Festival guide for summer 2015
If you want to make some lasting music memories this summer, Chris Wasser knows which festivals to mark in your diary
Wellies? Check. Rain poncho? Check. A timetable of events, bands, talks and workshops? Um, check… we think.
Yep, navigating your way through festival season can be tough. Luckily for you, we've decided to round up the best of this summer's sunny outdoor activities, from rockin', main-stage field madness to city-based street parties and comedy tents. We've got your entire summer covered, basically. Enjoy!
Let's get the party started early, shall we? Head on over to Killruddery House, Co
Wicklow this weekend for the 3rd annual Groove Festival, featuring Christy Moore, The Riptide Movement and the sublime Delorentos. There's even a climbing wall, aqua sphering and archery for the little ones. Deadly buzz.
Who to see: British glam-rock chancers The Darkness.
How much and when: This Saturday and Sunday. Adult weekend passes priced €69.50.
LAYA Healthcare City Spectacular
Now in its 10th year, the event previously known as the Street Performance World Championship is officially the biggest summer festival in Ireland (we're talking 250,000 attendees here, folks).
The most weird and wonderful record-holders in the globe are headed our way next week, including weight-lifting strong woman Mama Lou and footfall freestyler Victor Rubilar.
They've also got free children's workshops and a Belgian trampoline spectacle… Blind-folded chainsaw juggler, The Space Cowboy…
How much and when: Free admission. Dublin's Merrion Square (July 10-12) and Cork's Fitzgerald Park (July 18-19).
Galway International Arts Festival
"Experience extraordinary this July." Indeed, the annual GIAF jaunt continues to serve up the best in home-grown and international theatre, music, visual art and comedy. The Coronas are on the bill and there's also a chance to catch a new work by renowned playwright Enda Walsh (A Girl's Bedroom).
Who to see: St. Vincent (July 14).
How much and when: July 13-26. www.giaf.ie
Now in its third year, it hasn't taken long for Longitude at Marlay Park to cement its place as one of, if not the finest, capital-based, music weekender of the summer. That might have something to do with the gorgeous setting (no camping at this one), and the line-up (Hozier, alt-J and the Chemical Brothers top this year's bill). Get in there.
Who to see: Years & Years.
How much and when: July 17-19. Day tickets (€59.50) and weekend tickets (€149.50).
The Vodafone Comedy Festival
The finest comics in Ireland and beyond stand up for our entertainment in the picturesque surroundings of Dublin's Iveagh Gardens this month. Georgia's finest, Reginald D Hunter, is on the bill, too. Nice.
Who to see: You can't go wrong with David O'Doherty and his miniature keyboard.
How much and when: July 23-26. For a full programme of events, visit www.vodafonecomedy.com
The little festival that could has become one of the coolest, independent weekend jams on the domestic music calendar, the annual stop-over at Blessington occupying four stages over two days, in which 70 rock, folk and electronic acts head for the lakes (O Emperor and Syd Arthur included).
Who to see: The excellent Gavin Glass and the New Shakers.
How much and when: July 24-25. Tickets priced €80.
The best named festival in Ireland. Indeed, Charleville Castle in Tullamore welcomes Fight Like Apes, Jape, Jenny Greene and more into its "wooded wonderland" at the end of July. Sounds like a bangin' party to us.
Who to see: Irish hip-hop newcomers, Hare Squead. Those boys are awesome.
How much and when: July 31-August 2. A three-day camping ticket costs €94. www.castlepalooza.com
Deer Farm, Mitchelstown in Cork turns up the noise this month with the return of Indiependence, and whaddaya know, that line-up of theirs just keeps on getting better. Deep breath, everyone - we've got Kodaline, Basement Jaxx, the Mark Lanegan Band, Ham Sandwich, Daithi... we could be here a while.
Who to see: Northern Irish rockers, Ash.
How much and when: July 31-August 2. Three-day camping tickets, priced €119, still available. Visit www. indiependencefestival.com
Kilkenny Arts Festival
"Artistic adventures in Ireland's medieval city." Well, that just about covers it. It's a classy and sophisticated affair, this one, brimming with all manners of Shakespeare, classical music, poetry workshops and "secret garden" delights. Sounds amazing. Plus, string quartet The Brooklyn Rider Almanac make their Irish debut…
Who to see: Spanish conductor, composer and viol player, Jordi Savall.
How much and when: August 7-16. www.kilkennyarts.ie
It's only July and already, the Picnic is sold out. We're not surprised - have you seen the acts that are headed for Stradbally in September? Blur, Florence and the Machine, Sam Smith, Hot Chip, Grace Jones and much, much more. Incredible, right?
Methinks we might just see the 'extra tickets announced' bulletin in August. Fingers crossed.
Who to see: Manic Street Preachers.
How much and when: September 4-6. Sold out. Keep an eye on www.electricpicnic.ie just in case.
THE BEST OF THE REST
Bulmers Live at Leopardstown: A weekly "festival of music and racing" in July and August, featuring Damien Dempsey, The Human League and more. www.leopardstown.com
Live at the Iveagh Gardens: The Frames, Damien Rice and Chic are all headed for Dublin 2 this July. www.aikenpromotions.com
The Beatyard, Dun Laoghaire Harbour: "A seaside celebration of music, food, games and more" from August 1-2. Sister Sledge will be there.
Festival of Curiosity, Dublin: An "energetic fusion of science, arts, culture and curious technology", apparently. July 23-26. https://festivalofcuriosity.ie/
Valentia Isle Festival: The Frank & Walters and The Hot Sprockets are headed southwest, July 10-12. www.valentiaislefestival.com