The Pol Roger Hillsborough Oyster Festival
Enjoy fresh seafood from nearby Strangford Lough. Shell-related competitions, a gala ball, and various events are planned.
The Dublin Fringe Festival
A cultural honey-pot of theatre, dance, music and comedy, the Dublin Fringe specialises in unconventional events alongside the more traditional fare.
Harvest Time Blues
The old Market House and a specially erected late-night marquee are the centre events, with a blues trail that takes in six of Monaghan’s best pubs.
A Taste of West Cork
Taking place in and around Skibbereen, this festival brings together a mix of food markets and demonstrations, special dinners, brunches and banquets, food-tastings, talks, exhibitions, children’s events and live music.
Tulla Trad Festival
Concerts, sessions, céilís, workshops and impromptu gatherings in the heart of the traditional music redoubt. The main céilí on Saturday, September 20 features the Swallows Tail Céilí Band.
Harvest Food Festival
Celebrate a first class food producing-region, as well as Waterford’s food culture, which for centuries has been influenced by the city’s role in importing and exporting food.
The Dingle Fife and Drum Band launch the festival on September 12 from O’Flaherty’s Bar. Acts include Barry Tierney, Cillian King, Tola and Laoise Kelly and the Paddy O’Callaghan trio. Tom Crean’s Session Trail sees some of Dingle’s pubs host some of Ireland’s top trad musicians. Tom Crean’s Expedition: Boots & Flutes on Cnoc a’ Cairn features a hike to (and session at) the summit of Cnoc a’ Chairn.
Dunfanaghy Blues and Jazz Festival
Free live gigs from 24 bands in 10 different music stages in venues throughout Dunfanaghy and extending to Creeslough. Acts include Shawn Jones, The Men That Knew Too Much, The Met Quartet and Odd Socks Revival.
Mountains to Sea DLR Book Festival
A literary festival that will be the first major event for Dún Laoghaire’s new library and the recently built cultural centre.
Clarenbridge Oyster Festival
An extravaganza of seafood, culinary treats and traditional music and dancing. Acts include The Stunning, the Galway Bay Jazz Band and The Bluenotes. This year features the Diamond & Pearls 60th Oyster Gala on Saturday, September 13.
Valentia Isle Festival
Europe’s most westerly community hosts live music performances, flirting workshops, céilís and storytelling sessions. Artists include Bronagh Gallagher, The Heathers and David Holmes
Kinsale Arts Week
A mix of the eclectic and the traditional Highlights include The Bear by Chekhov, the Cashell Duo, talks and demonstrations by Darina and Rachel Allen and music from Rynne, Barou and Lunny.
Clonakilty International Guitar Festival
Traditional players, roots folkers, classical trailblazers, orchestral ukers and rock heroes from around the world. Acts include Steve Cooney, John Spillane, Ukulele-le-Chéile, Jerry Harmon and Willie and the Bandits.
Spirit of Folk Festival
Catch some of the finest acts folk has to offer in the stunning grounds of Dunderry Park, including Lisa O’Neill, The Lost Brothers and David Gray.
National Ploughing Championships
The Glastonbury of farming takes place this year in Stradbally. Tractors, horses, ploughs, sheepdog trials, craft demonstrations, good food and exhibitions from amateur art to animal husbandry.
September 25 – October 12
Dublin Theatre Festival
Still going strong in its 57th incarnation, featuring 500-plus performances in more than 20 venues in the city. A mix of old favourites, new productions, panel discussions and exhibitions.
Clifden Arts Week
The community arts week of the remote Connemara town features dance, drama, music, and comedy.
New Ross Piano Festival
In addition to classical recitals, there will be ‘Play Me’ pianos in public places, free al fresco jazz sessions, outreach concerts for students, and a masterclass for the more advanced.
September 25 – October 5
Belly Laughs Belfast Comedy Festival
Gags, gigs and laughs in over 30 venues in Belfast. This year’s festival will feature comedy bus tours, musical cabaret, sketch shows, improv, cartooning, comedy poetry, seminars, storytelling, comedy writing workshops, kids events and silent comedy films.
Galway International Oyster Festival
Live entertainment, gourmet food, fine wine and of course Oysters and Guinness. The Oyster Opening Championships is the main event.
Sligo Festival of Baroque Music
The Sligo Baroque Orchestra will be to the fore, but there will also be talks on what baroque music is, and how it influenced Irish traditional music.
September 28 – October 6
Ballinasloe Horse Festival
Expect horse-trading, dog shows, pig racing, tug o’ war, bakery and craft competitions, sessions and industrial levels of craic.
Dingle Peninsula Food Festival
Enjoy cookery demonstrations, a food market, wine tastings, culinary workshops and a foraging walk. A taste trail allows festival goers to purchase taste tickets and sample local cuisine in over 60 venues.
OFFline Film Festival
One of the highlights is the short film-making competition. Teams of film-makers make and edit a short film in Birr in a matter of days, enlisting the help of locals in front of and behind the cameras. The films are submitted to an international panel of judges and screened to the public on the final day.
October 19 – November 1
The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s
A mix of world-class theatre, music, dance, film, literature and talks. Acts include Elvis Costello, The Gloaming and the Old Crow Medicine Show.
Cork Jazz Festival
This year features Michel Legrand whose compositions have been played by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Diana Ross — and which have won the musician three Oscars.
Sligo Live Sessions
Enjoy the best in folk, roots and indie music. A highlight is Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow in concert with eclectic Irish folk band, NoCrows.
City of Derry International Choral Festival
A celebration of choral music showcasing different styles, including mixed voice, equal voice, youth and barbershop.
Savour Kilkenny Food Festival
An exposition of all things culinary, in venues held throughout the city.
October 22 – November 2
Wexford Festival Opera
This year’s programme features Salomé, Don Bucefalo and Silent Night and short operas including Il Tabarro and La Cenerentola. There are pre-opera talks, lunchtime recitals, a gala concert and opera buskers out on Wexford’s old streets.
October 29 – November 2
Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival
Reputedly the biggest Halloween festival in the world, spooky events celebrate the fact that Halloween is a Celtic invention, always keenly observed in the northerly parts of the country.