Get set for long days that stretch well into the night, with a host of arts and cultural events
I love summer in the city, so what’s hot here?
Dublin and Belfast cities are never cooler than in the heat of summer. The capitals come alive with a host of spectacular festivals, which make the most of the city’s pretty green spaces and perfectly manicured parks. In Dublin, Bloomsday, the famous Joycean festival kicks off the cultural calendar on 16 June, followed by high-jinks, thrills and vibrant performances at the Street Performance World Championships. And for some global beats in picturesque surroundings, head to the pretty coastal town of Dun Laoghaire on Dublin’s South Coast for the Festival of World Cultures. Further north, Belfast lights up with the community arts festival Féile an Phobail www.feilebelfast.com and the Belfast Maritime Festival featuring the spectacular tall ships and a variety of entertainment for all the family!
Okay, so that’s the capitals covered, but what about other cities around Ireland?
There’s hardly a city in Ireland that doesn’t have some kind of celebration on during Summer. Some of the world’s most hilarious comedians descend on Kilkenny in June for the famous Smithwicks Cat Laughs; while the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August is another hugely popular event. The exhilarating Cork Midsummer Festival gets bigger and better every year. And Ireland’s largest arts festival, the Galway Arts Festival involves hundreds of performers in this beautiful city. ; and the Viking city of Waterford goes global with the exhilarating Waterford Spraoi – a sensational festival featuring music, street performance and dance...
I love arts festivals, what other ones are worth checking out?
The quality of arts festivals in Ireland is particularly high with a huge variety to choose from. The Eigse Carlow Arts Festival boasts a bumper 10-day program of theatre, dance, visual arts, music, craft, comedy and children’s events, while the Terryglass Arts Festival has a unique atmosphere and a great line-up. And, while not strictly an arts festival, the JFK Dunbrody Festival in New Ross, County Wexford is a fantastic cultural event with open-air concerts, street theater, vintage cars, exhibitions, a carnival and even a fishing competition; while the Lismore Festival of Travel Writing is dedicated to the art of travel writing and features some of the world’s best travel writers, along with entertainment and music.
What about fun for the family?
All of Ireland’s festivals are great family events – even for the younger ones! For wonderful all-round family entertainment, try the Killarney Summerfest. For a taste of medieval life head to the Kilmallock Medieval Festival, which takes place over three days and includes a medieval market and a re-enactment. The Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Festival also has a medieval theme with jugglers, knights in armor, jousting, fire-eaters, pirates and dancers.