Festivals this October 2018 on the Island of Ireland
October and the great cycle of life comes into play as leaves fall from trees and nature prepares itself for the colder months ahead. This poem; The Wild Swans at Coole by William Butler Yeats creates a vivid picture of a beautiful October evening in Gort Co. Galway. And his wonder of the wild swans he has grown accustomed to in comparison to his own life reminds us of how quickly the years can go by – so enjoy your life, make it worthwhile – the best you can. Continue to be a positive ray of light into the colder days, and if you’re not – remember a new way of thinking can start any time of year so why not make it this October 2018 – and take inspiration from my top Festival picks on this beautiful island of Ireland.
My Top Festival Picks in Leinster this October 2018
Festival: Spirits of Meath Festival
Where: Various Towns and Venues throughout County Meath
When: October 6th to November 4th
“Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival all around County Meath from 6th October – 4th November 2018. County Meath part of the Boyne Valley, the birthplace of Ireland’s Ancient East uniquely where it all began, is bringing you Ireland’s biggest and scariest Halloween Festival – The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival 2018!!
From Haunted Hills to Eerie Graveyards; Tour of Shadows to Friendly Witches & Spooks and Spells; Thriller Nights to Terrifying Terror Houses – The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival 2018 will delight & fright equally!” spiritsofmeath.ie
Festival: Savour Kilkenny
Where: Various venues throughout Kilkenny City
When: October 25th to October 29th
“Savour Kilkenny returns to the medieval city this October bank holiday weekend. We are so proud that Kilkenny was crowned the Top Foodie Destination in Ireland for 2018 and delighted that Savour was part of this prestigious award. Having started out as a small festival showcasing the quality and innovative work of local artisan producers, we have now grown to over 90 demonstrations and events and 100 stallholders. We are delighted to be back on The Parade, placing our largest ever Market, our Craft Brewers & Distillers Pavilion, and our demonstration marquees at the foot of the 12th century castle in our 12th year!” savourkilkenny.com
Festival: Bram Stoker Festival
Where: Various venues throughout Dublin
When: October 26th to October 29th
“Whether you’re a resident vampire or visiting from further afield, Bram Stoker Festival 2018 has something for everyone in its gothically inspired programme of events. Get ready for four days of living stories and four nights of deadly adventures as Dublin gets gloriously gothic this October Bank Holiday Weekend.
The Bram Stoker Festival playfully celebrates the gothic, the mysterious, the after-dark and the thrill of Halloween, and delves into the legacy of one of Ireland’s most treasured authors. The packed programme of events devilishly mixes family-friendly adventures with late-night antics for mates, dates and everything in between.” bramstokerfestival.com
My Top Festival Picks in Munster this October 2018
Festival: Dingle Food Festival
Where: Various venues throughout Dingle
When: October 5th to October 7th
“The Dingle Food Festival takes place on the first weekend in October every year in the beautiful fishing town of Dingle on the Dingle Peninsula on the Wild Atlantic Way. It is organised by a group of local people on a non profit making basis.
Locals call it ‘The Best Weekend of the Year’. The town comes alive with locals and tourists alike. Everyone comes home for the Dingle Food Festival and tourists come from far and wide across the globe that weekend just for the festival.
Highlights of the festival include cookery demonstrations, over 50 market stalls, workshops, street entertainment, children’s events, wine tastings, whiskey tastings and much much more.” dinglefood.com
Festival: Indie Cork
Where: Gate Cinema, Blacknight Festival Centre and Nano Nagle Place.
When: October 7th to October 14th
A Festival of Independent Film and Music – “Great films, special experiences and some fun along the journey – exactly what festivals do best! We champion independent productions from Cork, from Ireland and from across the world. Great films continue to be made, films that often don’t get to cinemas or to TV.
We believe that festivals are ideal places for such productions, that the network of festivals is an important alternative distribution and exhibition circuit. We know that Cork audiences welcome independent films and we are committed to screening them.” indiecork.com
Festival: Guinness Cork Jazz Festival
Where: Various Venues – Cork
When: October 25th to October 29th
Ireland’s biggest and longest running Jazz festivals is back for its annual celebration at the end of October – this year celebrating 41 years of Jazz.
From the Music Trail and the Fringe Festival to the famous Festival Club at the Metropole Hotel – expect to witness everything from “ska to swing, comedy jazz to brass” On October 27th, The Guinness Cork Jazz Parade will be “unleashing its fantastic talents on the streets of Cork … Working with Cork Community Artlink, this year’s Festival Parade will be in the theme of Dia De Los Muertos, celebrating the beauty of life and death! – A treat for the whole family!” guinnessjazzfestival.com
My Top Festival Picks in Connacht this October 2018
Festival: Talking Walls Festival
Where: Achill Island
When: October 13th to October 21st
Talking Walls is a festival on Achill Island that offers visitors the opportunity to explore the culture and history of the Island through its buildings, art, and literature.
The festival includes guided walks around the island, art and photography exhibitions, poetry readings, as well as architectural and archaeological explorations.
Festival: Baboró International Arts Festival for Children
Where: Various venues throughout Galway City
When: October 15th to October 21st
“Based in Galway on Ireland’s West Coast, Baboró International Arts Festival for Children is Ireland’s flagship international arts festival devoted exclusively to children and families.” baboro.ie
Where: Various venues throughout Westport, Mayo.
When: October 24th to October 29th
“Westport Arts Festival is delighted to announce Westival, the festival’s new brand and identity. After 18 months of research and careful consideration on how to build on 42 years of success, ‘Westival’ was devised as the next big step forward. Westival, will continue to foster the thriving local arts and music scene of Westport, but also help solidify and promote the west of Ireland as a destination for significant cultural events, that will attract international talent and attention.” westival.ie
My Top Festival Picks in Ulster incl. Northern Ireland this October 2018
Festival: The Seamus Grant Weekend
Where: Various venues throughout Clonmany, Donegal
When: October 12th to October 14th
The Seamus Grant Weekend of Traditional Music & Culture – “The weekend aims to honour the memory of Seamus Grant by celebrating the local music, tradition and culture of Clonmany. To pay due respect to a gentleman who added immeasurably to the music and culture of our parish. To encourage like-minded people to work with us, to preserve, promote and pass on the unique culture and music of our place and people. To welcome friends, guests and visitors to join with us in our enjoyment of the weekend’s events.” seamusgrantweekend.com
Festival: Clones Film Festival
Where: Various venues throughout Westport, Mayo.
When: October 25th to October 28th
“CFF – Ireland’s Biggest Little Film Festival – will run from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th October 2018 in a variety of screening locations around the town, including Clones Courthouse, the old Post Office (now Clones Art Studios) and the refurbished Cinemobile. This is the 17th year of CFF.
Each year we screen a wide variety of features, documentaries and shorts from Irish and international directors. Most films that we screen are recent releases from independent, low-budget or up-and-coming filmmakers. In other words, you are unlikely to see them on a big screen anywhere else in this region of Ireland. We pride ourselves on showcasing new and exciting cinema offerings for film fans, young and old, and in doing so, our festival continues to grow each year.” clonesfilmfestival.com
Festival: Derry Halloween
Where: Various venues throughout the city of Derry-Londonderry
When: October 26th to November 3rd
“Crowned Best Halloween Destination in the World in a massive public poll by US media outlet USA Today in 2016, Derry toppled the likes of spooky Salem Massachusetts and even Dracula’s den in Transylvania, to steal the title.
The 2018 theme will revisit the magical Under the Samhain Moon narrative, which really caught the imagination last year garnering a number of business and tourism awards including ‘Tourism Project of the Year’ at the UTV Business Eye Awards last December, and the prestigious Northern Ireland Tourism Award for ‘Best Northern Ireland Event or Festival Experience (International) 2018.” derryhalloween.com