The best festivals in Ireland in 2024
From St Patrick’s Day to Halloween, from music and dancing to matchmaking – Ireland knows how to celebrate! That’s why there are lots of festivals and events each year all around the country. For 2024, we collected the biggest and most interesting events to help you make the most of your trip to the island.
January 24th – 28th: TradFest, Dublin
Kickstart the year with Dublin's TradFest, a vibrant celebration of traditional Irish music and culture. This event features performances by both renowned and emerging artists, creating an immersive experience for music enthusiasts.
February 14th – 16th: Take Off Festival, Cork
From theater and dance to music and visual arts, Cork’s Take Off Festival captures the essence of creativity, providing a platform for both local and international artists to captivate audiences. Three international choreographers’ works will be presented alongside the work of three Irish choreographers.
Source: Photo by Sophie Popplewell on Unsplash
March 17th: St Patrick’s Festival, around the country
The most famous Irish holiday around the world is St PatricksDay. And it is celebrated all around the country, with some of the biggest events happening in Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork and Killarney. This iconic celebration honors Ireland's patron saint with a spirited parade, traditional music, and a palpable sense of Irish pride, making it a must-attend event for locals and visitors alike.
April 28th – May 6th: Galway Theatre Festival, Galway
The Galway Theatre Festival takes center stage, offering a theatrical spectacle with a diverse lineup of performances. From avant-garde plays to innovative productions, this festival transforms Galway into a haven for theater enthusiasts seeking a rich and immersive cultural experience.
Source: Photo by Daniel Zbroja on Unsplash
May 17th – 26th: International Literature Festival, Dublin
Dublin has brought forth many world-famous authors. That is why book lovers rejoice as the International Literature Festival takes place in Merrion Square Park in Dublin. This festival brings together authors, poets and readers, fostering a love for words through book readings, discussions, and cultural events that celebrate the written word.
June 21st – 23rd: Sea Sessions Bundoran, Donegal
Bundoran in Donegal hosts the Sea Sessions, a festival that combines surfing and music against the breathtaking backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. Attendees can catch world-class surfing competitions during the day and listen to musical performances by night, creating a unique coastal festival experience.
July 6th – 14th: Cairde, Sligo
Cairde in Sligo is a multi-disciplinary arts festival, encompassing everything from visual arts and music to street performances. This event transforms Sligo into a vibrant cultural hub, inviting both locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the creative spirit of the region.
August 16th – 18th: Electric Picnic, Laois
Electric Picnic is Ireland’s premier music and arts festival and the “ultimate rock n’ roll circus”. With international and local artists, this event promises a weekend filled with musical diversity, art, theatre, comedy and a lively atmosphere. Last years line-up held world famous artists like Billie Eilish, The Killers or Niall Horan.
September: Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, Lisdoonvarna
For over 160 years, the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival has been uniting hearts in one of Europe's biggest matchmaking events. Taking place in Lisdoonvarna, this festival celebrates the age-old tradition of matchmaking, offering a unique blend of romance, music, and cultural festivities.
October 24th – 28th: Cork Jazz Festival, Cork
Cork hosts a word-renowned Jazz Festival, attracting music enthusiasts from around the globe. This year will be the 45thinstallment of the vibrant festival with its biggest programmeyet. The lineup includes jazz, blues, and soul performances across the city, already announced as a headliner is Gregory Porter.
October 28th – 31st: Derry Halloween, Derry, Northern Ireland
With Halloween originating from the island, Irish people know how to celebrate it all over the country. Derry Halloween, however, is on another scale, as it is the largest Halloween Festival in Europe. Every year the city comes alive with parades, performances, family-fun activities and shows. Dress up in costumes as you celebrate and find out more about the folklore, history and heritage that makes this place so special.
November 7th – 17th: Cork International Film Festival
Already for 68 years Cork International Film Festival presents a carefully curated selection of the best films. As one of only three festivals that were recognised by the International Federation of Film Producers Association in 1950, Cork International Film Festival hosts three awards with Oscar accreditation today: Grand Prix Irish Short, Grand Prix International Short and Grand Prix Documentary Short Award.
Source: Photo by Dahlia E. Akhaine on Unsplash
Late November – late December: Winterval, Waterford
The city of Waterford transforms into a winter wonderland with Winterval, Ireland's largest Christmas festival. From enchanting light displays and festive markets to seasonal performances, this event captures the magic of the holiday season, spreading joy and merriment throughout late November to late December.
As you can see, Ireland not only offers beautiful sceneries, lively towns and cities and a culture full of music and dance, but also a wide variety of festivals for everyone throughout the whole year – and our list is only a selection. So whether you live in Ireland or are only visiting, attending one of the many festivals will give you memories that last a lifetime!