Deirdre Mullins rounds up the best Irish music festivals this August.

Liss Ard was a boutique festival long before any of today's similarly-styled festivals began. Held in the grounds of a beautiful 200-acre estate outside Skibbereen in West Cork from 1997 to 1999, it attracted big acts such as Pulp, Will Oldham, Tindersticks, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Van Morrison and Patti Smith. The festival took a break for a number of years and is retuning this year to much acclaim. This year's acts include Chic, Toots & the Maytals, the Blue Nile front man Paul Buchanan, Joan as Policewoman, local boy Mick Flannery, Lisa Hannigan and the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra. Poetry and literature will be celebrated on the Literary Stage with novelists such as Joe Dunthorne and Paul Murray in conversation. The West Cork culinary tradition will also be honoured with the festival food fair. Liss Ard takes place this bank holiday on August 4 and 5. Weekend camping tickets are €89.50; without camping €70.50 and day tickets are €39.50. For more information, visit: www.lissardfestival.com.

On the same weekend are Castlepalooza and Indiependence. One of the best value music festivals in the land, Castlepalooza takes place in Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Co Offaly, with tickets costing €50 for three days including camping. Headline acts include The Charlatans, Le Galaxie, Ghostpoet and Donal Dineen's Parish Project. For more information, visit: www.castlepalooza.com. Indie music fans will descend on Deer Farm, Mitchelstown, Co Cork for Indiependence. The Coronas are headlining with British Sea Power, Beardyman, The Minutes, Ham Sandwich, Delorentos, and Fish Go Deep also on the bill. Tickets cost €99 with camping and €79 without. For more information, visit: www.indiependencefestival.com.

Just in case you don't already have enough to choose from on the August bank holiday weekend, Le Chéile takes place in Oldcastle, Co Meath from August 3 to 6. Headliners include The Walls, Bressie, Republic of Loose, Paddy Casey and The 4 of Us. Weekend tickets cost €100. Gigs are also individually priced from €10 to €25. For more information, visit: www.lecheile.com.

The highlight of most festival goers' summer has to be Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co Laois from August 31 to September 2. The Cure make their Electric Picnic debut and will play for two hours with a setlist drawn from all 14 of their studio albums. Other acts performing are Sigur Ros, Elbow, Orbital, The XX, Hot Chip and The Roots. There is so much to choose from at Electric Picnic, with comedy and spoken word events as well as arts and theatrics. The Body and Soul area will also be offering a haven for revellers. A weekend camping ticket costs €230, while a Sunday day ticket is €99.50. For more, visit: www.electricpicnic.ie.

If you're heading up North, Belsonic takes place in Custom House Square, Belfast from August 15 to 26. The line-up includes Madness, Noel Gallagher, Two Door Cinema Club and Tom Jones. Tickets are priced according to the acts. For more, see: http://belsonic.com.

The Stone Roses, Foo Fighters and Black Keys are some of the acts playing at Vital in Boucher Road Playing Fields, Belfast. Vital takes place on August 21 and 22. Tickets are priced at £49.50 per day. For more, visit: www.tennentsvital.com.

Sunflowerfest takes place at Tubby's Farm, Hillsborough, Co Down from August 17 to 19. Headliners include Dreadzone, Scroobius Pip, Jape and Duke Special. Weekend camping tickets cost £49.00 and day tickets range from £20 to £25. For more information, visit: www.sunflowerfest.co.uk.

Deirdre Mullins
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