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Unmissable Wild Atlantic Way Festivals 2019



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On the Wild Atlantic Way, regional festivals both old and new celebrate some of the most exciting aspects of life way out west, inviting folks from far and wide to join the fun and taste, see, play, explore and discover something amazing.

From music and food to film, arts and culture, literature, and the outdoors, host towns and villages up and down the coast come to life with creativity and craic, providing the perfect way to disconnect, decompress, and fully embrace the Wild Atlantic Way of life.

Share your love of something special in 2019 by checking out our selection of unmissable Wild Atlantic Way festivals below.  Whatever your tastes you will find the perfect experience in one of the categories below.

 
 
The Sea Sessions festival gives music lovers plenty to shout about.
 

For music aficionados

 

Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival

When: 30th May-2nd June 2019
Where: Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
Set in Gallagher’s birthplace of Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, this annual event sees more than 10,000 music fans from around the world converging to celebrate this rocker’s legacy.
 

Sea Sessions Surf & Music Festival

When: 21st-23rd June 2019
Where: Bundoran, Co. Donegal
Ride the waves by day and dance all night; Bundoran’s best-kept summertime secret is so much more than just a music festival.
 

West Cork Chamber Music Festival

When: 28th June-7th July 2019
Where: Bantry, Co. Cork
Lush countryside provides the perfect setting for this annual gathering of music lovers, replete with evening concerts and workshops from respected figures in classical music.

 

Masters Of Tradition

When: 21st-25th August 2019
Where: Bantry, Co. Cork
Curated by Martin Hayes of The Gloaming, this five-day festival takes over the scenic Co. Cork town of Bantry for a bespoke celebration of Ireland’s unique traditional music heritage.   
 

Sligo Live

When: 23rd-28th October 2019
Where: Co. Sligo
Now in its thirteenth year, this folk, roots, and indie extravaganza has previously featured headline acts like Van Morrison, Jools Holland, The Waterboys, and many more.
 

Westival

When: 23rd-28th October 2019
Where: Westport, Co. Mayo
Sporting a fresh new name and face, the former Westport Arts Festival brings a jam-packed programme of music, culture, art, and family activities to this pretty Co. Mayo town.

 
 
Experience heaven by the forkful at the Galway International Oyster Festival.
 

For foodies 

 

A Taste Of West Cork

When: 6th-15th September 2019
Where: Various locations in West Cork, Co. Cork
One of Ireland’s longest-running food festivals, this ten-day event brings together local producers and chefs to share their passion for artisan food and regional delights.

Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival

When: 27th-29th September 2019
Where: Galway City, Co. Galway
One of the most sought-after food festivals in the world, this event is the perfect excuse to explore the City of Tribes whilst sampling the best of the best in seafood and local produce.
 

Bia Bó Finne

When: October 2019 TBC
Where: Inishbofin, Co. Galway
Learn to make beer, forage for seaweed, and learn from world-class chefs before relaxing with live music and a pint at this intimate immersion into rural Irish island food culture.

 
 
One of Ireland’s newest festivals - May the Fourth Festival
 

For arts & culture connoisseurs

 

Riverfest Limerick

When: 2nd-6th May 2019
Where: Limerick City, Co. Limerick
This May Bank Holiday weekend, make a break for the banks of the Shannon and join more than 100,000 revellers who come for the food, the fun, and the family-friendly festivities.

   

May the Fourth Be With You

When: 3rd-6th May 2019
Where: Co. Kerry
One of Ireland’s newest festivals – and arguably its most cosmic – this regional event celebrates all things Star Wars in some of the franchise’s most iconic recent filming locales.


Galway International Arts Festival

When: 15th-28th July 2019
Where: Galway City, Co. Galway
Taking place each summer in the City of Tribes, this festival offers up several days of theatre, dance, music, visual art and comedy, and is a must for your cultural diary.


Earagail Arts Festival

When: 10th-28th July 2019
Where: Various locations in Co. Donegal
Throughout the month of July, the Earagail Arts festival roams wild, remote Co. Donegal, bringing a diverse lineup of entertainment to unique and unforgettable venues along the way.


Rose Of Tralee International Festival

When: 23rd-27th August 2019
Where: Tralee, Co. Kerry
Another of Ireland’s oldest festivals, The Rose of Tralee is also one of the largest, connecting the global Irish community in a carnival atmosphere of street entertainment and live music.
 

Clifden Arts Festival

When: 19th-29th September 2019
Where: Clifden, Co. Galway
With 42 years to its name, this annual community bash is the longest-running of its kind in Ireland, going from strength to strength each year with world-class literature, art, and music.


Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

​When: 30th August-29th September 2019
Where: Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare
Love is in season each autumn in Co. Clare – just ask the 40,000 hopeful singles who flock there to see if Willie Daly’s 160-year-old matchmaking book can offer them a little spark.

 
 
Be swept along on a tide of outstanding cinema at any one of the Wild Atlantic Way's world-class film festivals.
 

For film buffs

 

Dingle International Film Festival

When: 21st-24th March 2019
Where: Dingle, Co. Kerry
Nestled in the heart of the Dingle Peninsula, one of Europe’s top independent film festivals kicks off each spring with a four-day extravaganza of all things cinema and animation.
 

Galway International Film Festival

When: 9th-14th July 2019
Where: Co. Galway
Film lovers head for Galway each summer to rub shoulders with directors, filmmakers and actors from around the world, while enjoying exclusive screenings, workshops, and more.
 

Richard Harris International Film Festival

When: 22nd-28th October 2019
Where: Co. Limerick
This beloved festival pays fitting tribute to the life and career of Irish actor Richard Harris by serving as a showcase for every stripe of filmmaker, theatrical artist, poet, writer and singer.
 

Kerry Film Festival

When: October 2019 TBC
Where: Killarney, Co. Kerry
Set against the backdrop of spectacular Killarney, Co. Kerry, this internationally renowned film festival is perhaps best-known for its unique and exciting film score programme.

 
 
Experiences to write home about – the Wild Atlantic Way's literary festivals are world-renowned.
 

For literature lovers

 

Doolin Writers Weekend

When: 25th-27th January 2019
Where: Doolin, Co. Clare
A must for even passing fans of literature and the arts, this event sets charming seaside Doolin abuzz with an eclectic mix of workshops, theatre and readings.
 

Cork International Poetry Festival

When: 19th-23rd March 2019
Where: Co. Cork
Featuring the John Montague International Poetry Fellowship, this four-day event boasts readings, workshops, and talks with some of contemporary poetry’s most compelling voices.
 

Listowel Writers Week

When: 29th May-2nd June 2019
Where: Listowel, Co. Kerry
Join a bevy of local and international artists, writers, and poets at this celebration of all things literary, dubbed by many as the ‘Best Literary Festival in the World’.

 

West Cork Literary Festival

When: 12th-19th July 2019
Where: Bantry, Co. Cork
With something special for readers and writers of all ages, this celebration of writing craft is a top highlight on the Irish summer calendar, boasting an unbeatable workshop programme.

 
 
The future is written in the stars at Mayo Dark Skies Festival
 

For outdoors enthusiasts

 

Gaelforce Events

When: Various dates in 2019
Where: Connemara & Donegal on the Wild Atlantic Way
Various events taking place throughout 2019 on the Wild Atlantic Way.  From marathon runs in wildest Connemara to the most unique adventure races in Donegal. Get your adrenaline pumping on the Wild Atlantic way with events taking place between March and October.

 

Ireland Bike Fest Killarney

When: 31st May-3rd June 2019
Where: Co. Kerry
Celebrating thirteen years in 2019, this free, open festival is just the thing to get your motor running. With live music day and night and endless scenic routes to explore, it’s a must-do.

 

Donegal Rally

When: 15th-17th June 2019
Where: Co. Donegal
The only three-day tarmac rally in Ireland and the UK, this challenging event attracts top driving talent from around the world to the twisting, turning roads of Donegal each summer.

 

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

When: 4th-7th July 2019
Where: Lahinch, Co. Clare
Revel in an atmosphere of world-class golf, music and fun, set against the stunning backdrop of Liscannor Bay, at this unbeatable four-day sporting event.

 

Puck Fair

When: 10th-12th August 2019
Where: Killorglin, Co. Kerry
Known for its centuries-old tradition of crowning a mountain goat as king of the festival, this lively event brings the village of Killorglin to life with three full days of merrymaking.
 

Battle For The Lake Kitesurfing & Music Festival

When: 27th-29th September 2019
Where: Achill Island, Co. Mayo
This festival takes place on gorgeous Achill Island, inviting kitesurfers, beachgoers and music lovers to help mark the true end of summer with live tunes, food, races, and more.

  

Mayo Dark Sky Festival

When: 1st -3rd November 2019
Where: Co. Mayo
The future is written in the stars at this unique, multi-day festival that brings together three Mayo communities for a fascinating celebration of the region’s exemplary dark skies.

 
 

However you want to celebrate, there’s a Wild Atlantic Way festival with your name on it. Eager to get planning? Find the best places to stay, eat and drink near your festival of choice, or learn more about the area here

 

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Don't miss out, book your Wild Atlantic Way festival experience now!


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