GREAT TO SEE so many festivals and summer schools lined up for Summer 2022, after a hiatus of two years with the COVID pandemic. Organisers are taking calculated risks that all will be well, and I hope that comes to fruition.
Particularly good to see the the Comhaltas Fleadh events are mostly back, giving opportunities for local musicians, dancers and singers to perform and compete.
You can find your way around all 42 festivals and summer schools listed here by either using the interactive map below OR by scrolling the date listing below.
THERE’S NO BETTER PLACE in the world than Ireland in the summer, especially when the weather obliges. But whether the sun shines or not, I guarantee that the music, song, dance and craic will lift your spirit to the very best Ireland has to offer.
This year, I have included MAY in the summer listing, because there are too many gems not to be missed, including all the countyfleadhanna that begin towards the end of the month. This leads into the fourprovincial fleadhanna in July and the the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann being hosted this year by Drogheda, Co.Louth in August.
You can find your way around all 53 festivals and summer schools listed here by either using the interactive map OR by scrolling the date listing below, which also includes a brief description.
Friday 4th – Monday 7th May 2018 Feile Chois Cuain Louisburg, Co.Mayo
A traditional festival celebrating traditional music, song and dance.
Friday 4th – Sunday 6th May 2018 Portmagee Set Dancing Weekend Portmagee, Co Kerry, Ireland
Traditional music, set dancing and singing in the Bridge Bar, Portmagee.
Friday 4th – Sunday 7th May 2018 Half Door Club Castletown TradFest Castletown, Co Laois,
County Laois’s biggest dance festival offers plenty of great music and dancing over the four-day May bank holiday weekend.
Friday 11th -Sunday 13th May 2018 Sweets of May Tralee, Co Kerry
The weekend celebrates set dancing with workshops and céilís by top teachers and bands in a lovely setting outside the town of Tralee.
Friday 11th- Sunday13th May 2018 Féile Chnoc na Gaoithe Tulla, Co.Clare
Cnoc na Gaoithe (Windswept Hill), the Tulla Comhaltas Cultural Centre’s mission is to promote, preserve and showcase the rich Irish traditions and culture of Tulla and the East Clare area.
Monday 7th -Thursday 13th May 2018 CosCos Sean Nós Festival Rathcormac, Co Sligo,
A weekend dedicated to sean nós music, song and dance, packed with workshops, céilís, sessions and concerts.
Thursday 17th – Sunday 20th May 2018 Féile Damhsa Gaelach Gortahork, Co Donegal
Saturday 19th May- Sunday 20th May 2018 Skerries Traditional Music Weekend Skerries,Co.Dublin
Traditional music weekend in a beautiful location just North of Dublin – big line-up of well-known artists.
Thursday 24th – Monday 28th May 2018 Fleadh Nua Ennis, Co Clare, Ireland
2018 Fleadh Nua in Ennis promises to be an exciting and innovative festival, full to the brim with concerts, céilís, sessions, CD launches, recitals, Irish dance competitions and street entertainment.
Tuesday 29th May – Monday 4th June 2018 Limerick Fleadh Kilfinane, Co. Limerick
Fleadh Cheoil Luimnigh will host around 1,000 competitors on the June bank holiday weekend, all wishing to progress from Limerick for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.
Thursday 31st May – Sunday 3rd June 2018 Monaghan Fleadh Ballybay, Co. Monaghan
County-level competition for traditional Irish arts of playing music, singing and dancing, at the Ballybay Community College (Tullycorbet CCÉ).
Friday 1st – Monday 4th June 2018 Cavan Fleadh Kilnaleck, Co. Cavan
County-level competition for traditional Irish arts of playing music, singing and dancing at Kilnaleck, County Cavan.
Friday 1st – Monday 4th June 2018 Laois Fleadh Mountmellick, Co. Laois
County-level competition for traditional Irish arts of playing music, singing and dancing at Mount Mellick, County Laois.
Saturday 2nd – Sunday 3rd June 2018 Sligo Fleadh Sligo Town, Co. Sligo
County-level competition for traditional Irish arts of playing music, singing and dancing, jointly hosted by Fred Finn CCÉ and Sligo Town CCÉ.
Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th June 2018 Fermanagh Fleadh Derrygonnelly, Fermanagh
County-level competition for traditional Irish arts of playing music, singing and dancing hosted by the Fermanagh Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann,
Sunday 10th June- Friday 15th June 2018 Welcome to Enniscrone Irish & Country Music Festival Enniscrone, Co.Sligo
Classes will begin each morning at 11am in céili, Fior céili & sean nós. Plus ballroom, jive & salsa with piret also beginning each morning at 11am.Great Irish céilí bands including the Duntally,Foot Tappers, Salamanca, Longnote and Matt Cunningham.
Friday 15th – Sunday 17th June, 2018 Doolin Folk Festival Doolin, Co.Clare
Taking inspiration from the great festivals of the 70’s and 80’s such as Lisdoonvarna down the road and from the deep musical roots of the county, The Doolin Folk Festival presents powerful music in an intimate setting and ensures that audiences & musicians can feel at one and just enjoy the communal spirit
Sunday 17th – Sunday 24th June 2018 Tyrone Fleadh Dungannon, Co. Tyrone
County-level competition for traditional Irish arts of playing music, singing and dancing, hosted by Craobh Úi Néill CCÉ, Dún Geanainn.
Sunday 17th-Sunday 24th June 2018 Galway Sessions Galway city, Co.Galway
The annual Galway Sessions Festival, celebrates Irish folk and traditional music and the music Irish emigrants brought with them across the world. The festival has a variety of events including gigs in theatres and pubs throughout Galway City from 1pm-1am.
Wednesday 20th –Sunday 24th June 2018 Clare Fleadh Ennis, Co. Clare
County-level competition for traditional Irish arts of playing music, singing and dancing in Ennis, County Clare.
Friday 22nd June – Saturday 23rd June 2018 All-Ireland Sean Nós Dance Festival Athboy, Co Meath, Ireland
A summer sean nós festival with workshops, sessions, céilís and a competition with a top prize of €500.
Saturday 23rd –Sunday 24th June 2018 Down Fleadh Portaferry/Castlewellan, Co. Down
County-level competition for traditional Irish arts of playing music, singing and dancing in Portaferry and Castlewellan, Co. Down.
Monday 25th – Friday 29th June 2018 Craiceann International Bodhrán Summer School Inis Oirr, Co.Galway (Aran Islands)
Love the rhythm? The festival focusing on the bodhran drum will satisfy your need to listen and learn, in a most beautiful setting steeped in traditional Irish music.
Monday25th June – Friday 6th July 2018 BLÁS Limerick, Co.Limerick
Intensive “deep dive” workshops and master classes for experienced singers, dancers and musicians with a focus on collaborative integration of understanding between the disciplines. A residential program at the University of Limerick including international accreditation.
Sunday 1st July – Friday 6th July 2018 Seaosamh Macghabhan Summer School Kilmovee, Co.Mayo.
Full summer school with individual and group tuition in a wide range of instruments, dancing and singing.
Monday 2nd – Sunday 8th July 2018 Fleadh Cheoil Connaght 2018
Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim
Connacht Province Fleadh, which is primarily provincial competitions for traditional musicians, dancers & other artists, organised by the local Comhaltas Cheoltóirí Éireann (CCE).
Monday 2nd – Friday 6th July 2018 Westport Schoil Cheoil Westport, Co.Mayo
Full summer school with tuition, concerts and recitals.
Friday 6th- Sunday 8th July 2018 Traidphicnic Spiddal, Co.Galway
A taste of local traditional music, arts and culture in Spiddal.
Saturday 7th- Sunday 15th July 2018 Willie Clancy Summer School Miltown Malbay, Co.Clare
Affectionately known as Willie Week, this festival is held in traditional music heartland that calls music and dance lovers back year after year. There’s a great atmosphere in the town and surrounds, with plenty of sessions, céilis and busking to complement the official program of classes and recitals. An addtional program of dancing is also held at the Armada Hotel.
Sunday 8th – Sunday 15th July 2018 Leinster Fleadh 2018
Muine Bheag (Bagenalstown), Co. Carlow
Leinster Province Fleadh, which is primarily provincial competitions for traditional musicians and dancers and other artists, organised by the local Comhaltas Cheoltóirí Éireann (CCE).
Sunday 15th- Saturday 21st July 2018 South Sligo Summer School Tubbercurry, Co.Sligo
This has become my favorite festival for it’s laid back nature but also the learning to dance program is excellent. Different energy to Willie Clancy, it’s more intimate, gentler and very enjoyable in this beautiful part of Co.Sligo, with very deep music & dance tradition. Set dancing and music classes are in the morning 10am-1pm, a sean nós dance program in the afternoon from 4-6pm, and a range of concerts in the afternoons, and set dancing céilís in the evenings, with sessions in the pubs to follow.
Sunday 15th – Sunday 22nd July 2018 Munster Fleadh 2018 Ennis Co.Clare
Munster Provincial Fleadh, which is primarily provincial competitions for traditional musicians and dancers and other artists, organised by the local Comhaltas Cheoltóirí Éireann (CCE).
Sunday 15th – Sunday 22nd July 2018 Céilí at the Crossroads Festival Clarecastle,Co.Clare
Annual céilí at the Crossroads has expanded to a whole week – an opportunity to dance outside!
Saturday 21st – Saturday 28th July 2018 Joe Mooney Summer School
Drumshanbo Co. Leitrim Drumshanbo is delightful – a similar format to South Sligo Summer School, the difference here is the focus is very much around the unusual main street, which has a pedestrian mezzanine above the lane of traffic, where you can sit out in the sun, dance, listen to music & enjoy the people going by and enjoy a number of excellent evening céilís.
Monday 23rd -Sunday 29th July 2018 Ulster Fleadh 2018 Castlewellan,Co.Down.
Ulster Province Fleadh, which is primarily provincial competitions for traditional musicians and dancers and other artists, organised by the local Comhaltas Cheoltóirí Éireann (CCE).
Saturday 28th July – Saturday 4th August 2018 Scoil Acla Summer School Achill Island, Co.Mayo
Traditional music courses, art workshops, sean nós singing, writers workshop, dance workshop, sean nós dancing, basket weaving workshops in a most unique location.
Monday 30th July – Saturday 4th August 2018 Sean nós dancing residency for adults, with Edwina Guckian Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim
An intensive course in sean nós dance from 11-2pm daily, with sessions and ceilíthe running throughout the week.
Monday 30th July – Saturday 4th August 2018 The Irish Dance Festival Carlingford, Co.Louth
Spend a week learning from some of the world’s best Irish dance masters of three styles – step, set and sean nós – and connect with fellow lovers of Irish dance by immersing yourself in Irish culture and heritage.
Monday 30th July – Sunday 6th August 2018 Summer Festival of Dance Ballyfin, Co Laois
Maureen Culleton is an expert dancer, teacher and supporter of all forms of Irish traditional dance, with strong followings among dancers in Europe, Japan and across Ireland. She calls the sets at the céilíthe running through out the week, teaches the workshops and leads the sessions. EMAIL MAUREEN for more information.
Wednesday 1st- Monday 6th August 2018 Kilrush Trad Music & Set Dancing Festival
Kilrush Traditional Music & Set Dancing Festival is a 6 day festival of music & set dancing including open air céilis in Kilrush Square on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Music sessions, singers club, sean nós & set dancing workshops will also take place throughout the festival.
Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th August 2018 Ballyshannon Folk Festival Ballyshannon, County Donegal
The 41st annual Ballyshannon Folk and Traditional Music Fesitval is the place to be this August Bank Holiday Weekend as the sounds of traditional and folk music echo from the streets, pubs and Marquee concerts along Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way.
Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th August 2018 (TBA) James Morrison Traditional Music Festival Riverstown, Co Sligo.
A full trad festival with open air céilís, concerts, sessions and more in the home village of a fiddler who became famous in the USA.
Friday 4th – Monday 7th August 2018 O’Carolan Summer School and Harp Festival 2018 Keadue, Co Roscommon
The Irish composer Turlough O’Carolan is the inspiration for this summer school and festival in this gorgeous town. Plenty of dancing including the famous Annual Door Dancing Competition on Monday 7th August at 7pm.
Tuesday 7th- Tuesday 13th August 2018 (TBC) Kilcar Fleadh Kilcar, Co Donegal
A 7 day festival of traditional music, songs and dance, celebrating the living heritage of traditional music in South West Donegal.
Wednesday 8th- Monday 13th August 2018 Feakle International Festival of Traditional Music Feakle, Co Clare
For a few days each August, Feakle village becomes a very special place where the best in traditional music can be heard, songs sung, dances danced and friends meet up again for another Feakle Festival.
Sunday12th – Friday 17th August 2018 Fleadh Cheoil na h’Eireann & Scoil Éigse 2018
The best kind of celebration and competition, with provincial finalist musicians, dancers and artists competing to win their All-Ireland categories. Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann (CCE) showcase fabulous music, dance and a wide range of concerts and other events celebrating Irish culture. Don’t miss it!
Wednesday 22nd – Sunday 26th August 2018 Masters of Tradition Bantry, Cork
Celebrating traditional music in its’ purest form through a series of concerts and performances, directed by Martin Hayes.
Enjoy the craic and I hope the sun shines strong for you. Nora Stewart