Looking for the best Ireland Music Festivals!? Well, look no further, because the country has tons to choose from!
Ireland is renowned for being one of the most beautiful countries in the world – and rightfully so. The thought of the Emerald Isle conjures up mental pictures of rolling green hills, friendly locals that love a pint or ten, towering cliffs over charming coastal towns and Guinness.
And lots and lots of Guinness.
Ireland is so much more than all of that though, and music is as much at the heart of Irish culture as anything else. Music festivals in Ireland are a dime a dozen, and making the trek to some of the further flung festivals will take you deep into the stunning Irish countryside. If your idea of Irish music festivals is contained within the city limits of Dublin and beyond, my list has those in spades too.
Book your flight now as your summer music festival schedule is jam-packed, thanks to my list of the 23 best music festivals in Ireland.
1) Electric Picnic
When: August / September
Where: Stradbally, County Laois
Genre: Rock / Indie
“Electric Picnic is an annual arts-and-music festival which has been staged since 2004 at Stradbally Hall in Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland. It has been voted Best Big Festival at each of the last four Irish Festival Awards since they began in 2007. The Picnic has been described as “Ireland’s version of Glastonbury” and “a great inspiration to Latitude” by one of its business partners, Laois. US magazine Billboard calling it as “a magnificent rock n roll circus, a textbook example of everything a festival should be” and Rolling Stone described it as “one of the best festivals we’ve ever been to”.
Where: Mitchelstown, County Cork
MULTIPLE STAGES ACROSS A WONDERFUL TREE LINED 52 ACRE SITE OVERLOOKED BY THE GALTEE MOUNTAINS.
“This music and arts festival is small by festival standards with a limit of just 5000 tickets, which makes for a fun and friendly atmosphere. Fans consider it to be the best boutique festival in Ireland and the organisers work hard to keep it good, both with an always excellent music line up and the range of other events that make it special.
The range of music is diverse and with 5 covered stages of various sizes there’s always at least one act on that you’ll enjoy. As well as the live music, popular areas include the Silent Disco, Comedy Tent, Spoken Word area and the ever lively Bier Halle.”
Where: Blessington Lakes, County Wicklow
“Created to showcase the extremely talented artists in Ireland & abroad, the open call for acts allows new artists to come forward to claim their place on the stage. 70 of 100+ acts have been announced to play this years event. Presenting an exceptionally eclectic line up, a mix of talent fitting for all musical tastes and refined musical palate.”
Where: Tullamore, County Offaly
“It’s fair to call Castlepalooza the biggest gaff party of the summer, except it’s in a castle, Charleville Castle to be precise. With approximately 5,000 people in attendance and the fact that you are never more than five minutes away from grabbing a jumper from your tent, it’s a cosy affair but with some of the best craic on offer.”
5) Live at the Marquee
When: June / July
Where: Cork, County Cork
“Live at the Marquee is a season of music concerts and other live performance events organised by Aiken Promotions in a large marquee in Cork, Ireland, every summer since 2005. For about a month in June and July, a concert is held most evenings; tickets for each night are sold separately, with varying lineups and pricing. Acts have represented many genres of popular music, including rock, folk, electronic, hip hop, rhythm and blues, and country; as well as stand-up comedy acts.”
6) Life Festival
When: May 2020
Where: Mullingar, County Westmeath
Genre: Electronic / Techno
“Life Festival is an annual Irish music festival held in Belvedere House and Gardens in Westmeath, Ireland, with arts activities and street performers, from jugglers, fire breathers to magicians. There is a healing area for massage, yoga workshops and reiki. Life Festival originated from the Glade arena at Glastonbury, kicking off with emerging artists DJ Sensor & MC Feedback hosting a day of Drum & Bass. Since becoming a festival in its own right in 2004 it has gone on to become regarded as the premier underground electronic music event in Ireland.”
7) Open Ear
When: May / June
Where: Sherkin Island, County Cork
Genre: Experimental / Electronic
“Open Ear is an annual music festival focused on giving a platform to Irish artists in the stunning environs of Sherkin Island, West Cork, Ireland. Now in its fourth year, the festival runs for 4 days across the June Bank Holiday Weekend. Year on year the festival’s ambition has expanded, bringing artists of many ages and musical disciplines together. The event continues to explore Sherkin itself, an island measuring 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, using various locations to deliver a fresh, one-of-a-kind curated programme. These elements have combined to create one of the most unique festival experiences Ireland currently has to offer; bringing a broad and inclusive audience to a remote location, to experience various forms of music that are multi-faceted stylistically and in presentation – in some cases, the presentation is shaped by the Island itself.”
When: Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin
Genre: Dance / Electronic / Hip Hop / Pop
“City-based festivals have distinct advantages over green-field sites, notably in terms of access, location and not having to be too concerned about how the weather will turn out. Beatyard, taking place in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, is an annual family-friendly favourite for those people who would rather not schlep it to this year’s newbie, All Together Now, or who are rather longer in the tooth for the likes of Castlepalooza and/or Indiependence. Beatyard is also hipper than most – and we mean that in a good way. Yes, it has its mainstream acts (The Jacksons, The Wailers on Friday, August 3rd), but for the most part it has a genuinely chic/cool collection of high-end music acts that tick the classier end of the scale.”
9) Galway International Arts Festival
“This festival packs in over 200 shows in 25+ locations over 14 days. As for the venues, no space is left untouched: buzzing galleries, intimate theatres, outdoor performances and, of course, the blue and beautiful Big Top tent. Expect an eclectic mix of artists coming together to put on a show of the traditional, the contemporary and the controversial.”
When: May / June
Where: Drogheda, County Louth
“Vantastival is a family-friendly festival which takes place over the June Bank Holiday Weekend. A host of live musical acts will perform over the weekend, while a focus on the campervan lifestyle brings an extra dimension to the only festival of its kind in Ireland. Other attractions include gourmet food stalls, festival traders, scheduled kids’ activities, art, craft and many other quirky additions, ensuring that Vantastival has something for everyone, with or without a campervan!”
11) Forever Young Festival
When: July 5-7, 2019
Where: Naas, County Kildare
Genre: 80’s / Retro
SOME OF THE BIGGEST 80’S BANDS IN THE WORLD ARE COMING TO IRELAND THIS SUMMER!
“The retro party of the Summer will feature classic live sets from a host of original 80’s icons. Music fans will also enjoy a brilliant line up of tribute bands on The Great Pretender Stage. Rewind that mixtape and head back to the golden age of pop music, all the bands you loved, all the songs you know, in a gorgeous setting. The Festival offers plenty of bars and delicious food stalls, fairground rides, Silent Disco and plenty more. Getting there couldn’t be easier, Forever Young Festival is just 30 minutes from Dublin. Luxury on-site camping, glamping, motorhome and caravan facilities are available, as well as on-site parking and regular local and Dublin shuttle services.”
Where: Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, County Dublin
Genre: Rap / Hip Hop / RNB
“Longitude festival has quickly become the stand out summer festival of the year, boasting past artists such as Travis Scott, Post Malone and Kendrick Lamar. 2019 headliners include Chance The Rapper, A$AP Rocky and Brockhampton. Since 2013, Marlay Park has been home to the Longitude Festival, which takes place on the third weekend of July each year.”
13) Playing Fields Music Festival
Where: Clane, County Kildare
“The Playing Fields, a new two-day weekend music festival is on its way to country Kildare. Clane GAA will play host to the Playing Fields Festival in August in Clane, Co. Kildare. This Festival will play host to some of Ireland’s greatest musicians – The Stunning, The 4 of Us, The Frank and Walters and The 2 Johnnies have been confirmed. Local acts will also perform at the two day festival.”
Thanks to everyone who came to our party night…….even more excited for August ??
Posted by The Playing Fields on Friday, May 31, 2019
14) All Together Now
Where: Curraghmore Estate, County Waterford
Genre: Rock / Pop / Dance / Experimental
“Last year we set off on All Together Now’s maiden voyage. Curraghmore Estate’s 3000 acres provided a setting so fruitful and so beautiful, with incredible history. We had the pleasure of creating and curating a festival here – a festival which has boundless possibility as it evolves each year. 2018’s festival carried an inspiring atmosphere, where people were respectful of each other, the incredible landscape and wonderful performers.”
15) Forbidden Fruit Festival
Where: Kilmainham, County Dublin
“Dublin’s first city centre multi-stage music festival was a boon to music fans when it first arrived, and it remains so – not just for ease of access and general convenience but for its increasingly broad range of acts. Is Forbidden Fruit the official start of the summer, or the true opener to the festival season? Some would argue that east Cork’s It Takes a Village holds that claim, but let there be no pistols at dawn about this – the latter is only two years into its potential tenure as a long-lasting event, whereas Forbidden Fruit is now thoroughly tried, tested and approved.”
16) It Takes A Village
Where: Trabolgan, East Cork, County Cork
“Come join us for It Takes A Village 2020 at Trabolgan Holiday Village for a unique and fun filled weekend away on the stunning south coast of Ireland. Gone are the days of tents, wellies and fields of mud. Now you can drive door to door and be only two minutes walk from any of the venues. It Takes A Village has forever changed the concept of an Irish festival. It’s put a roof over its head, made its bed and popped the kettle on!”
17) Kaleidoscope Festival
Where: Blessington, County Wicklow
Genre: Irish / International / Dance
“A tantalizing festival world awaits family and friends, as Russborough House in Blessington swings open its gates for its first EVER festival in June. Kaleidoscope Festival will provide three days of high energy, full colour, multi–stage entertainment over 15 stages, designed to entice and enthrall all, from babes in arms to those eligible for a bus pass! Born out of Electric Picnic, Kaleidoscope harnesses the magic of Picnic’s entertainment and family campsites, tailoring the overall festival experience to the desires of the festival-going family and bringing the essence of Electric Picnic to a brand-new venue. Kaleidoscope heralds a new era of programming for the sophisticated taste of modern parents, discerning kids and all-knowing teens!
K ? A ? L ? E ? I ❣️ D ?♂️ O ?♀️ S ? C ? O ? P ? E ? 2 ? 0 ? 1 ?9 ?#KALEIDOSCOPE19
Posted by Kaleidoscope Family Festival on Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Where: Ballinlough Castle, County Westmeath
“Body & Soul Music and Arts Festival has announced the full stage times for its 10th Anniversary celebration of the summer solstice which kicks off next weekend, June 21st to June 23d in Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath. The theme of Ritual infuses this year’s programme that offers a weekend of music and performance, immersive art installations, workshops and spiritual reflections, thought-provoking discussions, woodland discos, wood-fired hot tubs, a programme for families, and tasty gastronomic delights. The programme of 200+ acts extends across 13 stages and venues.”
19) Sea Sessions Surf & Music Festival
Where: Bundoran, County Donegal
“Sea, sun and sand. For many, they’re three little words that help make the perfect Irish summer’s day. But what makes it even better? Throw in some brilliant live music and you’re onto a winner straight away. That was the idea when Sea Sessions first entered the Irish festival scene in 2009 and a decade on, it has become one of the essential multi-day events on the homegrown summer music calendar. Now in its 11th year, Sea Sessions takes place — as always — in the surfing capital of Bundoran in south Donegal. And surfing is a fundamental part of what makes the festival so unique. Besides some truly great music, you can enjoy competitions featuring Europe’s best big wave riders. And there are loads of beach activities for you to partake in too.”
20) Mother Pride Block Party
Where: Dublin, County Dublin
“To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the stonewall uprising and the birth of the pride movement, Mother in association with Dublin LGBTQ Pride are taking over the grounds of the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks on the quays to bring you the biggest most dazzling display of inclusivity this site has seen in its 300 year history. Get ready for our best pride party yet, we’re building a pride festival site in the grounds of the National Museum with two areas, two stages, full bars, food stalls, art & activations, thousands of LGBT’s & allies and the most exciting line up we’ve ever booked for pride.”
21) Spraoi International Street Arts Festival
Where: Waterford City, County Waterford
“Spraoi is a free urban festival in beautiful Waterford in the south-east of Ireland. For three days each year residents of this medieval city take to the streets and enjoy an international programme of street arts and spectacle. It attracts nearly 100,000 people and the city streets act as a stage for acts from around the world. Bands will perform free shows at outdoor venues by day and in City Centre venues by night.”
22) Another Love Story
Where: Killyon Manor, County Meath
“Another Love Story is a bespoke festival weekender of music, art, conversation, food & frolics nestled amongst the graceful charm of our 18th Century home – Killyon Manor. Uniquely, ALS inhabits the Manor itself – with artists & performers wowing audiences in The Front Room, The Library, The Cinema & the stunning heart of ALS: The Ballroom, as well as on our outdoor stages which sit amongst the leafy meadows, the mysterious woodlands & the cosy corners of The Manor.”
23) Love Sensation
Where: Dublin, County Dublin
Genre: Pop / RNB
“A brand new shining beacon in the Irish festival scene. Love Sensation, brought to you by the team behind Mother, will pop its festival cherry this August 17th & 18th 2019 at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin. A next generation two-day music and arts festival aimed at the LGBT+ community and their many friends, Love Sensation sees LILY ALLEN, CLEAN BANDIT, GOSSIP & KELIS top the bill across the weekend.”
So many fantastic acts playing over the two days of Love Sensation! Who are you ready to show your love to? ❤️????Weekend and day tickets are available now! ? http://bit.ly/LoveSensation
Posted by Love Sensation on Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Am I Missing Any Epic Ireland Music Festivals…?
After doing some research, I quickly learned that there are an unbelievable abundance of festivals in Ireland to choose from every summer, and Irish punters must spend all their money on tickets! Lol. I’ve put together this list of festivals, but would love to hear if you think I need to add any more to my list. I’m planning a trip to Ireland next summer, and plan on crossing off a few of these epic Ireland Music Festivals off my bucket list!
Looking for more festivals in Europe…?
Europe during the the summer is legitatemly festival heaven, and every weekend in every country you could find an awesome event to check out. From one day parties to three day camping festivals, my site is filled with epic lists of the best festivals in Europe and the rest of the world! Check out a few of my favorite posts below, and let me know if you have any awesome hidden gem festivals I should look into!
- The 30 Best U.K Music Festivals To Experience This Year
- The 18 Best Music Festivals in Scotland To Experience Before You Die
- Top 20 Techno Festivals in Europe To Experience Before You Die
- The 22 Best Music Festivals in Barcelona
- The 23 Best Music Festivals in Italy for the Bucket List
- Top 22 Music Festivals in Malta to Experience Before You Die
- Top 21 Music Festivals in Berlin To Add to Your Bucket List
- Top 16 Music Festivals in Portugal to Experience Before You Die
- The 15 Best Music Festivals in Iceland To Experience Before You Die
- Top 12 Music Festivals in Spain To Experience Before You Die
- The 20 Best Music Festivals in Madrid to Experience Before You Die
- The 19 Best Music Festivals in Paris That’ll Keep You Dancing All Year Long
WHAT TO BRING TO A MUSIC FESTIVAL…?
With so many different festivals in Ireland every summer, I’d definitely recommend going through my festival preparation guides and getting everything you need to maximize your enjoyment (and festival survival).
- The Ultimate Camping Packing List | Festival Essentials
- 44 Festival Accessories, Gear, and Must-Haves | Festival Packing List
- Top 10 Music Festival Hydration Backpacks
Thanks for reading about these epic Ireland Music Festivals!
Share these music festivals in Ireland with your party squad!