With more creative talent per square inch than any other capital, and an unrivaled love of craic and fun the world over, there’s no place like Dublin for festivals. From music and theatre, literature and film, to history and culture, there’s a festival in Dublin for everyone. Here’s our top picks for the best annual festivals in Dublin in 2019.
Music Festivals in Dublin 2019
If you’re coming to Dublin, chances are you’re coming partly to experience the great musical tradition of Ireland, and if you’re in town between the 23rd and 27th of January inclusive, you’ve hit the jackpot!
Source: Tradfest Dublin 2019 on Facebook
A non-profit festival organised by the Temple Bar Company, Tradfest
has been an annual event on Dublin’s festival scene since 2005 and takes place at various venues and pubs in and around the vicinity on the Temple Bar quarter. Some of the venue highlights include Dublin Castle, City Hall, St Michan’s Church and St Patrick's Cathedral.
While the festival offers a chance to hear musical acts ranging from giants of Irish traditional music to the new folk sounds of up and coming legends (we highly recommend catching Radie Peat and The Eskies), Tradfest 2019 is set to have a wide variety of shows and workshops too, including Irish Genealogy, and The Origin of Irish Surnames.
And sure, while you’re delving into tradition and ancient culture, join us for a fables and folklore free walking tour of Dublin
with lovely local guides to discover the mythological gems and fascinatingly incredible stories from Dublin and Ireland, both ancient and recent.
Average age group – All Ages (plenty on the schedule for kids too).
A firm favourite for festival goers in Dublin City every June bank holiday weekend, the three day Forbidden Fruit Festival on the grounds of the old Royal Hospital Kilmainham never disappoints.
Source: Forbidden fruit Facebook
Last year saw the festival enter its 8th year and 2019 looks like it’s shaping up to be a cracker with the first acts recently announced including Skepta, Elbow, First Aid Kit, Jon Hopkins and many more, from June 1st to 3rd inclusive.
The festival draws huge crowds to the city so even if you don’t manage to get a ticket, the festival wraps each evening at around 11 pm leaving the revellers to spread the festival to the city.
Average age group 20s-40s
Longitude has been delighting music-lovers every July since 2012. Each summer, it draws huge crowds to the quaint Dublin suburb or Rathfarnham, south of the city.
Source: Longitude Festival Facebook
The festival itself is known for being aimed at a slightly younger crowd among some of the aged festival veterans, but it has been growing since its foundation with bigger acts playing each year. Last year included acts such as Post-Malone, Solange, and J.Cole while the 2019 Longitude festival, July 5th to 7th, will see CHANCE THE RAPPER, A$AP ROCKY, and FUTURE among the first acts announced.
Just like the Forbidden Fruit Festival above, the shows wrap up around 11 pm each night, leaving festival goers to continue the revelry in the pubs and clubs of Dublin.
Average age group 18-24
Run by the illustrious Bodytonic, who since the year 2000 has been behind some huge music and cultural institutions in the city, such as the Bernard Shaw, The Twisted Pepper and Eatyard, the people behind Beatyard have long held the trust of Dublin to throw a great party.
Source: Beatyard on Facebook
Beatyard takes place in the south of the City at port of Dun Laoghaire, looking right out into Dublin Bay. This is a smaller festival of just about 20,000 but is an amazing festival for music, food, drinks, arts, talks, games, fun, you name it!
The 2019 festival takes place over the 3rd and 4th of August with acts yet to be announced at time of writing; but for an indication of what to expect, some acts that have played in recent years include George Clinton, Air, Mark Ronson and even Bananarama.
Average age group 20s-40s
Theatre Festivals in Dublin
Dublin Gay Theatre Festival
Founded in 2004 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Dublin's most famous Gay Icon, Oscar Wilde, the Dublin Gay Theatre festival is centred around a broad range of theatrical productions with a largely “Gay theme or relevance”. This festival is currently the biggest festival of its kind in the world and growing. Actors, writers and producers from Ireland and all over the world come to celebrate this festival every year and it is a wonderful celebration of the rich contribution of gay people to theatre in its many forms.
The dates for the festival in 2019 are May 6th-19th.
Source: Dublin Gay Theatre Festival on Facebook
Laya City Spectacular
One of the highlights of the year for all the family, The Laya City Spectacular, which took over from the World Street Performers Festival, sees acts from all over the globe descend on Dublin to show off some of the world’s weirdest talents.
Source: Laya City Spectacular Facebook
The festival takes place over July 12th to 14th in Merrion Square park in the heart of the city. Along with good food and live music, you’ll get the chance to see magicians, acrobats, comedians, clowns and, if you’re lucky, a man juggling 3 chain-saws.
The best part though? It’s completely free! And even if you don’t make the short stroll down to Merrion Square (you should, though) the beauty of street performers is that you can see them all over the city streets for the weekend.
Dublin Fringe Festival 2019
For the best that Ireland has to offer in the widest variety showcase of the year. Whether its comedy, drama, spoken word, Cabaret, Dance, even Wrestling, you name it, it’s probably here at Dublin Fringe festival.
Source: Dublin Fringe Festival
The festival spans the city both inside and out, so you’re likely to find some weird and wacky goings-on around the city streets as well as in the festival venues. It’s a great way to experience Dublin’s vibrant comedy and arts scene first hand, so pop along between the 7th and 22nd of September 2019.
Culture Festivals in Dublin
Bram Stoker Festival
Every year around Halloween, Dublin gets creepy with the Bram Stoker Festival, celebrating another one of our literary greats and the man who gave us Dracula.
Macnas Parade During Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin. Source: Bram Stoker Festival Facebook
While some events are ticketed, there are many free events too such as the parade performed with large scale puppets walking through the streets of Dublin. While last year saw spooky performances such as Horrors in the Black Church in Dublin Castle, as well as the immersive The Night of the Shifting Bog
in the woodlands of St. Annes Park, little has been revealed so far about the activities that will be on offer in 2019 as of this writing; but each year has been better than the last, so this is set to be the best year yet for the festival. If you’re Dublin-bound in late October 2019, do be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more information!
Dublin Festival of History
If history is your thing, then this is the festival for you. From October 1st to 20th 2019, the longest run yet for this festival - owing to the vast amount of events, exhibits, walks and participating venues this year - you can get to grips with fascinating history, both Irish and international, and all for free!
Source: Dublin Festival of History Facebook
With the 100 year anniversaries of The Irish War for independence and Civil War fast approaching, there will be plenty to experience from this festival. Of course, whenever you are in Dublin, you can delve into our fascinating history, culture and heritage as well as getting insider knowledge from us lovely local guides on our excellent free city tours of Dublin
Dublin Pride festival 2019
For a country that only decriminalised homosexuality in 1993, Ireland has come on leaps and bounds, becoming the first country in the world to vote for marriage equality by popular vote in 2015. Modern Ireland is hugely proud of its LGBTQ community and the Dublin Pride Festival and parade is one of the biggest celebrations of the year. This year, the Pride Festival in Dublin takes place from June 20th to 29th.
Source: Dublin LGBTQ Pride Facebook
While the parade is the focal point, there is plenty more things to do in Dublin city during the festival with talks, exhibitions and a block party at the Tivoli Theatre. Of course, this is always a busy time for two of the most popular LGBTQ bars in Dublin, the George and Pantibar, which keep full listing of events on their websites.
St. Patrick’s Festival Dublin 2019
Last but certainly not least is the St. Patricks Festival which is probably the most famous celebration of Irish culture globally. Again, this festival is centred around the St Partick’s Day Parade on the 17th of March, but the festivities don’t stop there. You will see the main buildings of the city coloured green each evening, traditional Irish set dancing out on the streets and live music all over the city. Obviously, a little bit of alcohol might be consumed during the week but let’s just say that it’s all part of the festival revelry.
Accommodation in Dublin city is always hard to find around Saint Patrick’s week, so if you’re thinking about joining us in Dublin for the party, we highly recommend getting on that right now. And, while you’re here, you can get into the atmosphere in the best way possible on the world’s best pub crawl in Dublin
There you have it folks, our pick of the best festivals in Dublin in 2019. If your travel diary has you in Dublin during any of these festivals, then count yourself lucky – dive in, and enjoy.