Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Time for OTR’s 2012 outdoor music shows and festivals’ census

Every August, we put together a crowdsourced census here to try to establish the number of music festivals and outdoor shows which take place in Ireland every summer. If you’re interested in past results, here are the returns for 2007, …

Mon, Aug 20, 2012, 08:51


Every August, we put together a crowdsourced census here to try to establish the number of music festivals and outdoor shows which take place in Ireland every summer. If you’re interested in past results, here are the returns for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Last year, the final tally came to 109, which was a signficant bump on previous years. You can chalk this down to many reasons, from a greater number of smaller festivals and events to a more forensic no-fest-left-behind approach by OTR readers.

No matter how you cut it, there are significantly more music festivals happening in Ireland now than was the case when we started doing this count back in 2007. Even though the big promoters are absent from this particular pitch – no Oxegen or Thomond Park shows in 2012, for example – numerous new promoters have decided to step up to the mark by having a go with events right around the country every summer.

Many of the newbies become regulars. Over the lifetime of this census, we’ve seen what were once new arrivals like Castlepalooza, Sea Sessions and Indiependence come back year after year to become part of the furniture. Promoters will tell you that it’s harder to sell tickets and build profile for an established event than a newcomer, but it’s worth noting that these events still continue to return for more each summer so there is some cash to be made.

That said, there are always a few casualties every season. The proposed Summer Sessions event in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens was probably the most high-profile festival-that-didn’t-happen this summer, though it’s also noticeable that many events which were listed last year – such as Co Mayo’s Westfest, for instance, and the Green Village in Co Westmeath – did not return in 2012 for various reasons.

Please feel free to list any festivals I’ve overlooked in the comments field below and I’ll update the list as they arrive. Please note: (1) only events which run over the course of the alleged summer (ie from late April and the May Bank Holiday weekend to the end of September) are counted, (2) “outdoor shows” cover gigs in tents, (3) festivals can include multi-day and/or multi-act events in conventional venues, (4) we count Live at the Marquee as one event and (5) arts festivals are counted only if they feature music events in an outdoor or unconventional venue.

Current total at the time of writing is 104.

Bruce Springsteen (RDS, Dublin)
Electric Picnic (Stradbally, Co Laois)
Castlepalooza (Tullamore, Co Offaly)
Indiependence (Mitchelstown, Co Cork)
Sea Sessions (Bundoran, Co Donegal)
Forbidden Fruit (Dublin)
Body & Soul (Ballinlough Castle, Co Meath)
Knockanstockan (Blessington, Co Wicklow)
Glasgowbury (Moneyneany, Co Derry)
Westlife (Croke Park, Dublin)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (Croke Park, Dublin)
Life (Belvedere House, Co Westmeath)
Madonna (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)
Lady Gaga (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)
Live at the Marquee (Cork)
Drop Everything (Aran Islands, Co Galway)
Camden Crawl Dublin (Dublin)
David Guetta (Marlay Park, Dublin)
Van Morrison/Tom Jones (Marlay Park, Dublin)
Kasabian/Noel Gallagher (Marlay Park, Dublin)
Swedish House Mafia (Phoenix Park Dublin)
Snow Patrol/Florence & The Machine (Phoenix Park, Dublin)
Stone Roses (Phoenix Park, Dublin)
Vantastival (Dunany, Co Louth)
Liss Ard Festival (Skibbereen, Co Cork)
Vital (Belfast)
Pigstock (Killinchy, Co Down)
Strawberry Festival (Enniscorthy, Co Wexford)
Gentlemen of the Road (Salthill Park, Galway)
Dublin City Soul Festival (Dublin)
Belsonic Festival (Belfast)
Le Cheile (Oldcastle, Co Meath)
Rory Gallagher Tribute Festival (Ballyshannon, Co Donegal)
The Coronas (Big Top at the Galway Arts Festival)
Chic (Big Top at the Galway Arts Festival)
James Vincent McMorrow/Lisa Hannigan (Big Top at the Galway Arts Festival)
No Place Like Dome (Temple House, Co Sligo)
Earagail Arts Festival (Co Donegal)
Bulmers Live (Leopardstown Racecourse, Dublin)
Sunflowerfest (Co Down)
Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots Festival
Kilkenny Arts Festival
Westport Festival (Co Mayo)
Fortstock (Clones, Co Monaghan)
Lisa Hannigan/Other Lives (Iveagh Gardens, Dublin)
The Waterboys (Iveagh Gardens, Dublin)
Rufus Wainwright (Iveagh Gardens, Dublin)
Spirit of Folk (Dunderry Park, Co Meath)
The Saturdays (Greyhound Stadium, Thurles, Co Tipperary)
Leonard Cohen (IMMA, Dublin)
Summerfest (Killarney, Co Kerry)
Northside Music Festival (Dublin)
Tall Ships Race Festival (Dublin)
Midsummer Festival (Cork)
Festival of the Fires (Co Westmeath)
Spraoi (Waterford)
Make A Move (Limerick)
Junction Festival (Clonmel, Co Tipperary)
Bump! (Limerick)
Open House Festival (Bangor, Co Down)
Arthur’s Day (Dublin)
Kinsale Arts Week (Co Cork)
Forfey Festival (Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh)
Willowstone Festival (Killyleagh, Co Down)
Greystones Americana & Roots Weekend (Greystones, Co Wicklow)
Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival (Belfast)
Sligo Jazz (Sligo)
Bandon Music Festival (Co Cork)
Clonakilty Waterfront Festival (Co Cork)
Feile An Phobail (Belfast)
Kings Of Concrete (Wood Quay, Dublin)
Buncrana Music & Arts (Co Donegal)
Bray Summerfest (Bray, Co Wicklow)
Stendhal Festival (Co Derry)
Valentia Isle Festival (Co Kerry)
The Marquee in Drumlish (Co Longford)
Rockin’ Road (Drumcondra, Dublin)
Celtronic (Derry)
Dublin Fringe Festival
Healyfest (Ballycastle, Co. Mayo)
Little Big Weekend (Cork)
Down With Jazz (Dublin)
Carrickmacross Summer Festival (Co Monaghan)
Ukulele Hooley (Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin)
Volvo Ocean Race Festival (Galway)
Secret Garden Festival (Martinstown House, Co Kildare)
Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival (Co Waterford)
Fleadh Cheoil (Cavan)
Helium (Ballymahon, Co. Longford)
Johnny Kennan Banjo Festival (Longford)
Ballyshannon Folk festival (Co Donegal)
Happy Valley Festival (Thomastown, Co Kilkenny)
Eigse Carlow Arts Festival (Carlow)
Tanglewood Festival (Newry, Co Down)
Wicklow Arts Festival
Gorey Market House Festival (Gorey, Co Wexford)
Festifal (Falcarragh, Co. Donegal)
Skibb Beats (Skibbereen, Co Cork)
The Island Jam (Cobh, Co Cork)
City of Derry Jazz Festival (Derry)
Tramore Bluegrass Festival (Co Waterford)
Pop Picnic Tramore (Co Waterford)
Farney Music Festival (Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan)
Garden Sessions (Birr, Co Offaly)