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Autumn Festivals on the Wild Atlantic Way

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Autumn on the Wild Atlantic Way is a season of incredible beauty, fresh-air experiences and of course, fantastic festivals.

A spread of festivals up and down the 2,500km coast routinely celebrate some of the most exciting aspects of life way out west. These traditional and modern events invite folks from far and wide to join the fun and taste, see, explore and discover something amazing. 

From music and food to film, art, or anything else your heart desires, these towns and villages spring to life with creativity and camaraderie, providing the perfect way to disconnect, decompress, and fully embrace the Wild Atlantic way of life. 

Share your love of something special in 2018 by checking out our selection of incredible autumn festivals on the Wild Atlantic Way below. 

People come from all over the world to visit, to see this festival, (and) to taste the oysters


When: 5 - 7 October 2018
Where: Inishbofin, Co. Galway
What: Bia Bó Finne is a very special food festival that allows participants to immerse themselves completely in rural Irish island culture. In the intimate surrounds of Inishbofin, off the coast of Galway, local food producers share their artisan goods and invite guests to reconnect with nature in idyllic seclusion.

Learn to make beer, forage for seaweed and other local edible plants, and even take part in a cooking workshop or two led by world-class chefs, before relaxing to the sound of live music over a refreshing pint in one of the island’s unforgettably characterful pubs. 


When: 24 - 29 October 2018
Where: Co. Sligo
What: Music fans won’t want to miss Sligo Live, the annual folk, roots and indie extravaganza that has descended on the town of Sligo since 2005. It’s a sonic celebration with a mission to share quality music with friendly people in one of the most iconic towns in Ireland. This autumn, headliners include Lisa Hannigan, The Boomtown Rats, Hudson Taylor, comedian Dara O’Briain and many more. Experience 100 gigs in warm, intimate and atmospheric indoor venues.

The only requirement to take part is that you be ready to enjoy some cracking music with great people on the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way. 

3. Westival: Westport Music & Arts Festival

When: 24 - 29 October 2018
Where: Westport, Co. Mayo
What: Always a lively hub of creative activity and culture, there are few better times to visit pictorial Westport than during festival season. Against a stunning Clew Bay backdrop, in past years this festival has hosted the likes of Jerry Fish, The Strypes, cutting-edge artist Maser and the award-winning Fishamble Theatre. For 2018, Festival Director Conor Wilson promises “a festival filled with local, national and international music, culture and artistic adventures, world premières and free family-friendly performances for all.” Carrying on a 40+ year tradition, Westival 2018 will see the very best in artistic expression hosted across the town’s many atmospheric venues over the October bank holiday weekend.

4. Kenmare Halloween Howl

When: 26 October - 3 November 2018
Where: Kenmare, Co. Cork
What: Looking for spooky thrills surrounded by spectacular scenery? This West Cork festival has it all in (haunted) hand. Enjoy all things frightful and delightful in this Southern Peninsulas enclave, from haunted houses to Halloween discos, an international gathering of wizards and witches, heritage walks with an eerie edge and even monster cabaret. For one weekend only, Kenmare might just resemble a nightmare...

  • Look skyward in Newport, Mulranny and Ballycroy in County Mayo

5. Mayo Dark Skies Festival

When: 2 - 4 November 2018
Where: Newport, Mulranny and Ballycroy, Co. Mayo
What: Revel in the beauty of this Bay Coast corner by starlight, as the Mayo Dark Skies Festival invites us all to look skyward in Newport, Mulranny and Ballycroy. A stellar collaboration between three Mayo communities to preserve the area’s unparalleled quality of dark sky, the festival boasts talks by leading experts in astronomy, science and the environment, guided walks, exhibitions and of course, plenty of stargazing. With Ballycroy National Park and the Wild Nephin wilderness area jointly recognised as Ireland’s first international dark sky park, this is one unique opportunity to lose yourself under 15,000 hectares of exquisite sky.

6. Ennis Trad Fest

When: 8 - 12 November 2018
Where: Ennis, Co. Clare
What: For lovers of a cracking session, the iconic Ennis Trad Fest never fails to deliver. Showcasing infectious and evocative Irish traditional music in all its glory, get your recommended dosage via trad discos, session trails, masterclasses in all manner of trad instrument and sean nós and set dancing, as well as rollicking céilithe (group dances). A festival run by musicians for musicians, get swept away as this Cliff Coast town buzzes to the rhythm of hundreds of seriously fun planned and impromptu sessions. Hup! indeed.


  • For lovers of a cracking session, the iconic Ennis Trad Fest, Co. Clare, never fails to deliver.

7. Sneem International Storytelling & Folklore Festival

When: 9 - 11 November 2018
Where: Sneem, Co. Kerry
What: The Ring of Kerry sets the stage for a weekend of stories – beautifully told – this November. Now in its seventh year, a host of renowned storytellers are headed to the stunning Southern Peninsulas to cast an imaginative spell during this one-of-a-kind festival. With Connie Regan-Blake (USA), Frances Kennedy and Tom Moore (Kerry), Pat Speight (Cork) and festival founder Batt Burns all ready to tell some tales, a storytelling concert will also delight festival-goers as Cork’s John Spillane steps into the limelight. Pat Kinevane’s Olivier Award-winning solo show ‘Silent’ is the festival’s theatrical feature, rounding off a weekend that’s sure to leave everyone wowed by the power of words.

8. Sligo International Choral Festival

When: 16 - 18 November 2018
Where: Sligo, Co. Sligo
What: Prepare for sweet sounds to ring out across the breathtaking Surf Coast as the 30th Sligo International Choral Festival takes place this November. With beautiful music sung by competing choirs of all ages, sit back enjoy diverse styles from barbershop to gospel, all-male, all-female, and mixed voices too.

Whether you seek tasty treats, memorable musical moments, or a chance for romance, your next great festival experience is closer than you think. Celebrate the passion and expertise of locals who call Ireland’s west coast home by heading along to one of the many unmissable festivals taking place year-round on the Wild Atlantic Way.

This is just a taste of what’s happening on the Wild Atlantic Way this autumn. There are plenty more festivals and events listed right here. And don’t forget to consult our handy trip planner to help put together your own ideal itinerary.

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