Whatever rhythms you are into, beat a trail to a great Irish music festival this summer. Whether it is hard rock, foot-tapping trad or cool classical, build a brilliant break around a festival that is guaranteed to be music to your ears. Here are just a few festivals not to be missed – but you can hit the high notes at many more at www.discoverireland.ie.
Enjoy the vibes in Dublin!
Combine a break in the cool, hip, capital with some unforgettable music. Forbidden Fruit, at the historic Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin City, (June 1st - 2nd) is an unmissable bank holiday festival combining music, art, fashion and simple good vibes! See Kasabian, Primal Scream, Crystal Castles and loads more on four stages. Take the opportunity to visit the Irish Museum of Modern Art while you are there, or pop into the Phoenix Park. www.forbiddenfruit.ie.
And the stunning Marlay Park hosts Longtitude, (July 19th - 21st), with headline acts including Phoenix, Foals, Villagers, Vampire Weekend, Kraftwerk and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The southside suburb is easily accessible from the city centre and is on Wicklow’s doorstep too. www.longitude.ie.
Enjoy a session in Galway!
Head west for The Galway Sessions, (June 17th – 23rd), and tap into the vibrant culture of the City of Tribes. Sessions will take place in over 12 venues and visiting musicians are welcome to join the fray. Stay by the sea in Salthill and visit its blue flag beach, or walk the promenade.
Find your soul in Westmeath!
Wind your way to Westmeath where Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Public Image and Solange top the bill at Body & Soul, in Ballinlough Castle, (June 21st - 23rd). Chill out in the woodlands, and wander the zen gardens. In keeping with the Summer Solstice tradition, the festival will culminate in a closing lakeside ceremony, an exquisite spectacle of movement, sound and light designed to mesmerize.
There is general camping – and a quiet camping field for those who want a gentler experience. Or give yourself an even greater degree of comfort and book great value accommodation in historic Trim or buzzing Navan, just a short drive away in Royal Meath. www.bodyandsoul.ie.
Classic Carrick on Shannon
If classical music floats your boat, check out the Carrick on Shannon Water Music Festival in lovely Leitrim, (June 25th - 30th). This charming event includes the Lakelands Gala Proms. Why not make a break of it and rent a cruiser – or seek out adventure at Lough Key Forest & Activity Park! You can stay in a log cabin at Riversdale Self Catering, in nearby Knockvicar. www.carrickonshannonwatermusic.com.
Beat a Boyne drum!
Catch the beat at the Drogheda Samba Festival, Co. Louth, (June 28th - 30th), where over 300 drums will be setting the pace. When your eardrums have had their fill, enjoy traditional seaside fun in nearby Bettystown. Or why not wind down with a scenic walk and some gourmet food in the beautiful medieval village of Carlingford. www.droghedasamba.com. Wherever you go in Ireland this summer, follow your ears for a music festival holiday that’s guaranteed to be in tune and on song. Let www.discoverireland.ie be your guide!
Get strung out in Cork!
Beautiful West Cork will be filled with the sound of music during the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Bantry, (June 28th - July 6th). The packed programme includes the Irish Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet and vocalist Claire Booths. And don’t leave this scenic part of the world without visiting spectacular Glengariff and the beautiful gardens at Garnish Island. Or stay on an island of your own, with luxury self-catering at Inish Beg. www.westcorkmusic.ie.
Taste the music in Westport!
If music and food are your twin passions, then don’t miss the bill of fare at Westport Festival of Music and Food in Co. Mayo, (June 29th - 30th), featuring Imelda May, Christy Moore, ABC, the Blind Boys of Alabama and more. Stay on in Westport Town, voted the country’s best place to live. Walk or cycle The Greenway, go horse riding on Achill Island or sail right on your door step. www.westportfestival.com.
Get Groovey in Wicklow!
Get your groove on for James Morrison, UB40, Damien Dempsey, Soul II Soul and more at the Groove Music Festival in the stunning surrounds of Kilruddery Estate in Bray, Co. Wicklow, the garden county of Ireland, (July 6th - 7th).
Explore Bray’s victorian seafront and cool down with a dip in the sea. Or visit splendid Enniskerry village, with its bijou shops and nearby waterfall at Powerscourt. www.groovefestival.ie.
Offaly good music in Tullamore!
The best things come in small packages! Head to Castlepalooza, a boutique music festival held in the wooded wonderland that is Charleville Castle in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, (August 2nd - 4th).
Bring the family and camp in the beautiful castle grounds. The line-up has yet to be announced but you are promised great music, merriment, magic and mind-blowing memories. www.castlepalooza.com.
Breathe at Oxegen!
Breathe in dance superstars David Guetta, Calvin Harris, and US rapper Snoop Dog, at Oxegen, which is back with a bang at Punchestown Racecourse, Co. Kildare, (August 2nd - 4th). Make a break of it and enjoy local attractions including the Irish National Stud, stately Russborough House or shop till you drop at the designer outlet, Kildare Village. www.oxegen.ie.
Light up in Laois!
Laois will light up for the 10th Electric Picnic in stunning Stradbally Estate, Co. Waterford, (August 30th - September 1st), with top notch performers Fatboy Slim, Bjork, Arctic Monkeys and My Bloody Valentine.
This is a great family event taking place on a blissful, sprawling, 600-acre estate with theatre, a campsite, body & soul zone, farmer’s market, and a comedy stage. If staying in a tent doesn’t really do it for you, Stradbally is easily reached by car from Portlaoise and Carlow or beautiful Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, makes a great base. www.electricpicnic.ie .