As we prepare to step into summer, it can only mean one thing – you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to brilliant events happening all over Ireland in the next few weeks
Burren Wellness Month – Throughout May
If you want to know about wellness, get yourself to Co Clare this month to soak up everything Burren Wellness Month has to offer. It will feature a variety of activities aimed at improving physical and mental health surrounded by the stunning landscape of the area.
Some of the highlights include walks on Mullaghmore, surfing at Fanore beach, yoga at Doolin Pier, spa and beauty retreats at both the Falls hotel in Ennistymon and the Lady Gregory hotel in Gort and painting workshops at the Burren College of Art. Many of these events are led by local wellness experts, who can share their knowledge and insights into how to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. For more information, visit burren.ie.
Return of the Light event series: 1 – 2 May
To celebrate the latest release in its Wheel of the Year series, Bealtaine Single Pot Still, Dingle Distillery will host two Bealtaine events on Monday, 1 May and Tuesday, 2 May. For anyone who doesn’t know, Bealtaine is the Irish word for May and is also an ancient Celtic festival that signified the start of summer.
Guests will be transported from Dublin to the heart of Wicklow to experience Dingle serves from the Wheel of the Year series as well as fire-inspired cocktails. Wood-fired cuisine will cater to every taste with a three-course meal and entertainment will be provided by storytelling performers Candlelit Tales. There will be live music before a spectacular fire show from Pyro Collective brings the true meaning of Bealtaine to life.
Tickets can be booked via eventbrite.com.
The Shawshank Redemption at The Gaiety: 1 – 13 May
Did you know that the Oscar-nominated and cult classic film The Shawshank Redemption was based on a 1982 Stephen King novella called Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption? If you loved the screen version, it might be time to check out the stage adaptation coming to the Gaiety in Dublin for the first two weeks in May. This production will see Joe Absolom in the role of the wrongly convicted Andy Dufresne with Ben Onwukwe as his inmate Ellis “Red” Redding.
Tickets are available here.
Spring Supper in Bundoran: 3 May
For an authentic taste of life in the surf capital of Bundoran, Co Donegal, you need to pay a visit to foam café. The business brings coffee, food and coastal culture to locals and tourists alike at its fantastic location on the doorstep of the Atlantic. Spring Supper is a follow-on from their hugely successful September Supper with Emily Duggan cooking up a vibrant 3 course middle-eastern inspired feast.
The event takes place on Wednesday, 3 May at 7pm and you can buy tickets here.
From a Low and Quiet Sea: 4 May – 10 June
If theatre is your thing, Decadent Theatre Company and Galway Arts Centre are hosting a national tour of From a Low and Quiet Sea, which was adapted for the stage from Donal Ryan’s novel. The story follows the intersecting lives of four characters, each searching for a version of home. From Syria to Ireland, they are scarred by love and loss and are ultimately drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most unexpected of ways. The play will feature in 18 venues from 4 May through to 10 June 2023.
Click here to find out if it’s playing in your area.
World Class Cocktail Festival: 4 – 6 May
What’s better than a cocktail evening? An entire festival dedicated to the art of cocktail making! The global World Class Cocktail Festival is coming to Ireland for the first time this year, and visitors can expect a host of exciting acts, venues, and unexpected experiences in over 50 bars and venues primarily in Dublin but also around the country.
Taking place from 4 – 6 May, the festival will feature an incredible line-up of big international and Irish names in the food and drink arena, ahead of the World Class Irish Final on Monday 8 May. Over the course of three days, there will be complimentary and ticketed events, as well as other tasting experiences including a Ketel One Bloody Mary brunch in Nolita and a tequila tasting experience at Cask in Cork, to name a few.
For more information, visit the World Class Cocktail Festival website here.
Songs to the Moon at Kilruddery – 5 May
An event that combines glorious classical music and the power of nature – this is one to watch for the music lover in your life.
To celebrate the full moon on 5 May, Wicklow-based Canadian soprano Catherine Redding and harpist, Aisling Ennis, will join together for an evocative and charming recital of music, Songs to the Moon. Moonrise in the heritage Gardens of Killruddery is supposed to be something very special to be hold and during this concert, Catherine and Aisling will perform a programme of beautiful music, including moon-inspired works by Fauré, Debussy, Bellini and Strauss, set amongst the beautiful interiors of the candlelit Orangery.
Click here to find out more.
Darkness into Light: 6 May
This annual fundraising event has become a staple of the Irish summer calendar for many people living in Ireland. Organised by Pieta & supported by Electric Ireland, it will take place this year on Saturday 6 May, and will see more than 100,000 people across 200 locations come together for the most important sunrise of the year. Each year the walk provides an opportunity for communities to come together and to bring hope to people who have been impacted by suicide.
See pieta.ie for more details.
Where Dance Meets Street at the National Opera House: 6 – 7 May
This isn’t your average Irish dancing or performance event!
The Irish Street Art, Circus and Spectacle Network (ISACS) and Spring Moves Dance Festival will host Where Dance Meets Street at the National Opera House, High St, Wexford on 6 and 7 May.
As part of this two-day event Prodigal UPG will perform Zoo Humans – a free performance-parkour/dance/physical-theatre show – and deliver a Masterclass for dance, street and circus artists interested in presenting Dance in public places. Click here for more information.
Meet the Writer at Sheen Falls Lodge: 7 May
Have you ever wanted to write a book but didn’t know how to get started? Well, an event taking place in Co Kerry could hold the answers for you.
The first ever Meet the Writer event at Sheen Falls Lodge on Sunday 7 May. Over a sumptuous afternoon tea with enchanting views of Kenmare Bay, guests will hear acclaimed Irish author, Sinead Moriarty, speak of her path to literary success and why Ireland has produced so many great women writers of female fiction. Sinead will be interviewed by journalist Melanie Morris and each guest will receive a signed copy of Sinead’s latest work, Yours Mine Ours.
Click here for more information on the event.
Spanish Festival: 7 May
There’s something uniquely exotic about Spanish culture and now you can experience first hand at this authentic celebration of Spain through shows, music, flamenco dancing and plenty of food!
Despite taking place in May at the Harcourt Bar & Garden in Dublin, the event aims to be presented in a way that the visitor will get the experience of the April Fair within a ‘caseta’ in Andalucia. Families are welcome and there will be a dedicated children’s area set up as well as a food court specialising in paella and tapas. Don’t miss renowned Spanish duo of singers, Andy y Lucas, who will be performing on the same day at the Opium Dublin venue at 7pm as part of their 20 years anniversary tour.
See eventbrite.ie for tickets.
Ballymaloe May Fair: 12 – 14 May
This is a festival for the whole family with a jam-packed schedule of events ranging from cooking demonstrations, workshops and tours to talks, fashion and children’s activities.
As if that wasn’t enough, the May Fair will also be home to top class music and theatre. Fans of performing arts are in for a treat with a number of productions set to play in the beautiful Walled Garden of Ballymaloe. Friday night will see a production of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ while Irish theatrical outfit and podcast Candlelit Tales are set to bring audiences an unforgettable unique retelling of Irish mythology accompanied by live music.
Click here for more information about this event.
Rekindle: Festival of Lost Skills: 14 May
We couldn’t love the concept for this Co Clare festival more. Rekindle is an intergenerational celebration of lost skills showcasing the knowledge of older people in our communities that can help us all to live a truly sustainable life.
Building upon the success of the first festival in 2022, this one will be taking place on Sunday 14 May at the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon. Last year’s event saw more than 500 people meet 18 exhibitors who demonstrated skills ranging from pen making, Aran knitting, rope making, boat building, basket making and also included a farrier who brought his anvil to display blacksmithing skills! The festival also had traditional music and storytelling led by the well known musician and sheanachai Aindrais de Staic taking place at the Salmon Bookshop and Literary Centre.
This is one not to be missed. See ourcommonknowledge.org for further details.
Styled By: In the City at Powerscourt Townhouse: 16 – 27 May
Fans of fashion stylist and online boutique owner Sarah Rickard will be thrilled to learn that Styled By: Sarah Rickard will have it’s own pop up store in Dublin’s Powerscourt Townhouse for two weeks in the month of May.
Throughout her stay, Sarah will be showcasing her Spring/Summer 2023 collections including popular labels like Suncoo, Second Female, Sirens and My Essential Wardrobe.
Follow Sarah on Instagram for more updates and details about the upcoming event or visit styledby.ie.
Dublin Dance Festival: 16 – 28 May
If, like Meghan Trainor, you feel better when you’re dancing, then get your feet to the Dublin Dance Festival this month for an unforgettable lineup of events.
The festival is offering attendees the chance to discover dance performances from world-renowned artists, with a programme that celebrates innovation, artistry, experimentation and the ability to create new memories together. It will bring dance to Dublin venues from the Abbey Theatre to Wood Quay Amphitheatre, with world premieres, free activities, a new commission for children, explorations of sustainability, statements of empathy, and celebrations of the power of community.
See dublindancefestival.ie for more details.
STAMP Festival of Creativity: 19 – 21 May
Screen printing, pottery wheel throwing and frame-making are just some of the brilliant workshops and demos on offer at the STAMP Festival of Creativity in Cork later this month.
From 19 – 21 May, benchspace, Cork Craft & Design, Sample-Studios and Shandon Art Studios are joining forces to offer Corkonians and visitors alike a jam-packed weekend programme of over 50 art, design and craft events, exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, screenings, and markets, all in one extraordinary venue – The Counting House. Visitors are invited to try hands-on workshops and also to view jewellery making, woodturning and oil painting up close in a series of live demos. STAMP invites people of all ages to come, explore your own creativity and gain a new insight into Cork’s cultural vibrancy.
International Literature Festival Dublin: 19 – 28 May
If you have children that are interested in reading, do not miss this cracking literary festival with over 35 events designed for families and kids!
Stop by the festival Village to discover storytelling, performances, music, crafts and more that’s sure to keep kids of all ages entertained for a day full of fun and creative happenings. There will be talks by authors and illustrators including Eoin Colfer, Shane Hegarty, Aoife Dooley, Paul Linnet and lots more. Children will have the chance to get their hands on the newest book releases, be immersed in live performances, create their own crafts, enjoy drop-in activities and connect with other young people.
Explore the full programme at ilfdublin.com
Tralee Food Festival: 20 and 21 May
If you’re in Kerry over these dates, get yourself to Tralee for what promised to be a fun-filled, food-centric weekend!
The festival will play host to visitors of all ages, bringing them on a journey to explore the amazing food establishments and restaurants around the Kingdom’s capital, with a delicious programme of events. Expect produce from local suppliers, food trucks, family entertainment, live music, engaging demos from top chefs and amateur cooks, unique dining experiences and all the food stalls you can imagine around the gorgeous streets of Tralee.
See traleefoodfestival.com for more.
Féile Nasc: 21 May
Fans of traditional and folk music will be delighted to learn that Féile Nasc will be taking over Marlay Park on Sunday 21 May for a celebration of music, community and Irish language. The festival will feature performances from Jiggy, Rónán Ó Snodaigh and Myles O’Reilly as well as musicians from local schools and organisations. If you’ve got children, bring them along too because Féile Nasc will have some fantastic kid’s activities such as Forest Camp, Picnic Teidí and Óga Yoga. Delicious craft beer from O’Hara’s as well as some great food options from local artisan vendors will also be available on the day.
Click here for more information.
Burren Slow Food Festival: 21 May
If you’re trying to be more conscious about how and what you eat, this festival is for you.
Food producers, chefs and inspirational speakers will gather at this year’s event to discuss the theme of ‘Wellbeing and Gut Health’. It’s part of a schedule of events organised by the Burren Ecotourism Network to promote May as the month of Wellness in the region. The organisers strongly advise to bring shopping bags for the annual Lisdoonvarna Farmers Market as kombucha from Hurst Botanicals, young vegetable plants for GIY projects, honey from the Sliabh Aughty, a superpower tonic from Oir Tonics, amazing balsamic vinegars from Wildwood Balsamic in Mayo, smoked salmon from the Burren Smokehouse and more will be available for sale.
See slowfoodclare.com for more details.
Counterpunch – A Collision of Art and Sport: 25 May – 5 June
If you know of any young girls who are interested in boxing, don’t miss this amazing free event and exhibition taking place in Dublin city at the National Stadium Gym. The exhibition features the work of artist Sharon Kelly who has been working with sport through her art since 2013. Her art focuses on the endurance and parallels that sport and daily life hold in aspects of preparation, mental and physical resilience, determination, mindset, tradition and more. It is a multimedia installation that includes sculptures, drawing and video and was originally conceived as part of a Creative Residency programme.
Counterpunch is open daily from 10am – 5pm. The launch event takes place on Thursday 25 May and the exhibition runs until 5 June. All ages are welcome. Click here for further details.
Rebellion 225: 26 May – 21 June
Fans of Irish history will want to get themselves to Wexford over the next few weeks for this exciting series of events! Historic talks, guided walks, a battle reenactment at Enniscorthy Bridge and an immersive experience for visitors with a ‘Rebellion Day’ battle encampment are just some of the brilliant things organised to mark the 225th anniversary of the 1798 Rebellion.
An inaugural 1798 Summer School will offer insights into the 1798 battles through historical tours and public talks at various venues in Enniscorthy from 26 – 28 May. Dr Kevin Whelan will open the event and highlights include a march to Boolavogue, music and song at the Fr Murphy Centre, a 1798 Walking Tour with Fintan Kelly, a guided tour of Vinegar Hill battlefield with Jacqui Hynes and Ronan O’Flaherty, and lecture on women and rebellion by Dr Margaret Ward.
Click here for more details.
Dogitude Festival: 27 and 28 May
Do you hate leaving your dog behind when you go to a festival or for a day out? Well, now you can bring them to one designed specifically for them!
Dogitude is an afternoon for dogs and their owners to experience an environment tailored with them in mind. With activities, demonstrations, competitions, breed meet-ups, information sessions and even live music at the “Woofstock Stage”, there is so much for you to enjoy with your four-legged pals. Don’t forget to visit the Food Village and Exhibition Stands where you can pick up treats and goodies for doggies after their action-packed day. To avoid disappointment, pre-book your tickets at dogitude.ie
Blackwater Valley Opera Festival: 29 May – 5 June
Opera in Ireland may be more associated with Wexford but with more than 4,500 visitors expected to attend the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival which is now in it’s 13th year, it’s clear that there’s a growing appetite for the cultural musical genre.
The world renowned festival attracts top talent and will welcome 103 international and Irish artists, present 65+ hours of music, and deliver education outreach to an estimated 2,500 local students. It will run over eight days from 29 May to 5 June with an impressive programme of 21 events at 12 stunning venues in Lismore, Youghal, Dungarvan and Fermoy, with everything from big tickets to free tickets.
See blackwatervalleyopera.ie for more information and ticket details.