In May, June and July, the island of Ireland is awash with wonderful arts and culture festivals. Here are 11 to add to your to-do list.
BlueGrass Omagh (26–28 May)
One of the largest bluegrass events outside of North America, BlueGrass Omagh is a celebration of the music that was forged in the melting pot of North America. Set in the unique surroundings of the Ulster American Folk Park, the festival pays homage to the heritage of the emigrants from Ulster who settled in Appalachia and whose music influenced the evolution of bluegrass.
Listowel Writers Week (31 May–4 June)
Ireland’s oldest literary and arts festival brings together writers, artists and poets in the beautiful heritage town of Listowel, County Kerry. With a mix of creative writing workshops, poetry readings, guided literary tours, book launches and talks by renowned literary figures, there is something for both experienced writers and those seeking to advance their skills.
Rory Gallagher International Festival, Donegal (1–4 June)
Ballyshannon on the Wild Atlantic Way, where Rory Gallagher was born, proudly stages this international tribute festival every year to celebrate the music of one of the world’s greatest guitarists. With 25 hours of free open-air concerts, guitar workshops and exhibitions as well as big top gigs, the festival is a don’t miss destination for Rory fans.
Belsonic, Belfast (3–30 June)
Featuring some of the world’s top bands and singers, Belsonic is Belfast’s big summer music bash. This year’s headliners include superstar veterans Tom Jones and Lionel Richie, as well as chart toppers Lizzo, George Ezra, Sam Fender, Paolo Nutini, Florence and the Machine, The Prodigy, Ben Nicky and David Guetta.
Cork Midsummer Festival (14–25 June)
Cork city will stage an exhilarating mix of theatrical performances, art installations, music, dance, circus, spectacle and street arts events in its Midsummer Festival. Featuring some of Ireland’s most exciting artists, award-winning international companies and emerging talent, this playful festival also encourages public participation.