Festivals creep up on us every year and they cost a lot of money, so you’ll need planning time. We’ve gone ahead and done the leg work for you. Regrettably, the system of holding most of the headline acts until a couple of weeks before the festival has caught on so we’re working with the information available. You’ll find up-to-date information on line up announcements here as well as other news & updates here.
Firstly, have a look through the most recent Festival Award winners. Knockanstockan ran away with it.
Best Large Festival: Electric Picnic
Best Medium Festival: Rory Gallagher Tribute Festival
Best Small Festival: Knockanstockan
Greenest Festival: Electric Picnic
Best One Day Festival: Arthur’s Day
Best New Festival: Camden Crawl
Best Dance Festival: Life
Best Traditional Festival: Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann
Best Value: Street Performance World Championships
Best Street Spirit: St Patricks Festival Dublin
Best Lineup: Knockanstockan
Family Festival Award: Knockanstockan
Social Responsibility Award: Knockanstockan
Best Service: Vantastival
Best Toilets: *All I want is a proper loo!
The Big Ones:
Slane – Slane Castle, Co. Meath. Slane Castle has hosted some of the most iconic acts over the past 20 (ish) years. This year they host Bon Jovi (playing 15 June) and Eminem (playing 17 August).
Galway Arts Festival – Galway City. 15 – 28 July 2013. Galway city has very limited accommodation during the festival so book early. Headline musical acts are Grizzly Bear, Imelda May, Josh Ritter and Glen Hansard,
Electric Picnic – Late August – Early September. The Irish Times reported on the various speculations surrounding this years festival; the change in command and the question of whether the festival is even going ahead in 2013. Questions are mounting and with no headline acts announced yet and reported combined losses of €2m over the past 2 years, things are looking hazy for the future of EP.
Oxegen – Punchestown, Co. Kildare. Early July. No news from Oxegen since they used their break in 2012 to compare themselves to Glastonbury. *Update (23-04-13): Oxegen have announced the full line up today including David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Example, Chase & Status, Alesso, Snoop Dogg, Labrinth, Rita Ora, Pitbull, Dj Fresh, Soulwax, Nero, Rizzle Kicks, Nicky Romero, Sasha, Wretch 32, Devlin, Otto Knows, Iggy Izalea, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, The Original Rudeboys, Duke Dumont.
The not so big ones:
Vantastival – Bellurgan Park, Co. Louth. 03 – 05 May 2013. Vantastival don’t have the budget to advertise like the bigger festivals. They’re thriving because those involved wanted to enjoy a chaos free, low fi festival and as it turns out, so do lots of people. They won “Best Service” at the Festival Awards. Line up: Damien Dempsey, Altan, Tupelo , Mark Geary , Daithi O Dronai, The Barley Mob, Elaine Mai, Nanu Nanu, Niwel Tsumbu, Sounds Of System Breakdown.
Sea Sessions – Bundoran, Co. Donegal. 21 – 23 June. There’s more than the music at Sea Sessions, surf & beach activities are aplenty. Headline acts are Xavier Rudd, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Bastille. More line up information available here.
Knockanstockan – Blessington Lakes, Co. Wicklow. 26 – 28 July 2013. Another gem on the festival calendar. Knockanstockan is an independent festival run by volunteers, volunteers who love Irish music and arts and who want to “strike a blow against a profiteering music”. Line up includes Arrow In The Sky, Hassle Merchants, Niwel Tsumbu, Raglans, Stephen Young & The Union, The Hot Sprockets and tonnes more talent.
Castlepalooza – Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. 02 – 04 August 2013. Line up TBA.
Indiependence – Deer Farm, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. 02 – 04 August 2013. Indiependence is a bit of an underdog festival. It’s small and as such easier to handle, from all perspectives. Only weekend tickets are available but they’re reasonably priced. De La Soul, Bastille and The Fratellis are headlining, others include Kodaline, ASIWYFA, Beardyman, Le Galaxie, Bosnian Rainbows, Mmoths, Paddy Casey and We Cut Corners. More line up information available here.
No camping festivals:
Camden Crawl – 15 Dublin city venues. 03 – 05 May 2013. Camden Crawl has a great vibe to it, some of the acts did impromptu gigs in different venues last year, just because they were in the neighbourhood. Line up will include music, comedy and fringe events. Musically you can expect Wallis Bird, The Cast of Cheers, Adrian Crowley, Delorentos, Damien Dempsey, Julie Feeney, Heathers, Mumblin Deaf Ro, Two Door Cinema Club, Windings, Fight Like Apes, Squarehead and more.
Kilkenny Roots – Kilkenny. 03 – 06 May 2013. Plenty of opportunity to discover some great roots and blues music. Music from Phosphorescent, John Grant, Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express, The Deep Dark Woods, Hurray For The Riff Raff, John Murry, Angel Olsen, Larry & His Flask, Ha Ha Tonka, Dead Flamingoes, The Lost Brothers, Mama Rosin and Ed Romanoff.
Forbidden Fruit – IMMA, Kilmainham, Dublin. 01 – 02 June 2013. A hopeful start to Forbidden Fruit gave way to some hiccups last year, we’re confident they’ll pull themselves into check though. Line up: Kasabian, Crystal Castles, James Blake, Neon Neon, Primal Scream, Chic, Four Tet (live), Everything Everything, Woodkid & more.
Westport Festival – Westport House, Co. Mayo. 29 – 30 June. If you’re around this part of the country, you should swing over to Achill Island, have a pint in Lynotts. Line up: Elvis Costello, Imelda May, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, The Stunning, Ryan Sheridan, Blind Boys Of Alabama, ABC, The Riptide Movement, Gavin James, LAPD feat Liam O’Flynn.Donal Lunny.Andy Irvine.Paddy Glackin, Sharon Corr, Cry Before Dawn, Hermitage Green, In Their Thousands, Julie Feeney, Damien Dempsey and hints at the recently formed Grand Parade.
Groove – Kilruddery Estate, Wicklow. Seems like it’ll be an friendly size. Line up: Imelda May, James Morrisson, Soul II Soul Sound System, Damien Dempsey, Foy Vance, Gavin James, The Original Rudeboys, Solar Taxi.
Longitude – Marlay Park, Dublin. 19-21 July 2013. MCD’s latest prodigy. There’s no camping, so that’s something. Line up: Kraftwerk, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Foals, Hot Chip, Kodaline, Cast of Cheers and more.
A short flight (and guaranteed sunshine, probably):
Spain – FIB (Benicassim), 18 – 21 July. Oxegen when it was Witness mixed with Electric Picnic before they critically rethought their portaloo layout, with sunshine. Most bands on the festival circuit will be playing this one. Line up: Killers, Queens of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkey, Woodkid and loads more.
Iceland – Airwaves, 30 Oct – 03 Nov. Not quite summer festival, but Airwaves will probably (definitely) have better weather than most of our summer offerings. Line up: Kraftwerk, Gold Panda, Young Dreams. Read our review from 2011.
Serbia – Exit Festival, 10 – 14 July. Word on the street chalks this up as a summer must. Line up: Snoop Dogg, Bloc Party, Atoms of Peace and loads more.
Belgium – Rock Werchter, 04 – 07 July. Belgium’s Witness, back when it was in Fairyhouse and it’s was the 90s. Line up is really good this year (take note, Oxegen). Acts include Blur, Depeche Mode, Sigor Rós, Green Day, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Lianne La Havas.
Not really a festival, more a series of outdoor gigs:
Live at The Marquee – The Marquee, Cork. 12 June – 06 July. It is exactly that, a massive marquee in Cork. Always a good spot, but bring your wellies. Jun 12: Olly Murs. Jun 16: The Wanted, Jun 23: Elton John. Jun 26: Elvis Costello & the Imposters. Jun 27: ZZ Top. Jun 28: The National. Jun 29: The Coronas. Jul 01: Sting. Jul 05: Boomtown Rats. Jul 06: Christy Moore. [Ticket info]
Iveagh Gardens – Iveagh, Gardens, Dublin 12 – 21 July. Taking full advantage of the mystical location, Iveagh Gardens describe themselves as intimate shows and they kind of are. 12 July: Tallest Man on Earth , 13 July: Bell X1 , 14 July: Damien Dempsey , 18 July: Grizzly Bear , 19 July: Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band , 20 July: Beach House , 21 July: Glen Hansard. [Ticket info]. *Update (18-04-13) 11 July: Imelda May