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

Waterford, July 27th-August 2nd, garterlane.ie; spraoi.com

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.

 

MUSIC: INDIEPENDENCE

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.

 

MUSIC: CASTLEPALOOZA

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.

 

MUSIC: BELSONIC

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.

 

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