s massive musical successes include some bands and artists you may have heard of…U2, The Corrs, Enya, Westlife, Snow Patrol, Ash, David Holmes, Van Morrison and The Thrills, to name just a few.
Unique and distinctive, the harp holds a special place in Irish musical life and has come to symbolise the harmony of people and music in Ireland. It’s the earliest musical instrument mentioned in Irish literature and has been used as an official emblem for Ireland since medieval times. Today, it’s on Irish passports and stamps.
Fleadhs, or festivals, are a major part of Irish cultural life and impromptu trad sessions have become the stuff of legend at West Belfast’s Feile an Phobail, the Galway Racing Festival or Kerry’s Puck Fair.
Rock and dance music festivals are also big news with the Oxegen Festival, Tennents Vital Belfast and the Electric Picnic held in summer.