Get a head start of summer festival fever

Missing out on Ed Sheeran in Páirc Uí Chaoimh? Not to worry, Ciara McDonnell has plenty of options for the May bank holiday weekend.

Get a head start of summer festival fever

Missing out on Ed Sheeran in Páirc Uí Chaoimh? Not to worry, Ciara McDonnell has plenty of options for the May bank holiday weekend.

May The Fourth Be With You

Skellig Michael is the centrepiece of the ‘May The Fourth Be With You’ festival.
Skellig Michael is the centrepiece of the ‘May The Fourth Be With You’ festival.

Capitalising on all things Star Wars, this festival is rolling out three days of all-ages events in Ballyferriter, Portmagee and Valentia Island, in County Kerry — all with an out of this world theme.

There are drive-in screenings of Star Wars, guided walks and boat tours, as well as tours of Skellig Michael and the opportunity to walk where Luke Skywalker once strode.

Joking aside, this will be a weekend of great family fun, and best of all — many of the events are free of charge.

Find out more: www.wildatlanticway.com

JestFest

Deirdre O’Kane will be at the JestFest in Wexford.
Deirdre O’Kane will be at the JestFest in Wexford.

The sun will hopefully be out and with it the best comedians Ireland has to offer throughout the bank holiday weekend in Wexford. From Deirdre O’Kane to Alison Spittle and Neil Delemare, there is something to suit every comedic palette, and better still, lots for the kids.

The quayfront is home to a vintage funfair all weekend and the Street Theatre Arena is home to family friendly performances all weekend long.

Find out more: jestfest.ie

Bantry Country Roads Festival

Country music fans are in for a treat this May bank holiday as the Bantry Country Roads festival gears up for another year of country-themed performance.

As well as music, there’ll be a pop up food village with the best grub the area has to offer and a host of family events to entertain the kids.

The grounds will have a dedicated motor home pitch for fans who want to make a weekend of it, and true revellers will simply refuse to miss out on the late night honky tonk DJ who is presiding over the late night entertainment throughout the weekend.

Find out more: www.facebook.com/events/1526160907463747/

Kilkenny Roots Festival

Darlingside are among the many 40-plus acts performing at this years Kilkenny Roots Festival.
Darlingside are among the many 40-plus acts performing at this years Kilkenny Roots Festival.

Celebrating its 21st year, the Kilkenny Roots Festival is a firm date on any fan of Americana’s calendar, and this year is no different. Audiences can experience a huge range of music in more than 30 venues, hosting more than 40 Irish and international acts, with over 90 ticketed and free shows from early afternoon until late into the night. With performances from artists including Michael Nau, Darlingside and Whitney Rose, this festival promises to be a belter.

Find out more: https://kilkennyroots.com

Birr Festival Music & Voice

Should you hanker after an altogether more refined musical experience, then check out the line-up at the Birr Festival of Music & Voice.

Now in its second year, acclaimed international soprano Cara O’Sullivan will open the festival with her performance on Friday, and on Saturday pianist Finhin Collins will be joined by principal clarinettist with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, John Finucane for some exciting duets.

There’ll be performances in the streets and in the hallowed walls of Birr Castle, as well as musical master classes following some of the performances.

Find out more: www.birrtheatre.com

Ballydehob Jazz

Barrence Whitfield wil perform at the Ballydehob Jazz Festival.
Barrence Whitfield wil perform at the Ballydehob Jazz Festival.

Known as one of the cosier jazz festivals that takes place around the country, the Ballydehob Jazz Festival is one of the most anticipated local festivals on the jazz calendar.

With more than 40 performances taking place across the weekend, this year our picks of the weekend include Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, Trio Balkan Strings and Milda Stasaityte.

Find out more: www.ballydehobjazzfestival.org

Shine A Light

Hook Lighthouse is one of 12 lighthouses around the country who will Shine A Light on the culture and heritage of our lighthouses and their keepers.

Throughout the weekend there’ll be family activities, local crafts, live music, workshops for kids and wonderful food, as well as lighthouse tours and opportunities to meet the families whose lives revolve around our nation’s lighthouses.

Find out more: hookpeninsula.com

Riverfest

Bell X1 are just one of the acts that will take to the stage for this year’s Limerick’s Riverfest.
Bell X1 are just one of the acts that will take to the stage for this year’s Limerick’s Riverfest.

Returning for its 14th year, Limerick will be transformed into a carnival of fun this weekend.

With a performance from Bell X1, Riverfest on the Shannon, the Riverfest BBQ Competition, the Riverfestival village in Arthur’s Quay Park, the Bons Secours Great Limerick Run and a spectacular fireworks display, this is a family-friendly weekend that promises to kick the summer off in style.

Find out more: www.facebook.com/RiverfestLimerick/

Live Forever

Oasis tribute band Live Forever sold out their Friday night performance at Cypress Avenue in Cork so quickly that they have added a second date on Saturday.

One of the best tributes to the Gallagher brothers, expect all the favourites, minus the brotherly discourse — this is a great alternative for would-be Ed Sheeran fans who find themselves with time to spare this weekend.

Find out more: cyprusavenue.ie

Father Ted Fest

Go on, go on, go on, GO ON. The Father Ted Festival returns this bank holiday to Lisdoonvarna in County Clare where throughout the weekends, tours to the Father Ted House will be furnished with tea and cakes and events like a Lovely Girls competition will set the evening off nicely. This is a jam-packed Ted-themed weekend, and even includes a match-making facility with world famous matchmaker Willie Daly. It’s important to note that this festival is for grown-ups only.

Find out more: www.tedtours.com

Bealtaine Fire Celebration

The Fire Festival at the Hill of Uisneach in Westmeath is a major part of our history as the burial site for Ériu and Lugh, two members of the Tuatha Dé Danann who represent Mother Earth and the Sun respectively.

It’s also the site where each year a fire is lit to mark the start of the season of Bealtaine. Each May Bank Holiday hundreds of people flock to the festival, where music and dancing ring out as the sun goes down and the fire lights the hill. The event is ticketed to manage numbers, and children have free entry but still require a ticket.

Find out more: uisneach.ie

More in this section

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up