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Image / Living / Culture

5 outdoor events to get you excited about another summer in Ireland


by Sarah Finnan
04th May 2021

Already five months into 2021, summer is just around the corner and we’re looking ahead to all the outdoor events we can’t wait to enjoy with friends, family and loved ones.

Most of the big plans we had in store for the past few months were scuppered by strict public health restrictions, but things are finally starting to look up and the promise of a more “normal” summer has us filling our calendars with different outdoor events we want to hit up this year. 

Understandably, organisers are hesitant to speak too far in advance, but they’re still working quietly behind the scenes in the hopes that we’ll all be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour very soon. From small live music performances to craft beer tastings and seafood cook along, here’s a taste of what we’re looking forward to this year.

Please note that all of these events are provisional and are liable to change in keeping with Covid-19 restrictions. 

Galway International Arts Festival, Co Galway

One of the most highly anticipated events of the Galway social calendar, the Galway International Arts Festival is scheduled to kick off on August 28 this year (all Heineken Big Top concerts have been pushed out until July 2022). Now in its 44th year, the festival showcases the best of homegrown and international talent, bringing the music, comedy, visual arts, dance and literary worlds together for one whopper roundup of events. Previously listed as one of The Guardian’s top five summer festivals in Europe, its reputation precedes it and we can’t wait to drink in the famous Galway atmosphere again on our summer staycation this year. You can keep up to date with all upcoming events over on the GIAF website, with a more detailed line-up expected in June.

At The Manor, Palmerstown House Estate, Co Kildare

A celebration of the return of live gigs and culture to outdoor spaces, At The Manor is a new series of events set to launch at the Palmerstown House Estate in Co Kildare. Combining music and food, things will kick off with Picnic at the Manor over the August bank holiday weekend. Headed up by Irish chef Derry Clarke, of Dublin restaurant L’Ecrivain fame, all guests will have a socially distanced pod suitable for four to six people and each with a view of the main stage. From there you can enjoy music from a range of different bands including 90s cover band Smash Hits and Celtic rock band Na Fianna amongst others. Tickets are on sale now and can be gotten here

Waterford Walls Project, Co Waterford

A street art festival down in the Déise, the Waterford Walls Project celebrates its seventh year this summer. Offering a range of different fun activities – including art tours, educational programmes and more –, their outdoor art tours are always a highlight. Transforming the city into Ireland’s largest open-air gallery, the festival encourages artists to connect through creative expression and the resulting murals are definitely worth checking out with a coffee and pastry in hand. Kicking off on August 13, pre-booking for the tours hasn’t opened just yet but updates and artist details to follow soon.  

Wildroots Festival, Co Sligo

Another one forecast for August this year, the countdown to the Wildroots Festival is officially underway – it’s 102 days away at the time of writing, so get excited! Deeply rooted in community, the festival acts as a launching pad for local artists, musicians and businesses. As much about the activities as it is the music, there will be plenty of outdoor entertainment to get stuck into with options ranging from hiking tours to aerial yoga, rock climbing, kayaking and even a pop-up theatre to enjoy. Kaiser Chiefs, Damien Dempsey, James Morrison and Tolü Makay all join the line-up and yes, a limited number of tickets are still available. Get yours here

Dalkey Lobster Festival, Co Dublin

Famous amongst Dubliners, the Dalkey Lobster Festival usually draws a crowd from further afield too. A favourite with foodies in particular, as the name suggests, there’s a firm focus on fresh local produce – so it’s the perfect place to sample the catch of the day. The perfect fusion of food, top musical acts and great entertainment, the festival is known for being a weekend of good wholesome fun and you’ll leave with smiling faces and very happy bellies. Last year’s festival was postponed amid ongoing public health concerns but we’re holding out hope that the event makes its long-awaited return this August. Worth the trip out even if seafood isn’t your thing. Fresh sea air and views for days.

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