Galway International Arts Festival
This new and exciting city-wide music and arts festival boasts three days of festivities in Dublin, kicking off on the 30th December, running right through to January 1st.
Gather together in the heart of Dublin for the biggest New Year’s celebration the city has ever seen!
Ring in the New Year at the NYF Countdown Concert, and follow the captivating Music and Arts Trails across the city, which showcase live music in superb settings and stunning Irish and international art and culture.
Sample some delicious artisan food at Dublin Castle’s NYF Food Village, and watch as the city’s streetscapes come alive with thrilling 3D animations at the Luminosity events.
Join in the magical Procession of Light and see the city dazzle, or become utterly immersed in the inspiring Spoken Word Festival which boasts poetry slams, literature, discussion and debate like you’ve never seen them before.
For visitors who only have a few days to spend in Dublin, it couldn’t be simpler with our NYF Dublin Discovery Trail. This allows you to explore the best of the city over two perfectly planned days. Pick and choose from our list of Dublin city’s top 20 cultural venues offering special NYF discounts and guided tours.
And what better way to start 2015 off to a properly positive start than with Resolution Day? Which includes a 5km fun run at Dublin Castle, exercise classes, and more awesome activities that’ll have you hit the ground running in 2015.
With all this and a spectacular array of surprises and secret performances across the city too, the countdown is most definitely on!
More info: http://nyfdublin.com/
Festivals and events highlight the fall season in Ireland. Get out and enjoy harvest fairs, sports championships, traditional music and arts, guided weekend walks, creepy ghost tours, and much more.
Attend a Sports Championship
Gaelic football and hurling are some of the top spectator sports in Ireland and Northern Ireland, culminating in the All-Ireland Senior Championship Finals played in Dublin’s Croke Park in September. Attending an All-Ireland is the experience of a lifetime, but plan ahead as all 82,300 tickets usually sell out. You can visit the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Museum at Croke Park year-round to learn about the history, see game highlights, and test your sports skills. Get a feel for game day on a stadium tour—visit team dressing rooms, run through the players tunnel onto the field pitchside, and catch views of the field from the sidelines and VIP seats.
For bird’s-eye views of the stadium and Dublin’s skyline, take the guided Etihad Skyline Tour on the 17-story-high rooftop, where you will be hooked by harness to a railing.
Tour the Tombs at Glasnevin Cemetery
Ireland’s necropolis is Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin where 1.5 million people have been buried since 1832, including famous patriots, poets, writers, and musicians. A guided tour tells fascinating stories of slain revolutionary leader Michael Collins, writer Brendan Behan, and Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator, buried in an ornate crypt beneath a round tower. Touch his inner wooden casket for luck. The museum chronicles burial practices, highlights the noted and notorious resting here, and offers a genealogy research center.
A stop at John Kavanagh, also known as The Gravediggers, is a must after your cemetery tour. Established in 1833 and still run by the same family, the pub shares a back wall with the cemetery. Pub workers used to pass pints to the gravediggers through the cemetary railings during the workday. This is an authentic, old-style pub with a reputation for an excellent pint of Guinness.
Celebrate the Man Behind Dracula
Bram Stoker, author of the 1897 horror novel Dracula, was born in north Dublin, educated at Trinity College, and got his start writing theater reviews for a Dublin newspaper. Although his horror novels and short stories were written in London, Dublin hosts an extensive four-day festival at the end of October to honor his life, work, and legacy. Events are held across the city, which is illuminated with red lights.
Sink your teeth into the Bram Stoker Festival with literary events, concerts of Gothic-inspired music, theatrical events, pop-up performances, and ghost walking tours. There’s also a Gothic Ball this year, plus a zip line through central Dublin—but only for those in costume.
Join A Walking Festival
Walking festivals offer many different guided treks, often hosted by rambling clubs, over a few days in a region. They provide access to hidden landscapes and overlooks, accompanied by local walkers happy to share stories. In the autumn, the colorful foliage is a bonus.
A highlight of the Fermanagh Walking Festival in Northern Ireland in October is the ascent of 2,182-foot Cuilcagh Mountain, offering 360-degree views over the scenic lakelands region. The Gortmacconnell walk passes through forests and a rare blanket bog in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, the only UNESCO geopark in Northern Ireland.
The four-day Footfalls Wicklow Walking Festival at the end of October offers eight hikes on three levels of difficulty. Hikes might take in Glendalough’s sixth-century monastic settlement, Wicklow Gap, or St. Kevin’s Way. Be sure to book a sports massage for the evening.
Enjoy Traditional Irish Music
Nothing can compare with the foot-tapping brilliance of a traditional Irish music session, which might include fiddle, flute, uilleann pipes (also known as Irish bagpipes), button accordion, banjo, guitar, bodhran, concertina, harp, drums, and tin whistle. At a festival, there are musical concerts, informal pub sessions, and workshops for students along with singing and Irish dancing.
The Mountshannon Traditional Festival in Clare at the end of September mixes boat trips to Holy Island on Lough Derg with music workshops, pub sessions, and a song competition. The John Dwyer Trad Weekend runs for three days in mid-October as part of Waterford’s larger Imagine Arts Festival.
The William Kennedy Piping Festival in Armagh, Northern Ireland, in mid-November focuses on the uilleann pipes with a piping academy, concerts, sessions, reedmaking and pipe maintenance workshops, and a “Music on Canvas” art exhibition. It’s named for an 18th-century blind piper and pipemaker.
Go Ghost Hunting at Belfast’s Crumlin Road Gaol
Crumlin Road Gaol was the prison for Belfast’s hardcore prisoners from 1845 to 1996. This Victorian jail held many death row convicts, and 17 of them were executed here by hanging, the last one in 1961. Year-round daily tours take in the tunnel connecting the courthouse to the gaol, the condemned man’s cell, the execution chamber, and the graveyard. Included are the tales of political prisoners, those executed, suicides, hunger strikes, riots, and escapes.
During the second half of October, take the Paranormal Tour that runs at night in low light for an extra creepy experience. This tour visits the flogging room and takes you to the hot spots of paranormal activity, as verified by paranormal investigators with detection equipment.
Appreciate the Arts in Northern Ireland
The vibrant arts scene in Northern Ireland is showcased in many popular fall festivals in Belfast. Culture Night Belfast is one intense night of free events held on a Friday in mid-September each year. Choose from around 240 different performances, workshops, gallery openings, concerts, tours, and dancing on the streets around the renowned Cathedral Quarter that night.
The Belfast Festival at Queen’s runs for two weeks in October with an extensive lineup. There are premieres, edgy productions, and international performers. Launched more than 50 years ago, the festival has featured artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Dizzy Gillespie, Van Morrison, and the Chieftains. The 2014 event features Elvis Costello, a world-renowned flamenco dancer, and The Gloaming, an Irish-American folk supergroup led by fiddler Martin Hayes.
Enjoy the Fall Harvest
Since pagan times, harvest festivals have been held to give thanks for the bounty of the season—and to share it with family and neighbors. The Waterford Harvest Festival in mid-September is all about food from farm to fork around the region. Take advantage of cooking demonstrations by noted chefs, workshops, food displays, grow-it-yourself seminars, and foodie films. Sample artisanal food, buy from farmers in the market, and stop by the oyster festival and craft beer fest. Setting the scene are live music, farm animals on display, and art installations.
The three-day National Ploughing Championships toward the end of September has become one of the biggest outdoor farming events in Europe, covering 700 acres. Established in 1931, it features international ploughing—or plowing, as it’s known in the U.S.—competitions, livestock shows, sheepdog trials, the All-Ireland Lamb Shearing contest, and the National Brown Bread Baking Competition. There’s vintage machinery, the latest farm equipment, and technological innovations too.
Root for Favorites at a Horse Racing Festival
Horse racing is keenly followed in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and race days are as much about the social aspects as they are about placing wagers. Some of the most popular racing is National Hunt or jump racing with horses running on grass tracks two miles long or more. Multiday race festivals offer a full-immersion experience; ladies, be sure to wear a hat on Ladies Day.
The Listowel Harvest Festival the third week of September has long enticed farmers to wager some of their harvest proceeds. The Guinness Kerry National Chase is the highlight of National Hunt and Flat racing events here. The Northern Ireland Festival of Racing is held the first weekend in November at Lisburn’s Down Royal Racecourse, which was granted a Royal Charter in 1685. The JNwine.com Champion Chase race is part of the festival and is for many who follow the sport the most prestigious National Hunt event of the year in the north.
Delight in Autumn Gardens
Two high-concept gardens enhance the region’s colorful fall foliage with unusual elements and unique events. At the Samhain Winter Garden at Brigit’s Garden in Rosscahill, Galway, a massive earthworks depiction of a sleeping woman represents the Earth at rest, cradling a reflection pool that symbolizes life. In the Bealtaine Summer Garden, tie a wish to the fairy tree. And in early October, join in the seasonal feast of foraged and harvested ingredients from the garden.
Named one of the top ten gardens in the world by the Daily Telegraph, Mount Stewart Gardens in Newtownards, Northern Ireland, features formal themed gardens, plus lake and woodland walks. There are still flowers blooming through the winter thanks to the mild climate, says head gardener Neil Porteous. He leads a special behind-the-scenes tour in early November. There’s an Autumn Fair in early October, and the Festival of Lights (the first three weekends in November), which transforms the grounds with colorful lights in the trees and ethereal fairy music.
Bringing the outside inside! Friday 13 – Sunday 15 June, 2014
Featuring THE BEST OF IRISH GARDENING TALENT
Diarmuid Gavin :: Dermot O’Neill :: Helen Dillon :: Gerry Daly and lots more…
Christ Church Cathedral is delighted to announce its first ever garden festival. From Friday 13th until Sunday 15th June 2014, Christ Church Cathedral will be transformed into a stunning floral arcadia with contemporary and classic arrangements designed by some of Ireland’s most talented and award-winning floral artists. As a leading tourist destination, every year we welcome thousands of visitors through our doors to either visit a site of unique heritage or to celebrate with us. We look forward to welcoming many more to enjoy the spectacular array of floral displays that will fill the medieval building with colour on the festival weekend, when we will truly bring the outside inside!
Inside, a spectacular array of floral displays will fill the medieval building with colour. What could be more stunning than to witness thousands of flowers displayed in one of the finest cathedrals in Ireland? Visitors will receive gardening advice from renowned and much loved personalities from the world of gardening and horticulture. Outside, adorning the grounds will be horticultural displays, Irish food produce, urban gardens, birds of prey, a petting zoo, craft demonstrations, live entertainment and an outdoor artisan food tent full of gourmet food including afternoon tea.
Each day, a number of talks entitled ‘Gardening With The Experts’ will take place in the Cathedral’s historic South Transept featuring a host of prolific expert gardeners discussing everything from money-saving composting to creating your very own urban garden. The line-up is as follows:
Friday 13 June
11am: Helen Dillon | 2pm: Matthew Jebb | 3pm: Christopher White | 6pm: Fiann O Nuallain
Saturday 14 June
10am: Kitty Scully | 12.00pm: Fiann O Nuallain | 1.30pm: Dermot O’Neill | 3.00pm: Christopher White | 4.30pm: Gerry Daly | 6.00pm: Jane McCorkell
Sunday 15 June
1pm: Diarmuid Gavin
Music will fill the cathedral each day including recitals, bird song and much more. The stellar voices of Christ Church Cathedral Choir will perform a special concert at 3.30pm on Sunday with Benjamin Britten’s beautiful unaccompanied work, Five Flower Songs. This beautiful and enchanting work continues to be a delight while the open-air songs have all the summer charm their title promises. A beautiful and unforgettable afternoon awaits all who attend.
Whether you are visiting on your own, as a family, with group of friends or even in a coach-full, the Dublin Garden Festival at Christ Church Cathedral can guarantee a fantastic day out. With something for everyone and fun for all the family, don’t miss this unique event right in the heart of the city.
Open Friday 13 and Saturday 14th from 9am until 9pm and Sunday 15th from 12.30pm to 7pm. Admission – €12 / €10 conc. 2 Day Pass – €20/€16 conc. 3 Day Pass – 30/€25 conc. Groups of 10 or more: €8.50. Children under 12 go free. Early Bird offer available now on Ticketmaster: €10 / €16; 2 Day Pass: €25. 3 Day Pass – €30. offer ends 6th June.
For further information, please visit www.dublingardenfestival.ie
The Dublin Fringe Festival is currently on!
Dublin Fringe Festival is a curated, multi-disciplinary festival and year-round organisation focusing on new and innovative approaches to the arts. Dublin Fringe Festival supports the development and presentation of new work by Irish and International artists of vision, nurturing artistic ambition and excellence across a range of art forms. An active curator, Dublin Fringe Festival provides an environment in which participating artists challenge, subvert and invigorate their disciplines and practice. Dublin Fringe Festival provides context for new work and demands audience engagement and dialogue. The scale and environment of the festival broadens arts participation, playing a vital role in the fabric of Dublin and Irish cultural life.
This year’s festival celebrates activists, 4 whistle blowers, outsiders, women, children and industry in a jam packed programme of the best new Irish and international arts.
On Saturday September 14th, The Tara High Kings Festival will take place on the hill of Tara. Through re-enactments, music and art, visitors will experience the Hill of Tara as it was in the time of High Kings. The main attraction will be a grand tournament. This competition will see 13 competitors from around the world complete a series of tasks demanding a mixture of brains and brawn. These tasks will be loosely based on the traditional entry tasks to join na Fianna. The winner will then be declared High King or Queen.
The festival has been chosen as a signature event for the Gathering and due to this additional publicity campaign behind us, we have been overwhelmed by international interest. We have a competitor coming from Russia (his mother was a McDowell from Longford) and an retired police officer from America ( Kirk, is a proud member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians). We also have a female boxing coach from Meath and have reserved 6 places for our festival partner the GAA who intend entering current and retired GAA stars from home and abroad.
The festival runs from 12pm to 5pm on Saturday 14th September. It will be located on private land opposite Maguire’s Cafe on the hill of Tara. The hill itself will be open as normal to visitors. Admission to the festival is €5 per child, €10 per adult. Please be advised, traffic for the festival will be diverted at Ross Cross to a dedicated festival car park. Regular tour buses visiting the hill (not the festival) can use the car park and usual roads. We are expecting approximately 2500 people to attend the festival, therefore it might be advisable to alter your itinerary to an alternative day or we would be happy to provide your costumers with a reduced price ticket of €8. The number of tickets available are limited and going fast. This festival is a community event and while we have their blessing, is not linked to the OPW.