The Ticket festival guide: August
The Ticket selects the best out-and-about events of the summer, from music and arts to kids’ stuff and family outings, from summer camps and summer schools to freebies and food events
FAMILY: SCARECROW FESTIVAL
Durrow, Co Laois, July 26th-August 3rd, durrowscarecrowfestival.com
The small Co Laois town of Durrow has made a name for itself by hosting the All-Ireland Scarecrow Championships at the heart of a family festival that includes a Teen Zone, duck derby, a “woof and wellie” walk and wrestling.
ARTS: YEATS SUMMER SCHOOL AND TREAD SOFTLY: YEATS FESTIVAL
The Yeats Society of Ireland, Sligo, July 26th -August 7th, yeatssociety.com
Always a highlight of the summer, the 2015 Yeats Summer School offers a special 150th anniversary programme of lectures and workshops, while Tread Softly widens the focus to embrace music, theatre, spoken word, visual arts and more.
ARTS: JOHN HEWITT SUMMER SCHOOL
Armagh, July 27th -31st, johnhewittsociety.org
The historic market town of Armagh is the bijou setting for this little gem of a festival. With poetry from Bernard O’Donoghue and Iggy McGovern, lunchtime readings from Christine Dwyer Hickey and Ian Sansom and music events including the gathering of “Holy Ghosts, some Horslips and special guests Paul Brady and Paul Muldoon”. The cathedrals will be rocking.
FAMILY: SPRÓG AND SPRAOI
Fun with a science twist is promised at SprÓg, presented by Waterford’s Garter Lane Arts Centre ahead of the city’s three-day Spraoi festival. Then it’s a weekend carnival of street theatre and music, culminating in the festival parade at 9.30pm on Sunday.
Mitchelstown, Co Cork, July 31st-Aug 2nd, indiependencefestival.com
The well-established Co Cork fest draws a strong crowd thanks to a fairly foolproof policy of booking decent local and international names. This year’s big names include Basement Jaxx, Kodaline, HamsandwicH, Jape, Admiral Fallow, Ash, Daithi, R.S.A.G, The Dandy Warhols and Embrace.
Tullamore, Co Offaly, July 31st-Aug 2nd, castlepalooza.com
The reason why folks keep coming back to Charleville Castle is probably because they had a great time 12 months previously. This year’s festival has Fight Like Apes, Jape, Hercules & Love Affair, Hare Squead, Not Squares, Late Nite Tuff Guy and Of Montreal lined up to provide musical punch and pizzazz.
FAMILY: MUFF FESTIVAL
Muff, Inishowen, Co Donegal, July 31st-Aug 3rd mufffestival.com
From a bake-off and bonny babies to a talent competition and teddy bears’ picnic, all family life is here in this four-day community festival with a reputation for quirky fun.
MUSIC: THE BEATYARD
Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Aug 1st-2nd, the-beatyard.com
Two days of fun and hi-jinks by the seaside. Musical high fives come from Sister Sledge, Four Tet, Neneh Cherry, Barrington Levy, Horse Meat Disco, Madlib and others, while there’s also the impressive Eatyard with food and drink merchants, a games yard and Dublin’s first sneakers fair.
FAMILY: NATIONAL STEAM RALLY
Stradbally, Co Laois, August 2nd-3rd, irishsteam.ie
The hiss and hum of steam-powered machinery will fill the air to bring you back in time at the Stradbally Hall estate. There are woodland steam-train rides, demonstrations and trade stands, with on-site camping.
MUSIC: FEAKLE FESTIVAL
Feakle, Co Clare, Aug 5th-10th, feaklefestival.ie
The east-Clare parish has been pulling in crowds for this event for the past 28 years. Those lighting up the sky include local notable Martin Hayes with Dennis Cahill, Peter Carberry and Padraig McGovern, The Jeremiahs, Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra, Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, Seamus Begley and Oisin Mac Diarmada.
ARTS: KILKENNY ARTS FESTIVAL
Kilkenny, August 7th-16th, kilkennyarts.ie
What can they do to follow last year’s breathtaking Beethoven? Bounteous Bach, is the answer, with Eternal Harmony -–18 concerts over 10 days featuring the master’s music from such internationally renowned names as Les Arts Florissants and William Christie, plus an ancillary programme of talks and lectures. A series of the Bard’s history plays performed in the Castle Yard, courtesy of DruidShakespeare, will also be music to the ears of theatre fans.
MUSIC: FLEADH CHEOIL
Sligo, August 9th-16th, fleadhcheoil.ie
The Fleadh bills itself as “the biggest traditional Irish music festival on the planet”. Quite a boast but there’s much veracity to that claim given the crowds which will throng to Sligo for the duration. Events include a tribute to Gerry O’Beirne, The Harper’s Wake and performances from a galaxy of stars including Danú, Cathy Jordan, Buttons & Bows and more.
Belfast, August 15th-26th, belsonic.com
The festival for those who want their live music kicks without mud and with their bed at the end of the night. This year’s line-up has Rudimental (August 15th), Paloma Faith (20th), Stereophonics (21st), Above & Beyond (22nd), Bastille (25th) and All Time Low (26th).
MUSIC: MASTERS OF TRADITION
Bantry, Co Cork, August 19th-23rd, westcorkmusic.ie
With that busy master fiddler Martin Hayes as artistic director, this event always attracts serious players right across the trad spectrum. Musicians for this year’s event yet to be announced at the time of writing, but expect names of a serious calibre.
MUSIC: ANOTHER LOVE STORY
Killyon Manor, Co Meath, August 21st-23rd, anotherlovestory.ie
Well-regarded events crews Happenings and Homebeat join forces for a weekend of music, discussion, film and food in a snazzy gaff in Co Meath. The music part of the equation will be supplied by Come On Live Long, Loah, Valerie Francis, Tandem Felix, Paddy Hanna, Buffalo Woman and a rake of DJs.
FAMILY: LIMERICK SHOW FAMILY FESTIVAL
Limerick Racecourse, August 22nd-23rd, limerickshow.com
The county’s biggest family event of the year, it’s a traditional agricultural show that has evolved with the times. Apart from the ponies, horses, dogs, cattle, goats and poultry competing for honours, there’s a dedicated kids’ zone and arts and crafts.
FAMILY: NATIONAL HERITAGE WEEK
All 32 counties, August 22nd-30th, heritageweek.ie
In the last hurrah before the children go back to school, there are free events all over the country to entertain and intrigue in celebration of both our natural and built heritage.
MUSIC: TENNENT’S VITAL
Belfast, August 29th-30th, tennentsvital.com
Belfast’s big blowout for their last bank holiday weekend of the summer. Sponsored by a brewery who can afford the fees for The Script, Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding, John Newman, Kodaline, Clean Bandit and many more.