Contributing some of the most important music of our times, it’s no surprise they love a good festival. Whether it’s hip hop, techno, rock, indie, pop, soul, grime, or funk that does it for you, there’s a festival in Ireland that'll have you buzzing.
So let’s get straight to it. Here are the best Irish music festivals.
Just half an hour from Belfast International Airport, Emerge will be popping off with the biggest names in house, techno, and other electronic genres at Boucher Playing Fields. Belfast duo Bicep will perform live, which will surely be incredible. And other huge names will be playing alongside them, like the legendary Carl Cox, Nina Kraviz, and Charlotte De Witte, and rapidly rising stars such as blk., Skin on Skin, and Mall Grab. Going down on the August bank holiday weekend, not only will you have extra time to recover from the madness, but the weather should be on your side.
For the size of the lineup, tickets are affordable at just over £100. But prices may increase as the festival looms closer, so snag them now to save a few quid!
Photo: Body&Soul / Facebook.com
When: Friday 16th – Sunday 18th June 2023
Where: Ballinlough Castle & Gardens in County Westmeath, Ireland
The whole idea behind Body&Soul is to abandon your daily life and set yourself free for a few days. To help you leave your stresses behind, they have a packed programme of music, art, wellbeing, and culture. The fest has comedy clubs, theatre, spoken-word performances, balls, drag aerobics, aerial artists, and balls to enjoy. Relax and heal with yoga, sound healers, masseuses, and more, then head out to revel in the sounds of the best electronic, hip-hop, jazz, acoustic and more.
Electric Picnic is one of the biggest Irish music festivals that welcomes a bunch of artists from a variety of genres to perform to over 40,000 music fans. Just over an hour's drive from Dublin, this boutique fest has already announced some huge names for this year’s edition. Outside the tunes, there's the theatre, a crafts area with workshops, a lake to swim in, and a hidden rave area for those who shun sleep in the name of the rave.
Tickets have already sold out but, hey, at least you'll have it on your radar for next year!
Head to Longitude for killer hip-hop, grime, trap, drill, and house and techno bangers. A 40-minute drive from Dublin, the fest goes down in Marlay Park and will see both huge and emerging talents perform over the weekend. Calvin Harris and Travis Scott are the headliners with the Saturday seeming to lean more towards electronic sounds and the Sunday more towards hip hop. Other acts include Ireland's own blk. and Belters Only.
Photo: Forbidden Fruit Festival / Facebook.com
When: Saturday 3rd - Sunday 4th June 2023 (June bank holiday weekend)
Where: Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Ireland
Returning as the first festival of the summer, Forbidden Fruit takes place in the heart of Dublin city and has some pretty solid names on its lineup for 2023. Celebrate a much-welcomed bank holiday with Eric Prydz on the decks, Central Cee on the mic, and performances from other artists such as Eliza Rose, Interplanetary Criminal, Yung Singh, DJ EZ, and more.
Open Ear Festival
Photo: Open Ear / Facebook.com
When: TBA, likely to take place in June
Where: Sherkin Island in Cork, Ireland
2023 lineup: TBA
If the other fests here are a bit too mainstream for your taste, perhaps Open Ear might be more you. No artists have been confirmed yet, but the fest likes to “present the best in Ireland’s electronic and experimental music scene”. All the info we have at the moment is the location and a whole lot of excitement thinking about who'll be announced for this years bash. To give you an idea of what to expect, 2022 saw Acid Granny, Chris Chapman, Code, Craic Boi Mental, and Dechord bring the party vibes.
All Together Now
Photo: All Together Now / Facebook.com
When: Friday 4th - Sunday 6th August 2023 (August bank holiday weekend)
Where: Curraghmore Estate in County Waterford, Ireland
All Together Now, the festival that was the brainchild of the man behind the original Electric Picnic, is back with loads of fun to be found across 18 stages. All Together Now was created for “like-minded people - music lovers, passionate performers, families, artists, musicians, creators, rebels, and refugees of a changing festival landscape - to come together and create a truly magical atmosphere across one weekend.”
There’s also comedy, theatre, art, spoken word, and debates, with workshops and wellness activities. With this in mind and with a lineup like that, we don’t need any more convincing.
Sea Sessions Surf & Music Festival
Photo: Sea Sessions Surf & Music Festival / Facebook.com
As you might have guessed by the name, Sea Sessions is a beach festival in Donegal that celebrates music, surfing, sports, and just letting loose for a weekend. The lineup is pretty diverse with sets from indie legends Kasabian, dance artist Becky Hill, and Irish band The Coronas. And if you find some free time, there are lots of sporty activities to check out, including beach yoga, surfing, a skate park, and beach sports like volleyball, rugby, football and frisbee.
Overlooked by the pretty Galtee Mountains, this award-winning music festival will kick off a weekend of wowing crowds with sublime live music in August. With a diverse lineup, including Ireland’s own The Coronas, indie legends Two Door Cinema Club, and pop singer Anne-Marie, this is the perfect festival for those who like bright music and just want to dance until their legs give up. A cracking festival with the perfect festival lineup, Indiependence Festival is a fantastic choice.
When: Thursday 6th - Saturday 8th July 2023
Where: Ballmully Cottage Farm in Limavady, Northern Ireland
2023 lineup: TBA
If you’re looking for a festival that the littluns will love, Stendhal Festival has won its fair share of Best Family Festival awards over the years, with the organisers eager to improve family fun each year. Alongside the tunes, there’ll be comedians, performance art, exhibitions, and workshops to explore. We don’t have the lineup for this year just yet, but last year saw blues, hip-hop, alt-rock, funk, and DJs, so we’ll likely have a mixed bag of sounds for 2023.
So there you have it, the best festivals in Ireland. While some might not think of Ireland as their first choice for a music festival, there’s fantastic variety, and there’s plenty to explore when the festival’s over. We hope you’re as pumped as we are to check out these class Ireland festivals.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.