Festivals this June 2018 on the Island of Ireland
Between the torrential rain days we’ve had blissful blue skies here in Ireland this May 2018. Yep summer is here. The trees are green, the flowers are blooming. The country is awash with two types of tan, the fake, and the farmers, I’ll hold my hand up to the later, proudly. People are busily making vacation and staycation plans, and the kiddies are itching to be free, because in a matter of weeks ‘School’s out for the summer’.
And speaking of school. Do you remember learning the provinces and counties of Ireland in school? I still do after all these years, and that’s saying something for my teachers skills because what with two boys aged three and under, I barely remember what day it is some weeks. Anyhoo here they are – and you should brush up, because from now on my ‘What’s On: Festival’ posts will feature my top picks from each province (seemed a good idea at the time of writing).
The twelve counties of Leinster are Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Offaly, Laois, Kildare, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny. The six counties of Munster are Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Tipperary and Clare. The five counties of Connacht are Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, and Roscommon. The nine counties of Ulster (including the six counties that make up Northern Ireland) are Donegal, Derry/Londonderry, Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Monaghan and Cavan.
My Top Festival Picks in Leinster this June 2018
Where: Beaulieu House, Drogheda, Co. Louth
When: June 1st – June 3rd
“Vantastival is a gloriously independent, award-winning festival which will take place at Beaulieu House this June bank holiday weekend, on the sloping banks of the river Boyne.
Music fans and campervanners flock to this unique family friendly event for its fantastically diverse line up, super-friendly vibes, and quirky extras. Other attractions include gourmet food stalls, festival traders, scheduled kids’ activities, arts, crafts and many other fun and novel additions, ensuring that Vantastival has something for everyone, with or without a camper van!” (vantastival.com)
Festival: Carlow Arts Festival
Where: Various Venues, Carlow
When: June 6th – June 10th
“Carlow Arts Festival marks a special time in the town’s annual calendar, providing an opportunity for everyone to experience something out of the ordinary, soak up the celebratory atmosphere and be part of the thrill of knowing that in the hands of exceptional artists anything is possible.
The idea of reaching out is at the centre of this years programme and we are proud to be presenting some of the most exciting and innovative artists working nationally and internationally from as far afield as Canada to as close at hand as Carlow.
Key to the festival is a deeply held belief that the arts are for all of us, and that nobody should be left out of the exceptional experiences it can provide. This is why we work hard with funders and supporters to present over 75% of the programme for free, and have developed a new Pick Your Price initiative.” (carlowartsfestival.com)
Festival: Bloomsday Festival
Where: Various Venues, Dublin
When: June 11th – June 16th
“Bloomsday celebrates Thursday 16 June 1904, the day depicted in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The day is named after Leopold Bloom, the central character in Ulysses. The novel follows the life and thoughts of Leopold Bloom and a host of other characters – real and fictional – from 8am on 16 June 1904 through to the early hours of the following morning.
Celebrations often include dressing up like characters from the book and in clothes that would have been the style of the era. One of the hallmark fancy dress items of Bloomsday is the straw boater hat. Celebrations come in many different forms like readings, performances and visiting the places and establishments referenced in the book.” (bloomsdayfestival.ie)
My Top Festival Picks in Munster this June 2018
Where: Various Venues, Killorglin, Kerry
When: June 1st – June 4th
“K-FEST, a dynamic arts festival with an emphasis on emerging artists, uses unoccupied spaces in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, transforming vacant retail outlets, deserted buildings, and even domestic homes into curated bespoke pop-up galleries and venues over the June Bank Holiday weekend.
Organised by a group of passionate and committed artists, business people, educators, and volunteers from all walks of life, the K-FEST team hosts more than 60 events in addition to a gallery trail, including live music performances by dozens of up-and-coming bands and musicians, as well as spoken word, drama, comedy, short films, street entertainment, and activities for kids and families.” (kfest.ie)