Destination Directory

Ireland Music Festivals: Striking the Right Chord

Rarely a weekend goes by in Ireland when there isn't a music festival somewhere on the island.

Last week, City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival presented 350 gigs in over 70 venues in the historic walled city of Derry—but your Ireland-bound groups haven't completely missed the high notes.

There are plenty of high-profile music celebrations on the calendar, this summer and beyond. (Because if your groups miss them in 2018, don't worry: They'll likely be back.)

Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival
June 8 – 10

An international lineup of top artists will pick, strum, bow slap, and slide their way through classic and new folk and bluegrass music over a weekend of gigs, sessions, workshops and masterclasses in the Acoustic-Music capital, Westport, County Mayo.

Belsonic
June 15 – 24

Music legends Nile Rodgers & Chic, The Script, Liam Gallagher and Carl Cox—plus a host of supporting acts—will take the stage in Belfast for this weeklong summer festival.

Sea Sessions
June 22 – 24

Top artists Dizzee Rascal, Walking on Cars and Rudimental will join the beach bash at Bundoran, County Donegal's surf music festival, where groups can catch both waves and tunes.

Longitude
July 13 – 15

Hip-hop artist J Cole, rapper Travis Scott and Beyoncé's little sister Solange are headlining this beatfest in Dublin, which also features Tyle The Creator.

Castlepalooza
August 3 – 5

The boutique music and arts festival is named for—you guessed it—the castle where it's staged. Charleville Castle in County Offaly is the location for Castlepalooza, which combines an eclectic program with the goal of becoming Ireland's most environmentally friendly festival.

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann
August 12 – 19

Drogheda, County Loth, transforms into trad central for a week with concerts, competitions, pub sessions and impromptu street performances. The festival celebrating traditional Irish music attracts hundreds of thousands each year—dubbing it the world's largest celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance.

Electric Picnic
August 31 – September 2

Over 40 artists are scheduled to perform at this year's Electric Picnic in County Laois, one of the biggest music festivals of the year. Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack and N.E.R.D. will headline, and supporting acts include Dua Lipa and George Ezra.

Cork Jazz Festival
October 26 – 29

The 2018 lineup for the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is yet to be announced, but as one of the most important jazz events on the international arts calendar, it's likely to hit high notes. The festival attracts musicians and music fans from across the world.

Wexford Festival Opera
October 19 – November 4

One of the world's leading opera festivals, Wexford Festival Opera boasts 17 days of operas, concerts, recitals, theater and talks—including rarely seen opera, for which the festival is famous. This year's main performances include Mala Vita and Dinner at Eight.

Information courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

Photo courtesy of Castlepalooza.