This October bank holiday looks set to be another jam packed weekend up and the down the country with many festivals and events for people of all ages and interests kicking off in towns and cities throughout the 3 days in most of the counties of Ireland. In cork city the annual Guinness Cork Jazz festival is in full flow, expect to listen to the best in national and international jazz music in over 90 pubs, clubs and venues around the city, the vast majority of which are free and open to all.
If Jazz isn’t your kind of music, there are many more festivals and events on this weekend including a variety of music festivals for all genres. Sligo Live (23rd – 28th October) isIrelands premier folk, root and indie festival. Featuring live bands playing intimate gigs in the towns many pubs and venues as well as live performances by some ofIreland and the worlds leading artists, it is a must for music lovers. This year the highlight of the festivals jampacked and exciting programme of events has to be a live performance from one of lreland‘s leading artists, rockabilly and blues songstress Imelda May on Saturday night.
And that is not all, Wexfords celebrated festival, the Wexford Opera festival, is also on this weekend. Expect to be spellbound by this unique festival with a rare chance to see the rich culture and performances of live opera. Running alongside it, the Wexford Fringe festival showcasing music and events running the full gamut of the arts offers something for everyone. Close to Wexford, county Waterford has a new trad event starting this weekend, bringing the cream of Irish traditional musicians to the area.
Aside from music festivals to suit all ages and interests, there is way more out there nationwide. Running alongside the traditional music is Waterfords Imagine Arts Festival featuring an exciting line-up of dance, film, theatre and child friendly events. Over in the West, the streets of Galway will burst into life this Sunday with an atmospheric spectacle of nightmares and dreams in a Halloween flavoured parade from the Macnas, the award winning theatre, spectacle and processional company from the city of the Tribes (Galway). Their special parade called On the Night Journey will focus on the mind of Macnas’s Boy Explorer, as he pursues three “dream weavers” – a stag, a horse and a hare, whilst pursued by his own imagination.
Aside from music and spectacle there is even more on offer. If your idea of a good night out is a belly full of laughs and the witty and sharp observations featured in stand-up comedy, Portlaoise has the Halloween Howls Comedy Festival featuring a number of Irelands best known comedians.
In Kilkenny food lovers are in for a treat at the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, the walls of Kilkenny Castle forming a spectacular backdrop for a free open air food market on the plaza with cooking demonstrations from TV cooks Donal Skehan and Catherine Fulvio, whilst the family friendly Irish Conker Championship in the village of Freshford is a charming little Kilkenny gem. If you are looking for stag activities kilkenny is the place to be this weekend!
And finally if you are more of an outdoorsy type wanting to take in the scenery whatever the weather, there is not one, but two walking festivals on. In Mayo the Westport October Bank Holiday Walking Weekend takes place in the glorious Mayo mountains bringing a worthy challenge not to mention view for the experienced hillwalker. And in the garden of Ireland, Wicklow, the more sedate but no less inspiring Footfalls Wicklow Walking Festival includes several walks that take advantage of and showcase Wicklow stunning landscape.
So from music festivals to satisfy all tastes to events and festivals that cover everything from the arts, comedy, food to even walking and way more in many towns and villages in the area, this October Bank Holiday weekend looks set to be an eventful and family friendly few days, jam packed with a wide range of events for every taste.