Last updated on February 6, 2024
Nobody parties like the Irish! Don’t you think so? Then go to St Patrick’s Day in Dublin!
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But apart from St Patrick’s Day, there are many other wonderful festivals in Dublin…
Dublin is a lively city – and the Irish like to party. I’ve already said that, I know. But you have to experience it for yourself: Music and dancing and the best atmosphere, not just on St Patrick’s Day.
Festivals therefore play a very important role in Ireland. Especially in summer, there are festivals all over the island for all possible and impossible occasions.
There are particularly many festivals in Dublin. No wonder, the capital has a lot of culture to offer, in all facets and flavours.
I know Dublin well, by the way, because my family and I have been living a little south of the city (we come from Germany) for a few years now (second home). Here in Ireland we run our motorbike rental business (https://www.easycruiser.tours) and our guest rooms (https://www.the-view-accommodation.ie) in the summer.
If you’re planning a weekend or holiday trip to Dublin, see if there’s a festival for you during that time. Or even better: pick a festival that suits your taste and plan your stay in Dublin accordingly – it’s worth it!
In this article I want to give you a quick start for inspiration and information, and describe some of the more popular festivals for you. I’ll also list the organisers’ websites so you can find out all about your favourite festival.
So let’s get started:
St Patrick’s Festival
The St Patrick’s Festival in Dublin is dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick. It takes place in March and lasts around five days. During this time, there are all kinds of events, colourful costumes, parades and more.
The big parade on 17 March is the highlight of the festival. Here floats, music groups and dancers come together and liven up the streets of Dublin. Music, dancing and the very best of humour make the festival a very big party!
Dublin Fringe Festival
The Fringe Festival in Dublin is a creative explosion. It usually takes place in September and lasts around two weeks. Unlike traditional festivals, the Fringe Festival focuses on experimental art, performing arts, theatre, comedy, music and everything in between.
Here, artists from all over the world can present their most innovative work. Events take place at various venues across the city, from established stages to improvised venues in unconventional spaces.
Discover artistic talent in Dublin for yourself! See: https://www.fringefest.com/.
Dublin International Film Festival
For all film fans, the Dublin International Film Festival is a must on the calendar! It takes place every year in spring and you can find the exact date on the organiser’s website.
It’s a big cinema celebration where films from all over the world are shown in Dublin City for around ten days. There is also a supporting programme with discussions and various highlights. The variety of genres and the inclusion of international filmmakers make this festival a cinematic highlight. See: https://filmfreeway.com/DublinInternationalFilmFestival.
Dublin Pride Festival is the big party of the LGBTQ+ community and usually takes place in June.
You’ll find bright colours, parades, costumes, concerts and cultural events celebrating diversity and togetherness. Rainbow colours are everywhere and the atmosphere is mega. See: https://dublinpride.ie/.
Festival of Curiosity
The Festival of Curiosity is something very special. A fascinating gathering of science, technology, art and design that usually takes place in July. It’s like a playground for the curious of all ages, with interactive exhibitions, talks, workshops and experiments.
There are also programmes for children and families. It’s a great opportunity to learn through play and explore the world of science in a fun way – for young and old! See: https://festivalofcuriosity.ie/about-us/.
Music and dance festivals
Longitude is a music festival that usually takes place in Dublin in June. It brings together top artists from the pop, rock and hip-hop scene and offers concerts over several days. The atmosphere is electric, with energetic performances and a variety of musical genres. Great concerts and an international audience! See: https://www.longitude.ie/.
Forbidden Fruit Festival
Forbidden Fruit is a music and art festival that also takes place in Dublin in June. It combines music, art installations, theatre and performances in a summer garden setting. Cool music and cool vibes – check out this Youtube video: https://youtu.be/AFVFLwDlsPA?si=VG3B-KFaGLd33XYM. For information, see: https://www.forbiddenfruit.ie/.
Trad Fest Temple Bar
Trad Fest Temple Bar is a festival of traditional Irish music that usually takes place in January. It transforms the historic Temple Bar neighbourhood into a lively stage for traditional Irish songs. It features concerts, sessions, workshops and dance performances celebrating Ireland’s rich musical culture. See: https://tradfest.com/.
Dublin Dance Festival
The Dublin Dance Festival is a celebration of the art of dance and usually takes place in May. It showcases a variety of dance styles, from contemporary dance to traditional forms, with performances from national and international dance companies. From classical to modern, but always captivating! See: https://www.dublindancefestival.ie/.
Literature and theatre festivals
Dublin Writers Festival
The Dublin Writers Festival is an event for literature lovers and takes place in September. It celebrates writing in all its forms, with discussions, readings and workshops, well-known and especially new authors. See: https://internationaldublinwritersfestival.com/.
International Literature Festival Dublin
The International Literature Festival Dublin is a celebration of literature that usually takes place in May. It brings together writers, authors and literature lovers from all over the world. The festival offers readings, discussions, workshops and events for anyone with a passion for stories and books. An informal atmosphere and programmes for the whole family! See: https://ilfdublin.com/.
Bloomsday, which takes place on 16 June, is a tribute to James Joyce and his famous novel “Ulysses”. On this day, events take place across Dublin, recreating the events of the book and bringing the city’s literary and cultural scene to life. You’ll see many performers, as well as festival guests, stylishly dressed in period costume – a very nice atmosphere! See: https://www.bloomsdayfestival.ie/.
Bram Stoker Festival
The Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin, usually in October, is a dark celebration in honour of the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. The festival celebrates the legacy of Stoker and the world of horror. There are themed tours of the city, horror films, literary events, theatre performances, art installations and special spooky events and more. Shiver, creep or scare – it’s all here! See: https://www.bramstokerfestival.com/.
Dublin Book Festival
The Dublin Book Festival, usually in November, celebrates Irish literature. It features readings, book launches, discussions and workshops and promotes local authors as well as international literature. It’s not just about the writers, but all professions involved in publishing. See: https://dublinbookfestival.com/.
Dublin Theatre Festival
The Dublin Theatre Festival is an October highlight for theatre lovers. It presents high quality productions including international and local plays, performances and experimental shows. The aim is to bring world-class theatre to Dublin! See: https://dublintheatrefestival.ie/.
Dublin Bay Prawn Festival
Ireland is an island, and fish and seafood play a major role in Irish cuisine. The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival takes place in May and celebrates the city’s maritime culture and the culinary treasures of the sea. Fresh seafood, cookery demonstrations and entertainment – I love it! See: http://dublinbayprawnfestival.com/
Taste of Dublin
Who says Irish cuisine is boring? The Taste of Dublin Festival in summer proves otherwise! This culinary event brings together Dublin’s best chefs. Visitors can sample a variety of dishes, take part in cookery demonstrations and discover the local cuisine. Tasty? You bet! See: https://tasteofdublin.ie/.
Dublin Comic Con
Dublin Comic Con in March is a festival for comic, film and pop culture enthusiasts. Comic fans come together to meet, show cosplays, attend panels and socialise with other fans. A mecca for comic fans, science fiction enthusiasts and cosplayers – here in Dublin! See: https://dublincomiccon.com/.
Dublin Horse Show
Horses are an important part of Irish traditions and many Irish people feel a special connection to them. The Dublin Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian events in Europe and takes place in August. It presents equestrian competitions, show jumping, dressage and a variety of equestrian activities.
Horse breeds are introduced, there are artistic performances and much more. The show celebrates Irish horse breeds, equestrian sport and riding. Is a horse show a festival? In Ireland yes, see: https://www.dublinhorseshow.com/.
Photo Ireland Festival
Another side to art: The PhotoIreland Festival, which usually takes place in summer, celebrates photography. It offers exhibitions, workshops, lectures and events on various styles of photography. It’s not about cameras or technology, but about visual communication and art. See: https://photoireland.org/.
In this article I have given you a selection of the many great festivals Dublin has to offer. There are a few more, so if you have a special interest, there’s bound to be a festival in Dublin for that too – just Google it.
If you have the opportunity, why not time your trip to Dublin so that you can attend a great festival? The Irish love to party and Dublin is the festival capital of Ireland. You should experience it once!
With this in mind, have fun in Dublin!
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Image credit cover picture: Photo by Aranxa Esteve on Unsplash