A selection of the best

Whilst some festivals have changed over time, there is still plenty to enjoy even if you feel “too old” for Longitude. 2018 also saw a new festival All Together Now from John Reynolds, former promoter of Electric Picnic.

Longitude

Second weekend in July TBC
Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin

Longitude’s cutting edge hip-hop heavy line up in 2018 plus an R&B vibe was very much for those born in or around 2000, with J Cole, Travis Scott and Solange as headliners plus Cardi B, Migos, Khalid and J Hus taking the crowds from afternoon into the night.


Kilkenny Roots Festival

First May Bank Holiday TBC
Kilkenny

Launched in 1998, the low-key but high grade Kilkenny Roots Festival calls in some of the finest acts in contemporary Americana/Roots genre providing almost 100 ticketed and free shows from early afternoon until late into the night. 2018 welcomed Darlingside, Rachel Baiman, Seamus Fogarty and The Blasters, among many others. Tickets are priced per gig, not for the festival as a whole. There something for everyone from swing to bluegrass, rockabilly to cajun, folk, blues and beyond.


Vantastival

31 May – 2 June 2019
Beaulieu House, Drogheda, Co Louth

Started in 2009 as a celebration of campervans, Vantastival now celebrates the best in Irish music. 2018 welcomed Irish acts including Le Galaxie, Loah, Marlene Enright, Marc O'Reilly, Engine Alley and many more. A great event for children, whose weekend tickets cost are the cheapest around, Vantastival is an easy-going camping festival.


Body & Soul

21-23 June 2019
Ballinlough Castle, Clonmellon, Co Westmeath

Body & Soul offers a niche line-up, with Swedish electronic goddess Fever Ray headlining in 2018, an art-house exploration of her bewitching music. Jon Hopkins and Shamir turned the summer solstice into a party along with other offbeat Irish and international acts from the folk, indie and electronic scenes.


Sea Sessions

20-23 June 2019
Bundoran, Co Donegal

Launched in 2008, Sea Sessions located close to the Atlantic Ocean offers a mix of surf and music events in Bundoran. 2018 headliners included grime pioneer Dizzee Rascal, Irish indie band Walking on Cars, Rudimental and Irish groups Le Galaxie and Stomptown Brass.


Groove

6-7 July 2019
Kilruddery Estate, Bray, Co Wicklow

Groove is a family-friendly music festival with a growing list of non-music activities to keep the kids happy whilst adults can still enjoy the '90s pop and rock. The 2018 festival headliners were Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Heather Small with the bill including HamsandwicH, The Riptide Movement, Something Happens and Kila.


All Together Now

2-4 August 2019
Curaghmore Eustace, Waterford

For those who think Electric Picnic is too big, too young or too mainstream, this new festival by the former Electric Picnic promoter John Reynolds is less commercial a production. 2018 saw the inaugural three-day event being which included in the line-up Fleet Foxes, Roisin Murphy, Underworld, Chaka Khan, First Aid Kit, Nils Frahm, Mura Musa and many others. Across the ten stages there was also a comedy, theatre and spoken word programme spread amongst the ten stages.


The Beatyard

August Bank Holiday weekend
Dún Laoghaire Harbour, Co Dublin

A festival without mud, the Beatyard is a marquee beside the pier in Dun Laoghaire. The 2018 dance-heavy line-up included genre-defining artists such as Daphni, Little Dragon, Modeselektor, Kiasmos, Sugar Hill Gang as well as The Jacksons making their Irish debut, Orbital, John Talabot and many more.


Indiependence

August Bank Holiday TBC
Deer Farm, Mitchelstown, Co Cork

It’s all about the music at Indiependence. Launched in 2006 as a free event on a single stage in the town square of Mitchelstown, the 13th edition in 2018 saw a line-up which included Walking on Cars, Jake Bugg, Everything Everything, Sigala and others. This award-winning festival also features comedy, spoken word, a small cinema and other attractions. The festival has taken place at Deer Farm since 2010 and welcomed musicians including Gemma Hayes, The Republic of Loose, The Sultans of Ping and The Blizzards.


Electric Picnic

30 August – 1 September 2019
Stradbally, Co Laois

Staged since 2004 at Stradbally Hall, the annual arts and music festival was voted Best Medium-Sized European Festival at the 2010 European Festival Awards and has been voted Best Big Festival at the Irish Festival Awards.

Described as Ireland’s version of Glastonbury, Electric Picnic offers an eclectic choice of music, previously hosting international acts including Kraftwerk, Röyksopp, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, New Order, Björk, Arcade Fire, Beastie Boys, The Stooges, The Chemical Brothers, Gary Numan, The Flaming Lips, Sigur Rós and Sex Pistols. In 2018 the line-up included Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack, St Vincent, Nerd and Dua Lipa.

The first batch of tickets for Electric Picnic 2019 sold out just four hours after going on sale on 7 September. All loyalty, family camping, family camper van and regular camper van tickets were sold out in record time. Further tickets will be made available for fans to purchase early in 2019. The 2019 festival will see capacity increased from 55,000 to 57,500 people and will take place across 600 acres in Stradbally, Co Laois.


Castlepalooza

August Bank Holiday (TBC)
Charleville Castle, Tullamore

Seventeenth century Charleville Castle nestled in Ireland’s oldest primordial oak woods is located right in the middle of Ireland, making it an easily accessible venue from across the country to this music and arts festival. Castlepalooza has more of an Irish slant, in line with their green policy that at least half the acts are based in Ireland. In 2018 the line-up included All Tvvins, US act! (also known as Chk Chk Chk) and Dutch duo Detroit Swindle, amongst others.

The three-day festival also includes art and film exhibitions, workshops and some surprise performances. Not only is the music great, but Castlepalooza offers access to the castle and with one-day tickets available, is one of the more affordable festivals in the Irish summer calendar.