The arts are an integral part of the Irish culture. It can be felt in the very air you breathe, in the music drifting from old pubs and the creative street art. Many famous poets, authors, musicians, actors and painters hail from this cultural hub. One can experience the arts in many ways, but to get a powerful dose in a short time frame, art festivals are a must. There are many of these hosted around the country throughout the year. Here are just three of the bigger ones.
Galway International Arts Festival
The festival that helped put Galway on the map and made it the cultural magnet it is today. It began almost 40 years ago and has been hosted yearly since. The festival invites international art as well as Irish in a huge cultural and artistic exchange. Running for a fortnight in July, the festival offers live music, visual art, comedy, theatre and spectacle. The biggest arts festival in Ireland, and one of the best in the world!
Carlow Arts Festival
Enveloping the entire town in arts and culture for a week in June, the Carlow festival celebrates music, theatre and dance among other forms. Another festival that has been thriving for many years, there’s a diverse range of artistic experiences, and something for everyone to enjoy.
Kilkenny Arts Festival
The medieval city creates a magical atmosphere during the ten day festival in August. Initially focusing on classical music, this is still at the heart of the festival. However there is so much more going on, including poetry, literature, modern and folk music, displays of artwork and theatre. Set amidst the ancient castles, churches and gardens this is a truly wonderful festival to visit.
In support of Palestine, this lively, cultural festival promotes awareness through the arts. Running for eight days in July, you can expect great music, theatre, spoken word, film, literature and visual art. It’s only in its second year, but this Dublin based festival looks set to become an annual feature.