To make your vacation to Ireland more enjoyable VisitIreland has compiled a directory of major Irish festivals and popular events. We have updated listings of major events and festivals in Ireland for 2008. Some top events and festivals that would be of special interest to travelers include: The St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade, Galway Oyster Festival, the Cork Jazz Festival, Bloomsday Festival, Listowel Writers Week and the Dublin City Marathon.
IMPORTANT NOTE: VisitIreland makes every effort to keep our festivals and events section up to date. However, changes and cancellations do occur. These listings are provided for informational purposes only. It is the responsibility of the traveler to verify all information directly with event organizers. VisitIreland assumes no responsibility for inaccurate information. If you are aware of a schedule change please inform us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, 12 March – Tuesday, 17 March, 2009
St. Patrick’s Festival 2009, Dublin City, Co. Dublin
St. Patrick’s Festival is now by far the biggest annual event in the country providing entertainment for all interests and ages. The Festival programme has music, theatre, family carnivals, comedy, street arts, visual arts, dance, a treasure hunt, symposium, cavalcades of vintage cars….. 4000 performers – 1.5 million spectators and 5 days of fantastic festival fun for all! St. Patrick would be very proud!
Telephone: +353 (0)1 676-3205 * Fax: +353 (0)1 676-3208 *
Tuesday, 14 April – Sunday, 19 April, 2009
Pan Celtic Festival, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny
The Pan Celtic Festival is the ideal opportunity to enjoy majestic displays of Celtic dancing, pipe band performances, a colourful street parade and choral performances in all of the Celtic languages. Leitir Ceanainn offers all the facilities of a modern, bustling centre, yet the town is rich in culture and tradition. It is the ideal location for an Irish holiday and indeed the Pan Celtic Festival is the perfect opportunity to visit Leitir Ceanainn. The town has a range of attractions, comparable to anywhere in the country. It also offers an excellent and unrivalled range of hotels, guesthouses and self-catering accommodation, as well as some fine bars and restaurants all in the town centre.
Wednesday, 29 April – Sunday, 03 May, 2009
Cork International Choral Festival, Cork City, Co. Cork
Each year the Cork International Choral Festival brings together some of the finest choirs to perform in Cork’s City Hall, one of the most attractive and acoustically superb venues in Ireland. The Festival’s prestigious Fleischmann International Trophy Competition ranks highly amongst the top choral competitions in Europe and consistently attracts and features top class choirs of international standing.
Telephone: +353 21 430-8308 * Fax: +353 21 430-8309* Email: email@example.com *
Friday, 1 May – Monday, 4 May, 2009
Carlsberg Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots Weekend Festival, Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny
In the eight years since it first kicked off, the festival has hosted many an unforgettable gig by some of the most renowned acts in the world of roots music. Festival-goers talk of their delight at seeing well-loved performers play barnstorming shows in the intimate surroundings of the medieval city’s pubs, as well as their surprise and pleasure at discovering new acts seemingly waiting around every corner to amaze them.
Telephone: +353 (0)56 7790057 * Fax: +353 (0)56 7790069 *
Wednesday, 27 May – Sunday, 31 May, 2009
Listowel Writers’ Week, Listowel, Co. Kerry
The Listowel Writers Week is one of Ireland’s leading literary festivals, featuring reading, lectures, seminars and art and drawing workshops. It is popular among both budding and established writers. With a competition to suit everybody aged 7 to 97. There is something for everyone in the family with an extensive children’s programme available.
Telephone: +353 (0)68 21074 * Fax: +353 (0)68 22893 *
Monday, 13 July – Sunday, 26 July, 2009
Galway Arts Festival, Galway City, Co. Galway
The Galway Arts Festival can rightfully claim to be one of Europe’s biggest and most exciting cultural events. This unique event is a truly international celebration of the performing and visual arts – but with a distinctive West of Ireland flavour. Founded on a consistent policy of presenting the best in national and international theatre, music, street spectacle films and exhibitions.
Telephone: +353 91 509700 * Fax: +353 91 562655 *
Thursday, 23 July – Saturday, 01 August, 2009
Boyle Arts Festival – Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Boyle Arts Festival presents the very best in music, visual arts, drama, reading, children’s events and workshops.
Telephone: +353 (0)71 9663085 *
Monday, 27 July – Sunday, 02 August, 2009
Galway Races – Galway Race Course, Ballybrit, Co. Galway
The Galway Races follow on the heels of the Galway Arts Festival. It is an enormously fun week with first class horseracing and drawing people from all over the island. The facilities cater for the disabled. There are restaurants, bars, funfairs, medical and banking facilities available at the races. Ladies Day is a fashion spectacle of itself and fun for the whole family. There is regular bus service from Eyre Square, and a variety of taxi services to the race course on race days.
Telephone: +353 (0)91 753870 * Fax: +353 (0)91 752592 *
Monday, 10 August – Wednesday, 12 August, 2009
Puck Fair, Kilorglin, Co. Kerry
The fair is one of Ireland’s oldest and longest celebrated and is held without fail on 10th, 11th and 12th August every year with 12 hours of free family street entertainment. The main events of the festival include the traditional horse fair, parade and coronation ceremony of King Puck, open air night concerts, fireworks display, children’s competitions, street entertainers and dancing displays.
Telephone: + 353 (0)66 976 2366 * Fax: + 353 (0)66 976 2366 *
Friday, 07 August – Sunday, 16 August, 2009
Kilkenny Arts Festival
A packed programme features a multitude of highlights across the art forms. The festival is presented against the stunning backdrop of Ireland’s medieval capital, with its gorgeous narrow walkways and authentic shop fronts. During the festival every corner and crevice pulses with artistic activity and it presents a fabulous opportunity to see the city at its most attractive and vibrant.
Telephone: +353 (0)56 776-3663 or box office +353 (0)56 775 2175 *
Friday, 21 August – Wednesday, 26 August, 2009
Rose of Tralee International Festival, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Celebrating 50 years – 1959 to 2009
Rose of Tralee Intenational Festival is one of Ireland’s premier flagship festivals since 1959 with an international element that makes it uinique. Visitors throughout the world return for a taste of its magic. The best in Irish and international music acts and events parades fireworks display and nightly seisiúns. The festival includes a televised International Rose Selection nights and a street carnival.
Telephone: +353 (0)66 712-1322 * Fax: +353 (0)66 712-2654 *
Sunday, 06 February – Sunday, 08 February, 2009
Cumann Merriman Festival – Winter School 2009, Hotel Meyrick, Galway City
Merriman Winter School – Theme Michael Cusack and his time. Director Michael Griffin, University of Limerick
Waterford International Festival of Light Opera, Royal Theatre – Waterford City, Co. Waterford
The Threatre is due to close this year for major renovations circa April and remain closed for 12 to 18 months. Therefore, there will be no festival in 2008 but our 50th Festival will take place in 2009.
This is a Competitive Musical Festival for Amateur Musical Societies. The Festival stages grand operas to modern Broadway and West End shows that become available to amateur groups. It has also provided a forum for original shows.
Telephone: +353 (0) 51 872639 * Fax: +353 (0) 51 876002 *
Thursday, 24 September – Sunday, 27 September, 2009
Galway International Oyster Festival, Galway, Co. Galway
The Claddagh Galway. Home of the Guinness world oyster Championship. Voted one of the 12 greatest shows on earth. a weekend of non stop entertainment that features national and international top class artists, cabaret and dancing.
Telephone: +353 (0)91 522066 * Fax: +353 (0)91 527282 *
Thurday, 24 September – Sunday, 11 October, 2009
Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin, Co. Dublin – Various Venues around Dublin City Centre
The programme for the 2009 Festival will be announced during this summer. Please check their website for details.
Telephone: +353 1 677 8439 * Fax: +353 1 679 7709 *
Saturday, 03 October – Sunday, 11 October, 2009
Ballinasloe Great October Fair, Ballinsaloe, Co. Galway
There is something at this festival to suit all tastes including horses and pony events, show jumping, street stalls, fireworks, tug-o-war and much more.
Telephone: +353 (0)90 9642266 * Fax: +353 (0)90 9644132 *
Friday, 16 October – Saturday, 31 October, 2009
Belfast Festival at Queens, Belfast City, Co. Antrim – Queen’s University
The Belfast Festival at Queen’s is the largest arts festival in Ireland with participation from world-class artistes.
Telephone:+44 (0)28 9066-7687 * Fax: +44 (0)28 9066-3733 *
Friday, 23 October – Monday, 26 October, 2009
Cork International Jazz Festival – Cork City, Co. Cork – Various Venues within the city
Ireland’s biggest and most successful annual jazz festival with eighty venues around the city.
Telephone: +353 (0)21 427879 * Fax: +353 (0)21 427-0463 *