Previously, we wrote a blog about Irish culture in relation to our heritage, but as Ireland is also quite a spirited and lively country, we also have a lot to offer in the ‘artsy scenes’ too. Over the years, Ireland has produced many internationally recognised artists across all fields like W.B Yeats, Samuel Beckett, Louis Le Broque, Alice Maher and Neil Jordan to name but a few. The arts are well developed and there is definitely something to suit every taste. Our tours take you off the beaten track and away from the usual tourist haunts to the real outdoor Ireland, but if you would like to experience Ireland’s more ‘energetic’ side, then have a look at just a small handful of the festivals that Ireland has to offer!
Irish dancing has been renowned & enjoyed for centuries, but it was Riverdance which really garnered it worldwide acclaim. The show captured the hearts of many when it was aired as an interval performance act during the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest & shortly after, it expanded into a stage show, which opened in Dublin on 9 February 1995. Since then, the show has visited over 450 venues worldwide and been seen by over 25 million people, making it one of the most successful dance productions in the world!
The Dublin Dance Festival is definitely the highlight in the calendar for any modern dance aficionado in Ireland. With a remit to showcase the best of both international and Irish choreography and dance companies, and to reflect the diversity in dance, it does not disappoint. The festival takes place in venues across Dublin this month.
Our Self-Guided 8 Day City Trek of Dublin & Wicklow Tour. would be the ideal tour to tie in with a visit to the dance festival.
The Galway International Art’s Festival is ‘the festival of extraordinary experiences’, with a creative line up of performances, music, visual arts, theatre and spectacle. People come from all over the world to marvel at the different workshops, performances and street entertainment that is found sprawled throughout Galway City. It has taken place every summer for the past 38 years and as The Irish Examiner perfectly described it as “A glorious kaleidoscopic fortnight of events.”
Earagail Arts Festival in Donegal is a bilingual (with Irish and English speakers) festival which takes place each July throughout the rugged North West Coast of County Donegal along the Wild Atlantic Way. The festival brings exciting performers to this beautiful part of Ireland, showcases artists native to the area and provides opportunities for a diversity of cultures to combine in venues from purpose built theatres and galleries, to village halls, forests and beaches, which creates a unique cultural feel and magical experiences in the most unlikely of places.
Traditional & Current Music
Masters of Tradition is a five-day festival held each August in the West Cork town of Bantry. It features a series of performances covering the full spectrum of Irish traditional music. The performances take place in Bantry House, one of Ireland’s most exquisite historic mansions, and in one of Bantry’s other special venues, St Brendan’s Church. The aim of the festival is to give credit to the ‘Masters’ of traditional Irish music. Here you will see how the talented musicians are able to channel the music and to give it such deep, meaningful voice.
We wrote a blog on the Irish music scene which can be found here.
If you’d like to visit West Cork, we offer a great 5 day Tribes & Traditions Guided Hike and Bike tour.
If you’d like to get a taste of some of the best food Ireland has to offer, prepared with fresh, local ingredients, then the Wild & Slow food festival in Co. Wicklow maybe for you! It’s an exciting national event, designed to showcase and celebrate everything that is good about Irish food: fresh, local, traditional and wild. From fish to pheasant, from the deep dark flavour of venison to the sticky sweetness of wild blackberry jam, a contented reliance on nature’s gifts is as ‘Slow’ as it gets.
The Great Irish Game Fair and Fine Food Festival in Co. Antrim is an award winning festival that appeals to everyone. It has plenty of stalls, performances and demonstrations to keep the whole family entertained.
Check out our Blog about Irish Food.
Out and About
The Killarney Cycling Festival is a fundraising event for the Donal Walsh foundation. Now in its third year there are two tantalizing routes on offer. Depart from Killarney on “The Wrong Way Round” and tackle Molls Gap before heading for the scenic South West via Sneem. Or take the challenge and cycle “The Hard Way Round” through the heart of Kerry around the stunning Skellig Ring before re-joining the main troop on the road to Cahersiveen and crossing the finish line at the festival headquarters – The Gleneagle Hotel Killarney.
The Burren in Bloom Festival is a festival full of exciting illustrated talks and guided walks during May, one of the most eye catching times to view the Burren in all its natural beauty. The festival is aimed to give people an understanding of the Burren, how it came to be and how unique this diverse area really is.
Erris Beo Festival in Co. Mayo includes events and activities for all ages, allowing you to enjoy the stunning scenery and the beautiful landscape of the region through sports and adventure! Discover deserted islands, go on a guided walk, listen to music, play true links golf, forage for food on the seashore, surf in the Atlantic, learn a traditional craft, jump into the ocean (coasteering), catch and cook your dinner, hear the corncrake’s call, see the four lighthouses, kayak in the bay, and much more.
Fancy a Self-Guided Ring of Kerry Bike Tour? Or a Hike through the beautiful Limestone Landscapes of the Burren with an opportunity to visit the Aran Islands or the Connemara, or maybe even both? Or maybe a Guided Walk across the Mayo Coast? We also offer Day Tours around Killarney, Dingle and Tralee!
Dingle International Film Festival was voted one of the Top 25 Can’t Miss Events in The World by Animation Magazine. Dingle IFF was also voted in the Top 10 Independent Film Festivals of Europe by GoEuro.
The Kerry Film Festival is also an internationally recognised event that takes place in our wonderful county of Kerry every year. It showcases many extraordinary short films and is home to the Maureen O’Hara Award for women that have excelled in film.
If you’d like more information on any of our tours or would like to make an inquiry, then you can contact us here.