Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Festival fever

Looking for something to do this June Bank holiday? Take a gander at some of the interesting festivals on in Ireland that weekend.

Writer’s week, Listowel, Kerry (1st – 5th June) 
For budding writers and authors, head to the lively literary festival in Listowel and get your creative juices flowing. Learn from established writers in intimate workshops and debates, get your point across in seminars and join in readings and competitions.

Flat Lake Festival 2011, Monaghan (3rd – 5th June) 
Feast your eyes on film screenings and sculptural exhibitions, feed your soul with literary and historical talks and poetry recitals and indulge your senses with delicious food and drink, that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, at the festival of creative skulduggery in the glorious Hilton Park Estate in County Monaghan. With children’s entertainment, campfire camaraderie and heated debates, this festival has something for everyone! 

Bloom, Phoenix Park, Dublin (2nd – 6th June)
For a ‘blooming’ amazing June bank holiday weekend, why not head to the Phoenix Park for Bloom, a festival full to the brim of show gardens, floral displays and gardening workshops? Whether you are a gardening enthusiast or not, Bloom is the perfect festival pick for a day out, with a large scale artisan farmers market, live cookery and craft demonstrations and family entertainment. 

The Beat on the Boyne Festival 2011, Louth (3rd – 6th June) 
The beat is on the street from June 3rd to 6th at the 3rd annual Beat on the Boyne Festival, which is an extravaganza of music on the banks of the River Boyne. Due to popular demand, this year’s event takes place over two days. From Funk to Punk, Ska to Rock, Blues to Bluegrass and Trad, expect to catch it on the Boyneside stage, located in the relaxed and open river walkway close to the D Hotel and Scotch Hall. Pop into the many pubs and venues over the weekend to catch other live acts in the evenings. 

Rosscarbery Festival by the Sea, Cork (2nd – 5th June) 
Rosscarbery Festival by the Sea, brought to you by the Rosscarbery Business Association, is a festival of fun for all the family. From bouncing castles, face painting in the playground and puppet shows for the kids, to music from some of Ireland’s hottest acts for the teenagers, and pitch and putt and fishing competitions for mom and dad, this festival has something for all ages. Rosscarbery will play host to two free open air concerts in the amphitheatre square, along with open air dancing, so go on, get your jig on! 

Castlebar Blues Festival, Castlebar, Mayo (4th – 7thth June)
Don’t have the blues this June bank holiday weekend! Instead, get out and enjoy the Blues at Ireland’s longest running Blues festival, the Castlebar Blues Festival, which will see performances from Imelda May, Willie Nelson and Status Quo. Soak in the atmosphere in all the main pubs in the town, root through the myriad of CDs and records at the fair or enrol you kids in a vocal workshop or fun day on the mall. 

Clancy Brothers Music & Arts Festival, Tipperary (3rd – 5th June) 
Not heading to Mayo but love the Blues? Then pop to the Clancy Brothers Music and Arts Festival in Tipperary. Listen to live music in all the main pubs in the town for free, bop till you drop with the headlining acts in The Royal Theatre Castlebar or hunt for your favourite tunes at the CD and record fair in The TF Royal Hotel.

The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, Kilkenny City (2nd – 6th June)
Looking for a laugh? Spend the weekend in stitches at the internationally acclaimed Cat Laughs Comedy festival in Kilkenny, which showcases the very best in Irish and international comedy acts. With no shortage of side splitting humour in the atmospheric setting of this charming medieval city, Kilkenny is the place to go for laughs, giggles and lots more.

Ocean to City – An Ras Mor, Cork (4th June) 
Fancy an adventure this bank holiday? Then, the unique and spectacular 15 mile rowing race, Ocean to City, is for you! Starting at Crosshaven, travelling through Cork Harbour, to finish Cork City, the Ocean to City festival takes place on Saturday, 4th June.  Dive into Irish food and craft at the market in Cork, submerge your kids in the many activities available or soak up the music and maritime exhibitions. Organised by Meitheal Mara, boats are available to rent for crews who are unable to bring their own craft. 

Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run, Carlow, Kildare & Laois (3rd - 6th June) 
Fine tune your engine for the 7th annual Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run and see if your vintage car peps up to the range of vintage and classic cars, which come from all over Ireland, the UK and further. The festival kicks off in style with a civic reception at County Hall for all participants on the Friday evening. On Saturday the cars link in with the Rose of Tralee Qualifiers for a parade through the town of Portlaoise. Then, the main event happens on Sunday when the cars drive the original Gordon Bennett Route. 

An Tostal, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim (May 30th - June 6th)
One of the last remaining An Tostal's in the country is still running in Leitrim. Join in the folklore, heritage and music of Leitrim. Impromptu sessions, folk, country and rock music will take over the streets of this idyllic town. Think colour, life and flavour mixed with old time traditions and a good old knees up!

What are your plans for the June Bank Holiday?

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