Dublin Festivals Guide

It's festival time! Add these popular festivals to your calendar and sign up to get notified when dates are posted and tickets go on sale for these major events in Dublin, Ireland.



Dun Laoghaire has a new summer fun festival tradition (yay!) after the hole left by the cancellation of the Festival of World Cultures which I attended shortly after moving to Dublin. I’ll quote them directly as they promise “Everything that’s good & great in the world of food, drink, tech, science, music, games, sports, arts, design & discussion.” Sounds good to me!

Bloom in the Park


Tagged as “Ireland’s largest gardening, food, and family event” (I don't think they are exaggerating like with many festivals) and sponsored by Bord Bia, the next Bloom in the Park is set for the June bank holiday weekend.



Commemorate James Joyce and his monumental novel Ulysses on the famous day of June 16th (the day depicted in the book). In Dublin, the James Joyce Centre holds events as part of the annual Bloomsday festival (named after central character Leopold Bloom).

Bram Stoker Festival (Halloween)


I can't imagine why it took to long to dedicate a Halloween festival to Dublin’s own Bram Stoker, the author of 1897 Dracula horror novel (an absolute must read!). Held around the Halloween (bank holiday) weekend, be prepared for spine-chilling theatre plus vampire hunt, horror film screenings, and site-specific events.

City Spectacular


This amazing event started in 2011 with a record turnout of visitors taking over Dublin’s Merrion Square Park. For the first few years it was called the Street Performance World Championship which I prefer over the less over-the-top “City Spectacular” name. Regardless do prepare to be wowed every summer when street performers hit the park in July. This is the not to miss event with enough wacky, dangerous, and hilarious entertainment on schedule to keep you and the family busy all day.

Culture Night


While we await a new website, refer to the VisitDublin.com website to find out about the annual Culture Night, happening across the entire country of Ireland. Similar to Dublin Open House, it is an amazing opportunity to enter the commercial, cultural, and historic treasures in your city.

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival


This spectacular seafood festival is not in Dublin but in Howth which is only a short DART train ride away from Dublin city centre. It is certainly the most popular festival on the Howth calendar with food fairs, hill walks, and cooking demos planned for around town. If you like eating prawns cooked every way imaginable, arrive early!

Dublin Book Festival


Going strong since 2005, I would have missed this festival had it not been for the newsletter for the Dublin Writers Festival, so it always pays to subscribe . The main venue is the welcoming Smock Alley Theatre in Template Bar. Other venues from last year include The Gutter Bookshop, RDS Library, an National Gallery of Ireland.

Dublin Dance Festival


Do you love dance? This festival celebrates the world of contemporary dance with a full program of top-notch performances. Support dance in Ireland by joining their email mailing list today. They will even send you their printed event guide if you prefer the old fashioned method.

Dublin Fashion Festival


Dublintown.ie brings you this shopping and fashion extravaganza spanning over 250 retailers, restaurants, bars, and hotels including the well-known department stores and shopping centres in Dublin. Meet designers, watch a live fashion show (including an on-street catwalk), and even get to dress up in your best fashion as part of the event.

Dublin Festival of History


I love learning about history, so I'm glad that the Dublin Festival of History is still going strong in September and October each year. They hold numerous fascinating talks with authors and experts of Irish as well as world history. Last time I attended a panel discussion with famous historical fiction writers. All the events are happening next to Dublin Castle at the Printworks building auditorium.

Dublin Fringe Festival


Fringe festivals are among my very favorites, and the Dublin Fringe Festival stands out among the best (OK not remotely as massive as Edinburgh but who’s counting?). Two weeks of programming offer a wide variety of theatre, comedy, music, dance, spectacle, and more (there is always “more”).

Dublin Horse Show


At the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) grounds and expo center in Ballsbridge, this is a very popular event for horse lovers (and if you just like them) with loads to see, shop, and do. For those of you that are curious but not familiar with equestrian sports, I recommend you go for an afternoon to partake in the experience. Where else can you watch an international show jumping championship while competing for the best dressed on “Ladies’ Day”?

Dublin International Film Festival


The highlight of the film festival scene in Dublin has been sponsored by Jameson for the past several years. Their official ticket office located at Filmbase in Temple Bar. The opening red carpet premiere is always worth buying tickets for (celebrity guests are often in attendance) screening at cinema #1 at the Savoy.

Dublin LGBTQ Pride Festival


Dublin Pride is a festival celebrating the rich diversity of the LGBTQ community and has grown from a one-day event into a 10-day extravaganza. As you can guess, Pride Parade Day is the the highlight with tens of thousands marching the route alongside colourful floats, rainbow flags, and smiling faces. Many Dublin businesses sponsor their own floats with employee volunteers parading alongside in style. At the end of the parade route is Pride Village with speakers and performers hitting the stage.

Dublin Theatre Festival


One of my favorite annual events, the Theatre Festival stages dozens of wonderful plays in numerous performance spaces around Dublin. The long-running celebration of Irish and international theatre goes from September 24 to October 11, 2015. So you have plenty of opportunities to experience drama, comedy, and everything in between on stage at the Abbey Theatre, Project Arts Centre, Smock Alley, and The Ark.

Festival of Curiosity


Dublin’s annual festival of science and culture evolved out of Dublin being chosen as the “City of Science” in 2012. Be inspired and wowed by science (yes, science!) with a huge variety of talks, music, cultural, and children’s events in July.

Five Lamps Arts Festival


Have you seen the five-headed lamp post situated at the junction of Portland Row, North Strand Road, Seville Place, Amiens Street and Killarney Street (next to Marino College of Further Education) in Dublin’s north inner-city? It was the inspiration for a community festival called, what else, … The Five Lamps Arts Festival. This annual arts and cultural event ticks all the boxes with a full programme of music, arts, theatre, and children’s productions over the winter.

Forbidden Fruit Festival


With a wonderful setting on the lush grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), enjoy the June bank holiday weekend with a mix of music, art, comedy, and fashion. Visit their site to get updates on their full lineup of performers and artists.

International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival


Sporting a creative logo picturing Oscar Wilde, this annual event celebrates the contribution of gay people to theatre past, present, and certain future. Staging performances in a number of Dublin venues, this theatre festival is packed with entertaining, thought-provoking, musicals, and provocative productions.

International Festival of Literature Dublin


Formerly called the Dublin Writers Festival, Ireland’s premier literary event brings your favourite authors to the city for insightful talks, debates, workshops, and of course signings. Every book category is covered including fiction, non-fiction, and children’s fiction, in addition to readings by poets, lyricists, and playwrights.



Ireland has a number of superb summer-time music festivals that are held outdoors, rain or shine. Dublin 16 is lucky to play host to Longitude, taking place over a July weekend in Marlay Park.

New Year’s in Dublin Festival


When I first moved here there was nothing much happening in Dublin to ring in the New Year which I found surprising. That has most definitely changed over the past few years, with each New Year’s celebration in Dublin getting bigger and better. Dublin is the perfect place to spend New Year’s Eve in Europe due to the moderate climate (snow is very very unlikely), superb pub scene (not just in touristy but fun Temple Bar), and friendly local and tourist atmosphere (everyone will be having a good time).

Open House Dublin


The Irish Architecture Foundation offers a rare opportunity to enter dozens of stunning commercial buildings, houses, and cultural spaces in every corner of the city. Held in October every year, it allows you to step inside and learn about the architecture and history of Dublin’s great buildings.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival


A signature event and monumental tradition not just here in Dublin but all over Ireland and around the world. Chance are there is a parade happening where ever you happen to call home. In Dublin the parade brings everyone out to the street in addition to loads of tourists as you might expect. The one lesson I've learned from living here is if you want to SEE the parade, you have to arrive very early and stake out a prime spot along the route. Otherwise it is difficult to fully enjoy the colourful floats, bands, and performers marching on by given the thick crowd.

Taste of Dublin


A highlight of the food festival calendar, the Taste of Dublin is a wonderful opportunity to sample foods from some of the top chefs in Ireland. The spaces of Iveagh Gardens is a most perfect place to stroll, watch a live cooking demonstration, and shop for Irish gourmet food products.

Temple Bar TradFest


The biggest festival celebrating traditional Irish music in Dublin, the TradFest is an excellent reason to visit in the otherwise cold, dark month of January. The music runs over 5 days and nights in numerous cozy venues in Temple Bar plus iconic buildings such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin City Hall, and St. Michan’s Church. The festival has grown in recent years to include a mix of traditional music, attracting talent from from across Europe and the USA too.

Vodafone Comedy Festival


This big tent of comedy happens each year in lovely grounds of the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin. As official host/sponsor, Vodafone are out there promoting the latest comedy and music events on their Twitter account Vodafone Stage. Without a newsletter though, I always forget about this massive comedy festival until the very last minute.