In Ireland, we have a huge array of Festivals both North and South to keep us entertained from January to December!
We’ve rounded up some of the best for 2023 – see below.
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Dublin International Film Festival, 23rd February – 4th March

Ireland’s biggest film festival presents a programme of 2023’s most exciting international cinema, the best new Irish cinema, a retrospective of much-loved and forgotten classics, conversations with actors and directors and much more..

Belfast TradFest February, 24th – 26th February

The popular Belfast TradFest features weekend workshops alongside a full programme of concerts, talks, lectures, sessions, céilís and a festival club.

St Patrick’s Day Festival, 17th March, Nationwide

Every year, on the 17th March, everybody in the world wants to be Irish! There’s no better place to experience the magic of St Patrick’s Day than in Ireland itself, where the celebrations are truly unforgettable. The biggest event takes place in Dublin.


Cúirt International Festival of Literature (Galway, April 17th – 23rd)

Cúirt is one of Europe’s oldest book festivals, and a leading voice for literature both internationally and across Ireland. Expect plenty of discussion from Irish and international authors celebrating writing, books and reading in all forms.

Galway Theatre Festival (Galway, April 28th – May 6th)

One of the leading arts festivals in Ireland in 2023 dedicated to independent theatre and performance, the Galway Theatre Festival covers theatre, circus, spectacle and storytelling across nine performance-packed days.

Listowel Writers’ Week (Kerry, May 31st – June 4th)

Listowel Writers’ Week is one of Ireland’s oldest Literary and Arts Festivals, where writers, artists and poets congregate in the beautiful heritage town of Listowel, in County Kerry. The Festival promotes the writing of all genres and creates an environment where literature can be appreciated by the widest possible audience – gathering writers and readers to celebrate the written word together.

International Literature Festival Dublin (Dublin, May 19th – 28th)

The Festival hosts readings, conversations, debates, screenings, guided walks, events, podcasts and broadcasts and much more:

Dublin Dance Festival (Dublin, May 16th – 28th)

A twelve-day dance festival showcasing the best Irish and international dance performances in venues across Dublin to a growing and appreciative audience celebrating the transformative power of dance.

Bealtaine Festival (Nationwide, May 1st – 31st)

A month-long festival featuring performances, exhibitions, discussions, workshops and readings by artists working in different art forms all over Ireland. Described as Ireland’s national celebration of the arts and creativity as we age.

Rory Gallagher International Festival, County Donegal (2nd – 5th June)

From pub sessions to street sessions to big concerts, Rory Gallagher fans come to his birthplace of Ballyshannon to celebrate the Rory Gallagher Festival. The legendary guitarist – who influenced the likes of The Edge, Brian May and Eric Clapton – collaborated with other musical giants, including Muddy Waters and Jerry Lee Lewis.


Body & Soul (Ballinlough Castle Estate, Co Westmeath Jun 16th – 18th)

Set in the beautiful grounds of Ballinlough Castle, Body & Soul is a boutique arts and music festival, where you’re just as likely to spend your time lounging in a hot tub in a secret garden as you are to be stamping your feet to your favourite band. Find specially commissioned artworks in the woodlands, wellbeing workshops and gourmet food trucks aplenty.

Cork Midsummer Festival (Cork, Jun 14th – 25th)

The Cork Midsummer Festival appeals to every age group and best of all, an extensive programme of events are free. It boasts a varied programme of theatre, dance, visual arts, music and a whole lot more.

Dalkey Book Festival (Dublin, Jun 15th – 18th)

30 minutes south of Dublin City lies the charming seaside suburb of Dalkey and which hosts The Dalkey Book Festival every June. Celebrity speakers in previous years have included Bono, Stephen Fry and Sally Rooney.

Cat Laughs Comedy Festival (Kilkenny, June 3rd – 4th)

The Cat Laughs Festival is an acclaimed comedy festival in the atmospheric setting of the medieval city of Kilkenny. The festival takes place on the June bank holiday weekend and was founded in 1994 in response to the burgeoning wealth of Irish comic talent. Since then the festival has grown from a small event comprising of a handful of shows to an internationally acclaimed festival.

West Cork Chamber Music Festival (23 June to 2 July)

Bantry hosts one of Europe’s premier chamber music festivals, featuring a whole host of world-class musicians. Acts in 2023 include the Armida Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Ragazze Quartet, Ardeo Quartet and Ensemble Diderot:



West Cork Literary Festival (7 – 14 July)

Last year’s line up included Paul Muldoon, Zadie Smith, Nick Laird, Geoff Dyer, Louise O’Neill and many more. Enjoy readings, workshops, children’s events and much more:



Galway International Arts Festival (Galway, July 17th – 30th)

Running from the 17th – 30th July , this year’s festival cannot be missed, with its fantastic range of Irish and international performers coming to Galway City to entertain you for two spectacular weeks!

Earagail Arts Festival (Co. Donegal, July 8th – 23rd)

Earagail Arts Festival is a bilingual (Irish and English language), multidisciplinary summer festival which traditionally takes place each July throughout County Donegal along the Wild Atlantic Way.


Rose of Tralee International Festival (Tralee, August 18th – 22nd)

Dating back to 1959, but with roots that stretch back to an older local festival, the Festival has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, celebrated in Irish communities from the USA to New Zealand and everywhere in between!



Dingle Food Festival

Highlights of the festival include cookery demonstrations, food trails, over 50 market stalls, children’s events and wine tastings.


Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival, (22nd – 24th September)

An absolute must-visit! This is the oldest oyster festival in the world and the most internationally recognised Irish festival after St Patrick’s Day. Take on their expertly curated Seafood Trail and sample some of the West Coast’s freshest finds at what is rightly one of the most popular food festivals in Ireland.

Puck Fair (Killorglin, August 10th – 12th)

One of Ireland’s oldest fairs, the annual three-day, family-friendly street festival that is like no other!


Kilkenny Arts Festival (Kilkenny, August 10th – 20th)

Going for over 50 years now, the Festival runs across ten days and gathers many of the world’s finest musicians, performers, writers and artists in Ireland’s medieval city for some cracking live performances:

Spraoi International Street Arts Festival (Waterford, August 4th – 6th)

Spraoi International Street Arts Festival invites artists from around the world to strut their stuff in Waterford City where the narrow streets, medieval buildings and little squares provide the perfect backdrop for bold street art. Spraoi translates from Irish to mean fun and exuberance, and you’ll get that in spades here over the bank holiday weekend.

Galway Races (Ballybrit, July 31st – August 6th)

This prestigious festival has been running since the 19th century and needs no introduction.

Fleadh Cheoil (Mullingar, August 6th – 14th)

The very best trad musicians come together for a series of cracking performances during the week-long Fleadh Cheoil that takes place in Mullingar, attracting in the region of 500,00 visitors.

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival (Lisdoonvarna, late September)

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival has it all: music and dancing, lots of opportunities to get together and meet people, Singles from all over the world all mixing together from age 18 to 80 – everyone is welcome!

Dublin Theatre Festival (Dublin, September 28th – October 15th)

Europe’s oldest specialised theatre festival, Dublin Theatre Festival has staged major international theatre of scale and hosted productions by the world’s greatest artists, while also showcasing work by Ireland’s finest playwrights.

Dublin Festival of History (Dublin, September 25th – October 15th)

Offering a fresh perspective on history and its importance in everyday lives, this is a free festival in Ireland’s capital so expect plenty of talk and debate from leading Irish and International historians.

Culture Night (Nationwide, September 22nd)

An all-Ireland celebration of culture and creativity, Culture Night sees the Arts Council partnering with artists, local authorities, arts organisations to present thousands of free events and activities into the evening, in-person, online and broadcast.

Púca Festival (Athboy/Trim, late October)

Púca is one of the newest Irish festivals and celebrates Ireland as the original home of Halloween, which began as the ancient tradition of Samhain over 2,000 years ago.

Derry Halloween (Derry, October 28th – 31st)

Claiming to be Europe’s biggest Halloween festival, Derry Halloween embraces the Samhain spirit and attracts revellers from all around the globe while showcasing a programme of arts, food and music alongside cultural, contemporary and family events.

Open House Dublin (Dublin, October 13th – 15th)

Open House Dublin is a free festival of architecture with 100+ guided tours, films, exhibitions and events taking place across the city from 13-15 October.

Wexford Festival Opera (Wexford, October 24th – November 5th)

For the last 70 years, the Wexford Opera Festival is one of the most regarded and famous Opera Festivals.  This year, it’s themed around women and war and includes L’aube Rouge by Camille Erlanger:

Cork Jazz Festival (Cork, October 26th – 30th)

Enjoy Ireland’s biggest jazz event which sees Cork city come alive with the sights and sounds of a music trail spanning over 60 Cork venues.

Bram Stoker Festival (Dublin, October 27th – 30th)

Bram Stoker Festival celebrates the legacy of one of Ireland’s most beloved and iconic writers. Now entering its tenth year, the festival draws inspiration from Stoker, his life, his work, the Dublin of his time and celebrates the Gothic, the supernatural, the after-dark and the Victorian.

Cork International Film Festival (Cork, November 9th – 19th)

Cork International Film Festival is a local, national and international celebration of cinema. The 68th edition will take place Thursday 9th – Sunday 19th November 2023.


Galway Christmas Market (Galway, November 10th – December 22nd)

One of the largest Christmas markets in Ireland, The Galway Continental Christmas Market received over 450,000 visitors in 2022 and there were more than 50 wooden chalets located Eyre Square along with the Big Wheel, Carousel, Santa’s Grotto, the German Bier Keller along with numerous other theatrical delights throughout the four week fair.

Winterval Waterford (Waterford, late November – late December)

Ireland’s largest Christmas festival, Winterval takes place in the country’s oldest city. Waterford hosts magical experiences, festive family attractions, seasonal surprises and an abundance of free and ticketed events for all ages.

Yulefest Kilkenny (Kilkenny, late November – late December)

Yulefest Kilkenny returns in 2023 hosting a programme of events with something for everyone. Enjoy music from a bandstand, a fireworks display, street entertainment, a scavenger hunt and a Santa run, and much more..

Belfast Christmas Market (Belfast, late November – late December)

Running for over 15 years, the Belfast Christmas market takes place in the grounds of Belfast City Hall at Donegall Square.

Dublin Castle Christmas Market (Dublin, December)

Dates to be confirmed. The event takes place within the grand grounds of Dublin Castle. With over 26 vendors in wooden chalets, voice choirs and lots of food and drink options, enjoy a wonderful festive atmosphere.

Glow Cork (Cork, late November – late December)

Experience the festive season as A Cork Christmas Celebration, the most loved free festival organised by Cork City Council: