Kaleidoscope at Russborough House with The Kooks and The Waterboys: Ticket information, what’s on for kids and more

Everything you need to know about the family-friendly festival that runs for three days and nights this weekend

Kaleidoscope: Thousands of families for three days and nights. Photograph: Anamaria Meiu

Kaleidoscope is billed as Ireland’s most family-friendly, fully inclusive festival of the summer and runs this weekend from Friday, June 28th, to Sunday, June 30th, in the grounds of Russborough House, Blessington, Co Wicklow. The organisers expect thousands of families for three days and nights as the final school bells rings for summer holidays.

How do I get there?

Russborough House and Park in Blessington, Co Wicklow, is located just off the N81, about 30 minutes from Dublin. For satnav, the Eircode is W91 W284, or GPS co-ordinates are: 53.1417N, 6.5695W.

All public cars, caravans and campervans should follow the festival traffic signs, and directions of stewards and gardaí. There is no right or left turn allowed off the N81 at the L3863 towards Russborough House.

From Dublin/M50/N81 route (coming from Dublin): Drive through Blessington town on the N81 and turn right at the Burgage roundabout, then left on to the Kilmalum road. Continue on the L6052 until the L3863, turn left and be directed into the car parks via Gate 1.


From Naas/M7/M9/M7/M9 route (coming from Naas): Take the south Naas exit from the M7 junction 10), take the Naas ring road as far as the R411 roundabout and join the R411 and through to Ballymore Eustace. Follow the L6056 and enter the festival site via Gate 1.

From Carlow/N81 northbound route (coming from Baltinglass): All festival traffic heading northbound on the N81 will be directed to Ballymore Eustace. Follow the L6056 and enter the festival site at Gate 1.

What’s on?
Mark the Science Guy is among the draws for children at this year's Kaleidoscope. Photograph: Anamaria Meiu

There will be hundreds of family activities, shows and surprises alongside headliners featuring global and Irish music stars The Kooks, Lyra, The Waterboys, Dec Pierce’s Block Rockin’ Beats, King Kong Company and viral sensations The Kabin Crew. The line-up also features The Academic, Tolü Makay, Ryan Mack, Somebody’s Chil and Jerry Fish.

Expect hands-on science experiments, jaw-dropping feats of circus, magic shows, feel-good family sports and wellness, children’s storytelling and creative writing, arts and crafts, energetic dance and theatre workshops, baby raves and toddler playtime, funfair rides, sensory areas and activities, a festival of food, 5km runs and more.

Budding young scientists can immerse themselves in the exciting world of science with festival favourite and host of RTÉ’s science show Let’s Find Out, Mark The Science Guy. Festivalgoers can also enjoy interactive robotics workshops, pop-up performances from bubble-ologists and get the chance to build their own Lego creations.

Kids can channel their inner Indiana Jones with The Big Dig from The School of Irish Archaeology. Their replica Viking house and excavation site will give children and young adults the chance to experience what it is like to be an archaeologist by learning how to excavate remains.

Children can also visit the Fighting Words tent to write stories, create characters, design comic strips, craft and perform poetry, and tell jokes. Elsewhere, dive into the world of reptiles with the National Reptile Zoo, where kids can learn about and meet snakes, lizards and turtles.

From arts and crafts to music and dance, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

At the time of writing tickets are still available at kaleidoscopefestival.ie and Ticketmaster, with a weekend family-of-four ticket for €250 plus booking fee, a child day ticket from €40 and adult day tickets from €55 plus booking fee.

People of all ages are welcome, with ID required for all ticket holders regardless of age. Security is family-friendly, with the main concern that parents and children don’t get separated. Children get a paper wristband on which their parents’ number can be written. Organisers encourage parents to choose a memorable meeting point on site.


Gates are open from 5pm-10pm for campervans and caravans on Thursday, June 27th, and the campsite will be open from 9am each day. Car parks open at 9am Friday-Sunday.

Car parks are beside the campsites, which fill up quickly, so walking distance from car to tent can vary. Driving is not permitted on the camping fields and trolleys/buggies are permitted to help move belongings.

The main arena opens at 2pm on Friday, and at 8am on Saturday and Sunday. Music will end at about 10.30pm each night, except for Saturday when it will end at about midnight to facilitate a special late-night performance from the King Kong Company.

Camping equipment and cooking
The campsite at the festival. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Barbecues and hot coals/ash must be disposed of in metal bins in the campsite cooking area. Do not dispose of hot coals/ash in plastic bins. Barbecues can only be used in the designated campsite cooking area. No gas barbecues are allowed and no barbecues can be used in the main tent camping space.

Caravans and campervans can use awnings, but be mindful not to interfere with the space of fellow campers.

There are communal charging points at the site but no electric hookups.

All camping gear, equipment and vehicles are to be cleared from the site by noon on Monday, July 1st. The festival asks visitors to leave no trace, to help protect and maintain the area.

At the Babazone campsite, there are facilities to heat up and sterilise baby bottles.

Food and drink

Festivalgoers can bring their own food, soft drinks and water, but no glass is allowed. Bring reusable and refillable water bottles for all the family – there are plenty of free drinking water points.

Organisers ask you don’t bring your own alcohol beyond your tent. Day-ticket holders cannot bring their own alcohol. Alcohol purchased at Kaleidoscope can be consumed anywhere on site. There will be searches between the campsites and main arena and any alcohol found will be confiscated and disposed of.


Kaleidoscope presented have partnered with AIB to bring AIB Tappy to the festival, offering festival families a convenient payment option across the whole festival. Everyone’s wristband will include a RDIF chip that can be topped up via your phone, on the festival website and via the QR code on the wristband, or at one of the AIB Tappy kiosks using cash or card. Festivalgoers can pay for food, drinks, merchandise, funfair rides and activities via AIB Tappy.


All Abilities Ireland are working with the festival on its accessibility programme. There are accessible campsites with plenty of room for those with all abilities and needs, wheelchair-accessible toilets in the accessible campsite and accessible showers in the shower block beside the campsite. Accessible car parking is near the campsite. The main stage and Zozimus stage both have accessible viewing platforms.

The All Abilities Sensory Tent is open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm. It’s a fun and calming space to get a break from the buzz of the festival. Throughout the day the team will offer audiovisual, tactile and messy play activities to entice all the senses. The All Abilities Sensory Tent is located in the east courtyard of Russborough House, on the way to the arena.