Take a look at these remarkable festivals celebrated on the island where everyone knows how to party.

The Irish are known for their ability to make any event fun, and of course, Guinness beer. Even though Ireland is not a popular festival destination, we have several festivals that will convince you why it should be. With its enchanting greenery and delicious beer, Ireland makes more a spectacular cauldron of music and culture. Take a look at these immensely exciting, and somewhat underrated festivals that will light up Ireland this year.


1. Dublin Bowie Festival
January 9-10, 2016

Debuting in Dublin, the very first David Bowie tribute festival takes place only two days from today. The two-day event will include some incredible performances from local bands – you can check out the lineup here – as they pay homage to the Space Oddity singer with a memorabilia market – including rare record collectors, documentary screenings, and the ‘Queen Bitch Quiz’. You will also get a chance to revisit all of your favourite Bowie hits, from Heroes to Let’s Dance, as local bands commemorate his 69th birthday.


2. Shannonside Winter Music Festival
January 21-25, 2016

Perhaps one of the most humble festivals on the list, Shannonside Winter Music Festival is a soirée of musicians and music enthusiasts from Sixmilebridge and beyond. Sixmilebridge is a cozy town in County Claire, Ireland, which celebrates Shannonside Winter Festival with great enthusiasm every year. The lineup features some phenomenal blues/acoustic musicians from across the globe; you can take a look at it here. Between Thursday and Monday during which the festival takes place, almost 80 concerts, pub gigs, sessions, and shows will keep the villages of Sixmilebridge and Bunratty buzzing and bouncing with acts from far and wide, as well as the cream of local talent.


3. Temple Bar Tradfest
January 27 – 31, 2016

Temple Bar Tradfest is a music and culture festival that celebrates traditional Irish music. The festival provides a platform for both national and internationally acclaimed performing artists to showcase their authentic talents in Dublin every year. The festival was initiated to reinforce Temple Bar’s association with traditional Irish music, and now, a decade later, it’s one of the most widely-known traditional/folk festivals in the country.


4. Dublin International Film Festival
February 18-28, 2016

Dublin International Film Festival is one of the most well-known and prestigious film festivals in the country. The festival has screened some cinematic gems over the past 13 years. From bigger titles such as “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Cinderella” and “The Water Diviner” to fêted international films such as “The Tribe” (Ukraine), “Under the Skin” (Scotland) and “Force Majeure” (Sweden). The festival has also hosted over 500 major guests including Irish stars Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Day Lewis, Cillian Murphy and international names including Mark Wahlberg, Al Pacino, and Glenn Close.


5. BD Festival
April 3, 2016

BD Festival brings a bevy of incredible international artists to Ireland with every edition. Formerly known as the Barn Dance festival, BD prides itself in being a BYOB music and arts festival, with a host of interesting acts in the house, techno and electronica scene. This festival goes beyond music though, delivering a wholesome experience that includes plenty of artisan food stalls, art installations, comedy and even theatre. BD Festival takes place on Good Friday in the humble Glendalough and we recommend you visit this year.


6. Dublin City Soul Festival
23rd May – 24th May

A self-proclaimed festival of “a celebration of peace, unity and love”, Dublin City Soul Festival is one to look out for. Ireland’s best known soul festival, it was founded in 2007. Since then, the festival is one of Ireland’s most anticipated festivals, attracting over 20,000 attendees every year. Taking place over two days in various locations including Merrion Square it is a vibrant, multi-cultural and positive festival celebrating soulfulness.


7. Forbidden Fruit
29th May – 31st May

With getaway festivals being the new norm promising a weekend worth of vacation and music, Ireland’s Forbidden Fruit prides itself on putting together a successful city based festival. Forbidden Fruit, styled as a self-proclaimed modern Garden of Eden takes place on the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. It’s the kind of weather and arrangement that allows you to not go the hillbilly route as you’re most prone to do, but actually spruce up! And the fact that you can travel from the comfort of the homes is a blessing, you’ll realize.


8. Body and Soul
June 19 – June 21

A boutique festival with an endearing mystical aura, the Body and Soul festival is one of a kind in Ireland. Seeing about 10,000 attendees, it takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath. But the sheer aesthetic splendour of the festival is not the only upside of the festival; it features an eclectic lineup with great international acts. Find more about it here. It also includes stunning art installations and a midnight jacuzzi. What more could one ask for?


9. Valentia Isle Festival
10th July – 12th July

Another boutique festival in the beautiful hearth of Ireland, Valentia Isle festival is rich with culture and art at every corner. Providing attendees with an otherworldly intimacy that not many other festivals can, this festival promises to be a gathering of the peaceful, looking forward to enjoying a weekend of music. Surrounded by ocean, landscape and amazing people, faces some stunning scenery. The Sherp definitely recommends this one.


10. Castlepalooza
31st July – 2nd August

Castlepalooza, with all its medieval/fastastical attributes, takes place at the grand and fairytale-like Charleville Castle. Castlepalooza brings the rich Irish heritage to life with a great and eclectic musical lineup every year and even better vibes (I mean, what sounds better than partying in a castle?). The weather in Offaly is said to be unpredictable around the time of the festival, but nothing can dampen a raver’s spirit, sober or not.


11. Electric Picnic
September 4 – 6, 2016

Easily one of the most popular music festival’s in Ireland, Electric Picnic is everything that it is hyped up to be. Crowd-friendly, beautiful, and with impeccable lineups, this is the large-scale festival that rivals many other international ones. Last year’s lineup featured Jon Hopkins, Florence + The Machine, and many more. We can’t wait for this year’s roster to be revealed. Apart from the music, Electric Picnic has a bunch of immersive activities, including an inflatable church, a “together disco”, and a “body and soul” arena.