North West Ireland Tourism
Visitor Guide to Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Roscommon, Leitrim, Cavan & Monaghan
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Music festivals in Donegal, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Cavan and Monaghan
Ballyshannon Folk Festival is one of the longest running festivals of its kind in Ireland. Taking place annually in early August, prominent performers from the Irish Music scene perform along with workshops, busking competitions and street entertainment! With free open air concerts, live pub sessions, workshops and a new talent being showcased, The Ballyshannon Folk and Traditional Music Festival is garaunteed to keep you entertained.
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Celebrate diversity in Sligo with the Cairde Festival, which takes place annualy in early July. Watch Sligo come alive with a vibrant weeklong explosion of music, theatre, dance, family events, visual art, and much more. Recent year’s highlights included Yungchen Lhamo in concert with Liam O’Maonlai, Madu, Delicious O’Grady and a whole lot more. Annual highlights include The Shelly River Boat Race, also part of the Season of Yeats, which is inspired by Jack B. Yeats’s love of model boats. Park Fest is another major draw. Both events are great celebrations for all the family– and both are free! A unique aspect of Cairde is Concerts in Care, a series of performances in care settings for those who are not able to attend public venues. So clear your diary for early and come to Sligo. You’ll discover events that will inspire, captivate, and challenge.
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The Carrick Water Music Festival takes place annually in July and promises a wonderful programme of music over the 6 days of the event. If you appreciate classical, jazz, recitals, folk, indie and world music you will enjoy this festival. Other elements of the festival include a Festival Film Club, French markets, art exhibitions & auctions, literary events & drama, baby-bops & workshops and much more. There’s something for all tastes to enjoy while in the beautiful surroundings of Carrick-on-Shannon.
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The Carrickmacross Festival boasts a wide range of entertainment for all the family. The streets buzz over the June Bank Holiday weekend with music, dancing, competitions and street entertainers.
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Clonmany Festival is Ireland's longest running and most well known family festival. The event is held on the August Bank Holiday weekend every year in the beautiful village of Clonmany, Co. Donegal. The festival attracts large crowds for the live music and various events which take place over the long weekend. From cycling events and treasure hunts to raft racing and talent competitions, the festival has offers entertainment for all ages.
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The Cup of Tae Festival in Ardara, Co. Donegal is a festival of music with an emphasis on Donegal Fiddle playing with schools of music on Fiddle, Flute, Whistle, Accordian, Piano and Voice. This unique festival honours the memory and talent of the famous Donegal Fiddler, John ‘The Tae’ Gallagher. It takes place annually over the May Bank Holiday weekend is recommended that you visit to the “Cup of Tae” enjoy spontanous sessionsin the open air and in the halls and pubs of Ardara.
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The Dunfanaghy Jazz and Blues Festival is an annual music gathering providing a top class line up of international and national music in the scenic seaside village of Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal. The event will feature prominent musicians and bands from the locality and further afield, playing jazz and blues music throughout a wide number of venues in Dunfanaghy. The wonderful atmosphere and great vide of festival goers provides the essentail ingredients for an enjoyable weekend.
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The Earagail Arts Festival is a festival of music, theatre, visual arts, film, literature, dance, circus, comedy and carnival and is Donegal's largest arts festival. The festival takes place every July, bringing high profile contemporary and traditional arts to County Donegal. It includes a wide range of art forms including theatre, music, visual arts events, plays, children’s theatre, dance, puppetry, workshops in the arts and musical composition, creative writing, poetry and reading nights and film with a drive-in movie night. Also during the festival there are many other spectacular outdoor activities to do such as exploring the local parklands, beautiful beaches and scenic views of county Donegal.
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Leitrim Roots Festival is a week long celebration for all people with historical and ancestoral links to 'Lovely Leitrim'. Held annually in September the festival attracts people coming from all over the world, from places such as Canada, USA, Australia, England and Scotland. Festival activities include a Yeats Day at Lough Gill and Glencar, a Famine Research Day in Carrick and Strokestown, a Genealogy Day at Ballinamore and Carrigallen. The festival also includes visits to Arigna Mining Experience. There is a Gala Dinner and Ceili in during the festival in Carrick-on-Shannon.
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The Pan Celtic Festival is held over Easter week annually and attracts visitors to the host venue which changes from year to year, from all over Ireland as well as further afield from the Celtic areas of Brittany, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales. Some 5,000 people participate events such as the Festival Parade, harp, fiddle, piping, choral and traditional singing competitions are popular highlights. There will also be themed nights from each of the nations as well as a Camogie Blitz. The festival has been a fixture on the Irish events calendar since 1971 and aims to promote and strengthen Celtic languages, culture, music, song and sport.
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