Happy days!! Summer has finally arrived and that can only mean one thing; the start of festival season! Nothing beats breaking out of the shackles of a stressful job to cut loose, stick some flowers in your hair and enjoy some of the world’s best bands with your nearest and dearest!
5 Best Irish Music Festivals
For such a small island, we really do know how to throw a party. So to help you with your summer planning, I have compiled a list of the five best examples of why our country is a great place to be come summer time. :) Here in no particular order are the five best music festivals in Ireland!
1. Fleadh Cheoil – Sligo
The Fleadh Cheoil is Ireland’s biggest music festival by far and is also the biggest trad festival on the planet. This week long trad session attracts absolutely huge crowds with last years festivities managing to attract 430,000 people to the 2013 Fleadh Cheoil in Derry. This year it’s Sligo’s turn to host and it’s sure to be one for the ages.
There is a huge programme of free and ticket events spread over one week with loads of different performances and competitions to pick from. Cathy Jordan, Charles O’Conner and Padraig McGovern are too good to be missed and also the great thing about this festival is that no matter where you go in Sligo Town, you’re guaranteed a party atmosphere. :)
This is probably the most iconic concert in the whole calendar year. There have been some legendary bands headlining this event in the past like U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Thin Lizzy and Oasis. Now it is the turn of Foo Fighters to wow 80,000 fans in the natural amphitheatre that is Slane Castle. There some brilliant support acts this year too with Hozier and the Kaiser Chiefs making it a really awesome line-up.
I’ve been to a few Slane concerts and nothing beats the buzz on the Saturday of having a few drinks with your friends. It is always fun to take part in a bit of people watching as well to just enjoy how crazy some people can dress! All I know is that when The Pretender comes on and I can hear 80,000 other people singing along, there is nowhere else I would rather be in the world.
As soon as this line up was announced I made sure that my schedule for the weekend was completely free. Hozier’s popping up all over the place these days and rightly so because he’s amazing live. He heads up a brilliant Friday line up with The Vaccines and Metronomy two other acts that you really shouldn’t miss.
The thing I love about Longitude and its lack of camping is that you get to enjoy each day with a clean slate after a shower and a sleep on a comfy bed. Anybody who has ever done the four day camping stint at a wet and rainy Oxegen will no exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s possible to buy one day tickets but the thoughts of missing Alt-J on the Saturday and Chemical Brothers and José González on the Sunday are too awful for me to bare. This really is a fun and chilled out weekend so try get your hands on a ticket if you can for sure! :)
This really has become the perfect way to say goodbye to Summer. There are some huge acts playing this year with Blur, Sam Smith, Florence and the machine and Manic Street Preachers all ready to wow the audiences in Stradbally. The atmosphere at this festival really is something special. Everywhere is so colourful and it’s great to see people of all ages enjoying themselves.
This is a festival in the true sense of the word because there is camping allowed. I really can’t do justice to how fun it is to be in this campsite with friends just chilling out on some deck chairs with a few bevvies, it really is something that everybody should experience at some stage in their lives.
Also just a note on Florence and the Machine; I saw the girl play at Oxegen in 2009. Seeing her hair, and dress flowing in the wind and rain as she belts out her classics is something that will stay with me forever (as will the memories of the hangover the next morning). She is just brilliant!
This festival is now eight years old and it is insane to think of how much it has grown since it began. It is such an awesome concept and the mix of surfing, music and different sports really do make for an incredible weekend. Bundoran is an amazing place at the worst of times so it really is the perfect place for a music festival.
The line-up this year is brilliant too with a lot of home-grown and international musical talent on show. Gavin James is definitely one to watch, so if you’ve never heard him, he should definitely be your top priority for the weekend. Klingande and Example are two of my favourite acts so there’s not a hope in hell I would ever miss this weekend.
Be sure to bring your surf board to try and catch a few waves while you’re up there…It’d be rude not to! ;)