As summer beckons, Ireland has a great variety of festivals to soak up. From food, culture, arts and music, there is something for every type of festival-goer to enjoy. To ensure you choose the right festival, below is a list of 13 great festivals taking place in Ireland over summer.

Why not make your festival trip part of a wider road trip with our Drive Ireland series and enjoy all the spectacular views and experiences along the way.

13 Great Irish Festivals Not to Miss this Summer

1. Galway International Arts Festival, Galway, Co Galway

Attracting over 200,000 festival-goers each year, the captivating and immersive Galway International Arts festival is an event that is loved by locals and visitors alike. With a diverse programme that takes place over 14 days across 26 venues, you will be hard tasked not to find something of interest (just be sure to book your tickets in advance). 

2. Dublin Fringe Festival, Co Dublin

The Dublin Fringe Festival is an exciting and adventurous festival, featuring performances from international and local performers in unique venues across Dublin. The line-up varies every year but what remains consistent is the energy and vibrancy put on at each event. What’s more, Dublin is a fun place to be in during the fringe, with bars filling up and streets coming alive daytime and evening.

3. Sea Sessions, Bundoran, Co Donegal

If the combination of music, sea and sand is your kind of festival then Sea Sessions will not disappoint. The festival has a great music line-up and array of food kiosks to enjoy as you look out over Bundoran’s beautiful seafront. 

4. Carnival of Colours, Co Derry ~ Londonderry

Along the northwest of Ireland, Carnival of Colours is a breath of fresh air with its exciting and vibrant circus-themed programme. The two-day festival is a hit with families, providing storytelling, circus acts, music, crafts and food stalls across the two days.

5. Cork Mid Summer Festival, Co Cork

Cork Midsummer Festival is an annual multi-disciplinary arts festival in Cork city. It provides high-quality arts events, both national and international, for audiences of all ages, and provides a unique platform for local and national artists to showcase their many talents.

6. Electric Picnic, Co Laois

Proving increasingly popular every year, Electric Picnic festival is well known for its impressive line-up. From its main stage to more intimate tents, the festival’s eclectic mix of famous acts, unique foods and local talent continually draw in the crowds.

7. Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, Co Sligo

Taking place during the month of July each year, the week-long Cairde festival in Sligo has been described as “a kaleidoscope of exciting & colourful cultural fun and entertainment”. The festival programme includes spoken word, comedy, music and performances from artists around the world, as well as plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained.  

8. Galway Oyster Festival, Co Galway

Known as one of the oldest festivals in the world, the Galway Oyster Festival is a flurry of oyster-fuelled fun. From humble beginnings in the early 1950s, the festival has turned into a world famous event and attracts visitors from near and far to indulge in oysters… and a few pints of Guinness for any fans of the black stuff!

9. Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival, Co Wexford

Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival, run under Enniscorthy Food Town, is a food festival with a difference. The two-day festival mixes Rock n’ Roll with a love of food and is jam-packed with a programme full of live music, artisan food stalls, craft beer tents, and endless family activities.

10. Open House Festival, Bangor, Co Down

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Only running for five years, the well thought-out programme for Open House Festival is enjoyed by festival goers from near and far. The month-long festival includes all sorts of events, including theatre, comedy, music and film, in different venues across the seaside town of Bangor.

11. Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival, Co Donegal

A much-loved music event among old and new Rory Gallagher fans, the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival commemorates the late blues and rock singer with a line-up of music events in his hometown of Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. During the festival, talented musicians grace different venues across the town, with hundreds gathering from afar to enjoy the music and atmosphere.

12. Body and Soul, Co Westmeath

Purposely aligned with the Summer Solstice weekend and taking inspiration from Burning Man festival in the USA, Body and Soul is a chilled festival with a very personal touch. Established by a group of friends who had “a mutual love of art, music and performance”, the family-friendly festival is a great alternative to more popular festivals and its programme is likely to whisk festival goers off to another world.

13. Another Love Story, Co Meath

Another Love Story, an alternative music festival, grew from a meeting of creative and music-loving minds. The festival has created the perfect music festival ambiance with its location within the grounds of an Irish country manor and with easy access from Dublin city aboard the festival’s organised transportation: the ‘Love Bus’.

Images via Fáilte Ireland

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