Hey guys! Can you believe it’s almost September? The past week in Ireland has been quite lovely, weather wise. We’ve had warm days and sunny skies. With things slowly opening up and restrictions lifting (I hope I’ll be able to go abroad sometime soon!), it feels almost normal to be out and about, going for drinks with friends or even just going for a bite to eat.
One thing that is generating some excitement this coming Autumn is different types and styles of events! In Ireland, live music and events are being piloted so that we can get back to music festivals or enjoy our favourite artists in person again. Coming up in Ireland in the coming weeks is a variety of Art, Food and Cultural festivals, geared towards getting people into their communities, experiencing something unique and making the best out of easing rules.
In this list, I’ll be listing some of the festivals and events that will be happening in the next coming weeks that I’d recommend people coming to see or perhaps tune into online. This can be used as a way for you to plan a weekend away to a town or city in Ireland and feast on some culture and creativity.
1. Galway International Arts Festival
This is a festival very near and dear to me. I’ve been involved with the Galway International Arts Festival since 2017 and each year I’ve been contiunously amazed by the various forms of art, music, theatre and knowledge that is put on display. My first year with the festival in 2017, I was introduced to the incredible work of various theatre directors, artists and musicians. I had the pleasure to see Conall Morrison’s Woyzeck in Winter and The Second Violinist, an Enda Walsh directed piece. Through the years, the festivals brings a huge scope of talents to Galway which turns the City of Tribes into a cultural hub.
2021’s Autumn Edition will be no different. Theatre, Art and Thought Provoking Conversations will come to Galway from August 28 to September 18 with so much on offer. I’m going hopefully see Medicine by Enda Walsh and see some art work by Ger Sweeney, Jojo Hynes, David Kelly, Joy Gerrard and many many more. The best thing about the Galway International Arts Festival is that it is spread throughout Galway City and County from the City to the Aran Islands.
Check out Galway International Arts Festival on social media and see what’s on at GIAF.ie
2. Claremorris Folk Festival
Taking place in County Mayo, Claremorris Folk Festival “is a celebration of the rich traditions that define this intimate genre as it continues to evolve across generations”. The people of Mayo know how to throw a party! This festival, taking place on the 4th and 5th of September is set to be a fun weekend in the town. Musical performances on the weekend will include: Alan Jordan, Malojian, Moxie, Lune Rua, Maria Kelly and many many more!
Claremorris is a lovely town in County Mayo with a lot of life and character. The town is super scenic, surrounded Clare Lake. The town is accessible too by bus and rail, so it’s a great location for a couple nights away. The venues for the festival are quite fantastic and each performance is definitely going to be one’s to check out. The town has some great bars and restaurants too, if you’re passing by. I’d recommend if you’re passing through Mayo to check out the Folk Festival and see some local talent!
3. Dublin Writers Festival
An International Writing based festival that, for the last six years, has helped writers hone their craft, promote the work of authors and enhance an already evolving writing community. Dublin, throughout the years, has been a home to some world reknowned writers and plays host to some historical texts, scripts and artifacts relating to Literacy, so this festival is a one-stop, 3 month dedication to the writing craft.
“Our speakers are renowned, highly-experienced, published authors, and world-class experts in writing craft, publishing and marketing. This conference provides practical support, valuable training and an opportunity to get to know fellow writers and industry professionals through our online communities.”
For budding writers, this is an exciting festival to check out from September 11 to December 31. People who want to learn to augment their skills and improve, check out the programme and see if there is something that suits you.
4.Doolin Folk Festival
Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way, boasting some of the most breathtaking scenery in Ireland and with a colourful and welcoming village ready to host you during your stay, Doolin has something for everyone. Doolin is the traditional capital of Ireland and plays host to some of the most amazing seafood, landscapes and scenery on the West of Ireland. As a traditional capital, Doolin and County Clare in general has some amazing festivals, events and sessions that are unparalleled.
This festival is going to highlight some culture and heritage of the Wild Atlantic. Great craic, great music and something for everyone. Doolin is located close to the Cliffs of Moher, so you can imagine the surroundings you’ll be greeted with in this part of Ireland. “he ninth annual Doolin Folk Festival takes place at a later date in 2021, the 18th-19th September. Having established itself as a firm favourite on the summer festival calendar, Doolin is acclaimed for the diversity of its music programme and is filling a niche on the festival scene.”
This is set to be a cracker, so be sure to check it out and pop over if you’re in the area!
5. Cork Jazz Festival
Cork is wonderful. Cork is a slice of Irishness down the South of Ireland. A city on the banks of the River Lee, the city is so picturesque and the people of Cork are so warm and friendly. Cork is definitely a MUST visit when you’re in Ireland and is super accessible also with plane, train and bus. So besides any festival, I’d recommend this awesome county!
Cork Jazz Festival is a staple of the Cork calender. For those who like and follow jazz, this is one for you. 2019 had an array of international jazz acts including: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Kurt Elling, The Big Brass Band Explosion and many more and I’m sure 2021 is gonna be equally as amazing. As government advice updates and events come back, I’m sure this event is going to release more info.
Jazz is quite a new interest for me so this event is something I could definitely see myself getting into a lot more interested in, so I’m excited myself for more info, so be sure to keep up to date with the Cork Jazz Festival website for updates!
6. Dublin Fringe Festival
Another event taking place in the capital this Autumn is the Dublin Fringe Festival. Showcasing the bold and the new, Dublin Fringe Fest is the pinnacle of art, culture and ideas in Ireland. Similar to the Galway Arts Festival, this event is a melting pot of multi-disciplinary talent and spectacles. “The festival is where artists challenge, subvert and invigorate their disciplines and practice. An active curator, Fringe supports artistic vision, ambition and excellence across a range of art forms. It offers supports, resources, space, time and professional development to the Irish independent arts sector.”
Dublin City is a place of different culture, ethnicity and lifestyles. The fringe festival shows this incredibly. Such a variety of talent on display. “Dublin Fringe Festival is a platform for the best new, emerging Irish arts companies and a showcase for the finest international contemporary performing arts. For artists, Fringe facilitates opportunities to innovate, to cross boundaries and strengthen the conditions in which they work. For audiences, Fringe is the place to discover meaningful, exciting and unforgettable cultural experiences.”
People in Ireland and further afield, if you find yourself in Dublin, definitely check out this festival ! It won’t be one to miss, starting this September!
7. Galway Oyster Festival
Deemed one of Europe’s longest-running food extravaganzas, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival was launched in September 1954. Since then, this festival has reached incredible international heights. It has been reviewed by the Sunday Times as “one of the 12 greatest shows on earth” and was mentioned in the AA Travel Guide one of Europe’s Seven Best Festivals. The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival is held on the very last weekend in September to celebrate Galway’s rich annual oyster harvest (in season from September through to April).
This festival is the best way to come and understand the development of Irish cuisine and especially the Galway Gastronomic Scene. So in the past 10 or 15 years, Galway has blown up to be a hotspot for delicious, locally sourced food, high quality restaurants and exceptional taste. Galway’s Oyster Harvest and Festival celebrates this.
Come to Galway this September and sample some of the best, locally reknowned Oysters and I’m sure it’ll be an experience that you’ll never forget. And for seafood lovers, this is certainly for you!
8. Sounds from a Safe Harbour
Cillian Murphy fans listen up! He’s curating a festival! “Sounds from a Safe Harbour, which runs from 10 – 15th September, is curated by Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National, festival director Mary Hickson, Cillian Murphy and Enda Walsh, and presents 6 days of music, dance, visual art, and conversation across a series of venues in Cork City, with over 60 events in 30 venues, many of them free” -RTÉ
This festival is shaped to showcase local artists and is made specifically for the performers to present themselves. During this pandemic, artists have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. No work, no gigs and some, struggling. So events like this really give artists a way to promote their work, give light to the situation and get back out there.
Cillian Murphy and Enda Walsh, two regular performers of the Galway International Arts Festival, are part of this festival which gives it extra oompf for the show. Their input, I’m sure, will make a difference and bring an even bigger light to the performances and bigger awareness to the gig. Be sure to check out this festival, as according to the director “For the third edition of this festival (10 – 15th September), we have up to 70 artists arriving into Cork to collaborate and make music.”
I, for one, totally wanna go and check this out! I’m sure it’s gonna be epic!
So this is just some of the festivals happening around Ireland this season. I’d be so interested to know of any other festivals happening in your town, city or country! I wanna know, so leave a comment!
Be sure to keep up with my socials and get in touch with any travel tips or cool experiences you’ve had