FESTIVAL season is approaching and the FOMO that comes along with it. There is nothing quite as tragic as listening to the live stream of your favourite band absolutely killing it in a field to thousands of fans, while you sit at your kitchen table with your head in your hands thinking “why didn’t I just buy an early bird ticket?” It’s high time to start thinking about what you are planning to head along to. The festival circuit is as exciting as ever this year and with plenty more acts to be announced, things can only get better. Here’s our lowdown on some of the biggest Irish festivals this year.
July 18-20, Marley Park, Dublin
Longitude burst onto the festival scene last year with a very current, all-encompassing line up, reminiscent of Oxegen weekends past. This year sees Disclosure, Massive Attack, Rudimental and Bastille headlining. Scanning further down the line up there are plenty more must-see acts, including BBC radio tipped George Ezra and Banks. Home-grown Hozier is sure to draw a big crowd off the back of his recent EP release and SXSW appearance, not to mention Le Galaxie who played a belter in the Body and Soul arena at Electric Picnic last year. If the idea of bopping around to this lot appeals to you almost as much as going home to your own bed does, then Marley Park is for you. Day tickets start from €59.50.
August 29–31, Stradbally Hall Estate, Co. Laois
Following the success of Electric Picnic’s tenth birthday bash last year, Stradbally Hall opens its gates once again and expectations are high. Considered by many the last hurrah of Summer, Outkast, Portishead, Beck, Chic, London Grammar, Pet Shop Boys, Paolo Nutini, Foals, Lily Allen, Annie Mac, Metronomy, Simple Minds and Flume are amongst the first names to be announced for this year. The festival continues to keep its loyal fans happy by providing a discount for those who have attended previously and early bird prices continue until April 18, after which we can expect some more announcements. Revellers can look forward to a lot more than just music with Body and Soul, the Salty Dog stage, Trench Town, the Trailer park, Mind Field and much, much more. If you’ve never been, join the masses and get yourself to Stradbally this August. You’ll soon see what the fuss is all about.
Body and Soul
June 20–22, Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath
Body and Soul is a feast for the senses. With art and acts to take in at each step, you could be forgiven for walking around gaping open-mouthed for the entire weekend. The line-up for June is shaping up nicely, featuring Goldfrapp, John Grant, Caribou, East India Youth, Mount Kimbie, Young Wonder and King Kong Company. The woods of Ballinlough castle hold many surprises and you can expect to stumble upon boundless bathing (hot tubs), hammocks, art installations, candles, camp fires, teacups, costumes and much, much more. Tickets cost €139.50.
May 31-June 1, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin
Dublin City Centre welcomes 2manydjs, Warpaint, Bell X1, the Flaming Lips, Public Enemy and Little Dragon this June bank holiday in Kilmainham. With more acts and a comedy line up yet to be announced, this festival is a real incentive for people to stay in the city for the weekend. Day tickets start from €49.50.
May 2–4, Bellurgan Park, Co. Louth
Vantastival is an independent music festival that is holding on dearly to their BYOB policy. For the fifth year running, Bellurgan park will play host to some of our best homegrown acts. Fresh off the back off their successful FundIt album campaign last year, eccentric indie rockers Fight Like Apes will take to the stage, alongside the Hothouse Flowers, John Spillane, King Kong Company, The Altered Hours and festival favourites, the Hot Sprockets. Tickets start from €95.
August 1–3, Deer Farm, Mitchelstown
Indiependence is a small festival which has attracted some big international names in recent years, as well as supporting home-grown acts. In the shadow of the Galtee Mountains, White lies, Public Enemy, Tom Odell, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Delorentos and Walking on Cars will take to the stage over three nights. While the festival has been cursed with bad weather and trench-like conditions at times, the punters drawn are high spirited and the craic is high up on the bill. Tickets start from €99.
June 27–29, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
When it comes to location, it is difficult to top Sea Sessions. This surf and music festival boasts Kelis, Cavan’s homeboys ‘The Strypes‘, The Dandy Warhols, Ella Eyre, Walking on Cars and Hermitage Green on its bill this year. Plugging itself as “The Beach Party weekend of the year“, keep your fingers crossed for sun this June and the music will look after itself. Tickets from €89.
July 25–26, Blessington Lakes, Co. Wicklow
Time and again when I ask people about their favourite festival, Knockanstockan is mentioned accompanied by a story that makes me want to experience it for myself. A lovingly crafted event, you can expect to see the best of up and coming Irish bands take to the stage, including Booka Brass Band (fresh from recording with Jerry Fish), Enemies, VANN and the Eskies. All this set against the beautiful Blessington Lakes can only make for a memorable weekend. Tickets starting from €75.
August 1–3, Charleville Castle, Tullamore
As an Offaly native it’s a source of great embarrassment to me that I have never made it along to Castlepalooza. I’m planning to rectify this in August. Although we are still waiting for a line-up, one can expect a soundtrack for a laid back weekend with Ghostpoet, Little Bear, Young Wonder and Le Galaxie among those doing the honours last year. The castle itself is open to revellers to explore. Who knows what you will find within its rooms? Take advantage of early bird prices prior to the line-up announcement, starting at €89.
Photos c/o ebookers.ie, parade.condenast.com, travelettes.net