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What a Line-Up! Ireland’s Music Festivals

Music festivals in Ireland

Missed out on Glastonbury? No worries – there’s a fantastic choice of music festivals coming up over the summer in Ireland, whether you’re in to ‘glamping’ at a posh castle festival, or admiring the lovely girls at Ted Fest.

The fantastic Slane Castle festival is over, and Take That have packed their bags and left us, but there are lots of great gigs and festivals to come – and the weather experts say we have a hot summer coming up!

Live At The Marquee, County Cork, June-July

This festival has attracted iconic acts over the years, with this year’s line up including Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and The Frames. It’s on right now, but there’s still time to see Elton John, Bell X1 or Jedward, who are performing at the Marquee over the next few weeks (but not together…).

Oxegen, County Kildare: 8–10 July

With an average of 90,000 attending each day, Oxegen is the biggest music festival in Ireland. Twice voted Best European Festival, it is a 100% carbon neutral event and features a silent disco, campsite funfair and great food.

Oh yeah, and the music’s not bad either: this year the Black Eyed Peas, Foo Fighters and Coldplay are joined by The Script, Arctic Monkeys, Beyonce and loads more – check out the full lineup here.

Castle Palooza, County Offaly, 29-31 July

Described as a ‘boutique’ festival, Castle Palooza is a much smaller affair, so festival goers get to wander freely all around the beautiful Charleville Castle and its grounds, not to mention access to the indoor toilets and showers!!

Environmental awareness and glamping are the order of the day at Castle Palooza, and the focus at this festival is top notch, homegrown Irish talent. This year’s lineup includes Dogs, Celtic Hostels’ own Willemein’s boyfriends band! Needless to say, Willemein will be in attendance and reporting from the festival.

The Electric Picnic, County Laois: 2-4 September

Dubbed “Ireland’s version of Glastonbury”, the Electric Picnic takes place in Stradbally Hall, less than an hour away from Dublin. Described by Billboard magazine as “a magnificent rock n roll circus, a textbook example of everything a festival should be”, you can be sure of a good time.

This year’s lineup includes Arcade Fire, Pulp and The Chemical Brothers (see full list), and there are also comedy and theatrical performances. As well as an emphasis on green living, Amnesty International will be celebrating their 50th birthday at this year’s festival.

Cork Jazz Festival 28-31 October

Since its foundation in 1978, Ireland’s biggest jazz event has attracted a breathtaking array of greats, including Ella Fitzgerald, George Shearing, Dave Brubeck, Stephane Grappelli and Mel Torme. Apparently the festival attracts the best acts, despite its relatively small size, because of its great reputation among the artists as a fun place to be!

As well as these well-known festivals, there’s something for everyone when it comes to Irish festivals. Here are some of our favourite smaller festivals:

Ted Fest, which took place on “Craggy Island” in February, featured such stellar events as ‘a local man singing’ and ‘matchmaking with Nellie’. Not to be missed next year!

Puck Fair, which takes place in County Kerry on 10-12 August, is Ireland’s oldest festival, a throwback to ancient practices and fascinating to behold.

Remember, this is Ireland people: bring sunscreen and a rain jacket! You’ll thank us – the guy selling disposable ponchos outside the recent Take That concert probably made as much money as Robbie Williams did from the gig – prices went up to €6 at one stage!

Full listing of Irish festivals and events

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