The Ticket festival guide: July

The Ticket selects the best out-and-about events of the summer, from music and arts to freebies and food events. Here is everything you need to plan a summer of fun.

MUSIC: AC/DC

If AC/DC is not on your live music wishlist, you’re obviously doing things wrong. The band’s best days may be behind them, but they give every other heritage act a run for their money with explosive hits, killer riffs, brilliant dumb tunes and the best knobbly knees in the game. Dublin 4, prepare for a whole lotta Rosie.

MUSIC: MAKE A MOVE FESTIVAL

Limerick’s community arts festival focuses this year on artists who live in and are from the city who will be releasing new work in the coming months. These include writer Kevin Barry, Rusangano Family, Deviant & Naïve Ted, Hsuan Records’ boss Graeme S and local crew Same D4ence, plus dance events, street art projects and workshops.

MUSIC: LIVE AT THE IVEAGH GARDENS

One of the most beautiful open-air spaces in the capital gets swinging with Paloma Faith (July 2nd), The Frames (marking 25 years on the go on July 4th and 5th), Chic (Nile Rodgers and family reign supreme on July 9th), St Vincent (July 10th) and Damien Rice (July 12th). See centre pages for more.

MUSIC: TRAIDPHICNIC

It’s great to see more and more folks copping on to the appeal of this smattering of trad music, arts and culture out west. Acts playing include The Hernon Family & Friends, Ré, The Bonny Men, Fís, Rianú and many more. Punters decide on the ticket price, as all shows are donate-what- you-can.

ARTS: CLONMEL JUNCTION FESTIVAL

Arts activity and family fun on the River Suir, with a new experiential show from the Australian theatre group One Step at A Time Like This and the travel writer Dervla Murphy in conversation. On the final night Fire Storm, a mix of theatre, circus, dance and pyrotechnics, will “transform the darkness into a glowing inferno”.

MUSIC: DAYTRIPPER

A two-day, 2,000-capacity bash in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle, Daytripper is pretty damn good at bringing together new and old acts. This year’s bill of fare includes UB40, Soul II Soul, The Darkness, Maverick Sabre, The Riptide Movement, Smash Hits and others.

MUSIC: HOLLOW SOUNDS

It’s always surprising that the lush Ballykeeffe amphitheatre is not used for more open-air shows over the summer. Hollow Sounds changes all that with live sets from Jape, Slow Skies, I Have A Tribe, Sails and others on July 4th and a screening of The Goonies the previous night.

MUSIC: MARLAY PARK

There was some grumbling from local residents after the number of shows in the park last summer, which may explain why use is curtailed this year. The standalone shows feature Swedish rave supremo Avicii on July 3rd and croaky Scottish soul-pop kingpin Paolo Nutini the following night.

ARTS: LOUGHCREW OPERA

Want to do the “opera in the open” thing, but afraid your outfit will be destroyed by an Irish downpour? Try this. The Puccini Scandal in the elegant reception rooms at Loughcrew House. Guests can stage their own interval picnic in the gardens, or sign up for supper in the marquee. Bring your own candelabra, it says. Seriously.

MUSIC: WILLIE CLANCY SUMMER SCHOOL

The annual festival honouring the piper takes flight with a blast of concerts, sessions, workshops, lectures and masterclasses. Highlights from the cast of hundreds at large during Willie Week include Tommy Peoples, Ben Lennon, Connie O’Connell, Tony Linnane, Laoise Kelly, Kathleen Loughnane, Nell Ní Chróinín, Josie Sheáin Jeaic MacDonncha, Mairtín Tom Sheáinín MacDonncha and Cathal Lynch.

MUSIC: GROOVE FESTIVAL

The Garden County festival returns for its third spin with Christy Moore, Delorentos, The Darkness, Kila, Wallis Bird, the excellent Wyvern Lingo and the Cujo Family on the bill. Those seeking more experiential thrills can check out the archery, water zorbing, climbing wall and, for would-be Jeremy Clarksons, a driving simulator.

FAMILY: FÉILE NA MARA

A new-look, family-focused Achill Island Festival of the Sea has at least two events every day, and sometimes up to seven, from guided beach walks and bird-watching to markets and garden fetes.

ARTS: CONAMARA SUMMER SCHOOL

A week-long environmental exploration of the magical island of Inishbofin in the company of botanists, musicians, poets and scientists, this is the most organic summer school in Ireland.

ARTS: PERCY FRENCH FESTIVAL

Castlecoote Houseis the venue for a three-day tribute to the songwriter and painter, which has just officially been labelled one of the finest in Europe by EFFE (aka Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe). With talks by Robert Ballagh, Peter McVerry, and William Reville .

FAMILY: LAYA HEALTHCARE CITY SPECTACULAR

Families won’t just be onlookers as street performers from about the world strut their stuff in Dublin the first weekend and Cork the next, there are games, yoga, dance and fitness sessions to get you moving.

MUSIC: VALENTIA ISLE FESTIVAL

Head to one of the most westerly points in Europe for a chilled island festival experience. The big draws are DJ sets from Massive Attack’s Daddy G, Norman Jay, The Specials’ Jerry Dammers and Don Letts, as well as live shows from Young Wonder, Natty Wailer, The Hot Sprockets, The Dirty Dubsters and many more.

ARTS: EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL

It’s bilingual, it’s multidisciplinary and it’s suffused by the Wild Atlantic Way. Music from Altan, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mundy and a host of others. There is also puppetry, Tory Island painters, storytelling, readings from writers Kevin Barry, Belinda McKeon and Gavin Corbett, guided walks, masterclasses with Declan Gorman and Nuala Ni Choncuir – and that’s not even the half of it.

FAMILY: GOWRAN FESTIVAL OF SPEED

You’ll hear it before you see it . . . Formula 1 car demonstrations, along with celebrity rally-driver displays and the original Wall of Death show are some of the highlights promised for this brand new festival.

ARTS: WEST CORK LITERARY FESTIVAL

Bantry becomes a book-lover’s paradise as everyone who’s anyone on the contemporary Irish literary scene – Paul Murray, Christine Dwyer Hickey, John Boyne, Colin Barrett and Sara Baume, to name just a few – assembles for a week-long feast of readings, workshops and seminars. Add in SJ (Before I Go To Sleep) Watson, Rachel Cusk and a local resident by the name of Graham Norton, and you have a bit of a page-turner on your hands.

ARTS: GALWAY INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL

The big top goes up once again in Fisheries Field to house such musical acts as St Vincent (with Little Green Cars, July 14th), Damien Rice (July 16th), Kodaline (July 17th and 18th), Sinead O’Connor (with John Grant, July 23rd) and The Coronas (July 25th). Elsewhere, the city will be buzzing in July with new plays by Frank McGuinness and Amy Conroy; a theatre installation by Enda Walsh; Beckett’s Lessness with Olwen Fouéré; talks, trad and street theatre. A vibrant visual arts strand will include Patricia Piccinini’s 100-foot-long Sky Whale appearing in the skies over the City of Tribes. For families, check out The Man on the Moon and The Giant Divas (July 17th-18th), and the stilt-walking acrobatics of The Sky Conquest (July 22nd-23rd).

FAMILY: COLOUR!

The summer programme at The Ark, the children’s cultural centre, delves into the world of hues, pigments and paints with a great variety of workshops pitched at different age groups and some free, outdoor events.

MUSIC: COWBOYS & HEROES

Where the country music and Americana fans go. The big draws are Nathan Carter, Jimmy Buckley, Mike Denver, Lisa McHugh Lee Matthews and tons of others singing about lonesome cowboys, cheating sherrifs and copious amounts of driving around cutting silage. Plus, there’s an American car show, horse demos and line dancing.

MUSIC: LONGITUDE

Another festival marking three years on the go, Longitude is a winner thanks to a solid booking policy which ensures both established heavyweights such as Hozier, Alt-J, Caribou, Chemical Brothers and James Blake and such recommended newbies as Ibeyi, Leon Bridges, Slaves and Girl Band. The original plans to be “more than a music festival” seem to have been shelved.

FAMILY: BRAY AIR DISPLAY

Aerial antics from the Swiss Air Force Team, among others, will leave spectators gaping at Bray Summerfest’s flagship event, which takes off at 2pm. Use public transport for this one, or take up a vantage point on Killiney Hill or Greystones.

ARTS: MacGILL SUMMER SCHOOL

They’re already gearing up for next year’s general election in Glenties, Co Donegal, so if you want to go politician-watching over the summer, this is the habitat for you. Among those sporting their glossiest political plumage will be Joan Burton, Mary Lou McDonald, Alan Dukes, Micheál Martin, Pearse Doherty, Frances Fitzgerald and Leo Varadkar.

MUSIC: SLIGO JAZZ PROJECT

Sligo Jazz turns 10 with a cracking line-up of maestros, virtuosos and top players. These include highly regarded bass player Chuck Rainey, Tunisian oud kingpin Dhafer Youssef, sax legend Ernie Watts, Liane Carroll, supergroup The Impossible Gentlemen and the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra. Expect performances, masterclasses and workshops all week.

FAMILY: FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY

No child can ask too many questions at this fusion of science, art and technology, which has treasure trails, Lego-building, rocket launches, shows and workshops as part of the daytime family programme across 12 venues.

COMEDY: VODAFONE COMEDY FESTIVAL

For sheer feelgood factor, it’s hard to beat this gathering of stellar stand-up comedians in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens: Tommy Tiernan, David O’Doherty, Jason Byrne, Deirdre O’Kane, Reginald D Hunter, Nick Kroll, John Malaney, Michelle Wolf, and Adam Hills – among many others – as well as street musicians and gourmet food.

MUSIC: ED SHEERAN

More popular than Henry Shefflin, Bernard Brogan and Davy Fitz put together, Ed Sheeran packs ‘em in at Croker for two sold-out nights. It has been one hell of a ride for the likeable lad with gazillions of tickets, albums and T-shirts sold in the last few years. He could have probably done a G**** B****** with five shows, but let’s not go there.

MUSIC: KNOCKANSTOCKAN

Another winner for Wicklow in the shape of this festival by the Blessington lakes which is now in its ninth year. As always, you’ll get more than 100 acts including such irish favourites as Rusangano Family, Loah, Rebecca Collins, Gavin Glass, Bitch Falcon, Sinead White, Twin Headed Wolf, Pockets and Interskalactic.

MUSIC: FOLKFEST KILLARNEY

Two supergroups catch the eye at this bash down in the Kingdom. There’s the group put together by Liam O’Flynn with Mícheál Ó Súilleabhain, Paddy Glackin and Neil Martin – and then there’s the Gloaming pairing of Martin Hayes and Iala O’Lionaird with Steve Cooney. Add in Moving Hearts, Kila, Begley & Cooney, Lynched, Sharon Shannon, Julie Fowlis, Luka Bloom, Moxie and Danu and a great folkin’ weekend is in store.

FAMILY: SCARECROW FESTIVAL

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

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

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.

MUSIC: INDIEPENDENCE

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

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

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.

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