What’s On: Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland

Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland

How many sunshine days have we had in a row now? At this stage I don’t know whether this is what a ‘proper Irish Summer’ is, you know the type your parent’s had – when summers were summers and winters were winters and you had to walk to school in your bare feet and that was 75 miles away. Or whether we’re still experiencing The Heatwave of twenty-18. Either way my mind has been tricking me of late – making me think that the object I’m holding needs to be refrigerated, when it doesn’t. Popcorn kernels don’t need to be refrigerated folks, nor do cutlery or delph. Perhaps it’s not my mind at all – and it’s actually my body telling me to do us both a favour and get into the fridge. Cause ’tis very hot altogether.

And with great weather – lets hope it sticks around – comes great opportunities to get outdoors, to get travelling and to get to know this beautiful country we call home – Good ol’ Éire. And with festivals to tickle every fancy this July, there really is no excuse – unless you’ve misplaced your purse, or wallet or car keys. Hint: Check the fridge.

Did you brush up on your Irish provinces since our last Festival Guide?

Here’s a recap:

  • Leinster: Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Offaly, Laois, Kildare, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny.
  • Munster: Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Tipperary and Clare.
  • Connacht: Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, and Roscommon.
  • Ulster: Donegal, Derry/Londonderry, Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Monaghan and Cavan. Six of which are Northern Ireland.

My Top Festival Picks in Leinster this July 2018

What’s On, Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland - Groove Festival 2018 Bray Wicklow

Festival: Groove Festival

Where: Killruddery House & Gardens, Bray, Co. Wicklow

When: July 7th – July 8th

Website: groovefestival.ie

“Groove Festival brings together the perfect blend of music, food, and fun activities to create a feel-good festival for the whole family. Established in 2013, Groove is returning to the stunning Killruddery House & Gardens, Bray, Co. Wicklow for its 6th year this July 7th & 8th. Since its launch, Groove has been firmly established as one of Ireland’s most loved independent summer festivals.” groovefestival.ie

What’s On, Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland - Knockstockan 2018 Independent Music and Arts Festival Wicklow

Festival: Knockstockan Music & Arts Festival 

Where: On the shores of Blessington Lake, Wicklow

When: July 27th – July 29th

Website: knockanstockan.ie

“KnockanStockan is set for a moon landing with 85 acts rocketing onto their bill making this year’s festival a glorious supernova of 140 beaming artists. This will be a festival to remember offering up an unforgettable musical feast for festival fans hungry to find the best in Irish and international music.

A wonderful weekend to stimulate all the senses, KnockanStockan have also shared an outstanding Performance Art lineup as well as beautiful new stages and areas to complement the festivals already beautiful surroundings. Prepare to be dazzled!” knockstockan.ie

What’s On, Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland - Durrow Scarecrow Festival 2018 Durrow, Co. Laois

Festival: Durrow Scarecrow Festival

Where: Durrow, Co. Laois

When: July 29th – August 6th

Website: durrowscarecrowfestival.com

“The festival that’s outstanding in its field, the Durrow Scarecrow Festival, is back for a 9th year from July 29th to August 6th 2018. Scarecrows all over Ireland and beyond are licking their lips in anticipation for what has become one of the most popular festivals in the country.

We can’t wait and once again, we welcome you all to Durrow to enjoy with us, a week of uninhibited imagination, creativity, music, food and fun and above all else the scarecrows who turn up with your laughter in mind.” durrowscarecrowfestival.com

For a taste of what to expect have a read of my post “The Durrow Scarecrow Festival 2015 – My Experience in Photo’s

My Top Festival Picks in Munster this July 2018

What’s On, Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland - Clonmel Junction Arts Festival 2018 Tipperary

Festival: Clonmel Junction Arts Festival

Where: Various Venues in and around Clonmel

When: July 2nd – July 8th

Website: junctionfestival.com

“Rooted in the community, yet looking to the international stage, Clonmel Junction Festival is now in its 18th year of bringing the best in live music, theatre, street performance, comedy, visual art, food events and much, much more to Clonmel and the surrounding regions. This year will see CJAF celebrating the wealth of talent on our own doorstep, by placing them front and centre in our Home-grown Heroes strand.

Other notable features of Clonmel Junction Arts Festival include the participation programme, whereby artists work alongside local schools and community groups to produce work that appears in the Festival.” junctionfestival.com

What’s On, Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland - Laya Healthcare's City Spectacular Cork

Festival: Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular

Where: Fitzgerald Park, Cork City

When: July 14th – July 15th

Website: cityspectacular.com

“Over 300 Spectacular Show & Activities to enjoy. 1/4 million are expected at Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular in Dublin’s Merrion Square & Cork’s Fitzgerald Park this July.

The festival runs over 3 days in Dublin and 2 days in Cork, showcasing the best in international street performers, the world’s leading living statue artists, free family activities, delicious street food from around the world as well as a pet area with charity partner the DSPCA. Entry is 100% FREE!” cityspectacular.com

My Top Festival Picks in Connacht this July 2018

What’s On, Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland - Ballina Salmon Festival Mayo

Festival: Ballina Salmon Festival

Where: Various Venues/Locations in Ballina, Mayo

When: July 8th – July 15th

Website: ballinasalmonfestival.ie

“Now in its 54th year, Ballina Salmon Festival is one of the West of Ireland’s longest running family festivals, attracting crowds of over 250,000 annually to the North Mayo Capital.

Ballina Salmon Festival is proud of its diverse programme, community ethos and family focus. One third of our festival’s programme is dedicated solely to children, making Ballina the perfect holiday destination for visiting families during festival week. New events are introduced annually to keep the festival fresh and exciting.” ballinasalmonfestival.ie

What’s On, Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland - Galway International Arts Festival

Festival: Galway International Arts Festival

Where: Various Venues/Locations in Galway City

When: July 16th – July 29th

Website: giaf.ie

Now in its 41st year … “The 2018 programme for GIAF (16-29 July) features an exciting Irish and international mix of theatre, opera, and dance (six world premieres, five Irish premieres), comedy, circus, music, spectacle, and visual art. As well as our First Thought Talks series featuring interviews and discussions on the theme of Home, featuring artists and theatre makers from across the world.” giaf.ie

My Top Festival Picks in Ulster incl. Northern Ireland this July 2018

What’s On, Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland - Earagail Arts Festival Donegal

Festival: Earagail Arts Festival

Where: Various Venues/Locations across Donegal

When: July 7th – July 29th

Website: eaf.ie

“From the islands of West Donegal to Ireland’s most northerly point and across a culturally
borderless North West, Earagail Arts Festival’s 30th programme brings together new Donegal flavoured commissions, celebratory birthday partnerships and performances by some of the much-loved artists that have graced the stages of the festival over the last 30 years.

Over 3 summer weeks, and in tandem with other prestigious anniversaries, we present premieres of new theatrical works inspired by the ocean that shapes our wild Atlantic shores; spell-binding aerial dance and circus; a wealth of global music from Donegal’s finest female fiddlers to the rising stars of Africa and America in legendary Donegal venues, alongside a rich international visual arts programme.” eaf.ie

What’s On, Festivals this July 2018 on the Island of Ireland - Belfast Pride Festival -

Festival: Belfast Pride Festival

Where: Various Venues/Locations in Belfast

When: July 27th – Aug 5th

Website: belfastpride.com


“Belfast Pride Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Belfast and runs over 100 events across 10 days. The festival runs from Friday 27 July to Sunday 5 August with Pride Day and the centrepiece Pride Parade on Saturday 4 August.

The Belfast Pride Parade is the biggest cross community parade in the city, the main event in the LGBTQ calendar and the one of the key events in Belfast Pride festival. It is a protest and a celebration, a call for equality, a stand for solidarity and a celebration of the lives of LGBT people in Belfast and is about LGBT messages and expressing support for LGBT people.” discovernorthernireland.com


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