Festival Fever: May Bank Holiday Weekend…

1st May 2014
Pól Ó Conghaile

The May bank holiday weekend is one of the best of the year for festivals and events, and 2014 is no different. Below is just a short sample of some of the weirdest and most wonderful events taking place across Ireland this weekend… enjoy!

Zorrofest, Wexford

Wexford Zorrofest celebrates the life and legend of a real-life ‘Irish Zorro’ – William Lamport.

This swashbuckling Wexford man lived in the 17th century and is toted by the festival organisers as the father of Mexican independence, and events kick off with a Mexican cookery demonstration and lunch at Greenacres Restaurant with Frank Abruzzese and Chef Richie Trappe. A Latin American Concert ‘Viva la Vida’ also features on a line-up intended to lay thr groundwork for a much bigger event in 2015 – the 400th anniversary of Lamport’s birth.

Details: www.wexfordzorrofest.com

Festival of Finn, Co. Clare

The May Bank Holiday weekend sees Corofin’s Festival of Finn back with some brilliant events, including the world stone throwing championships (Sunday, 4pm) – with participants challenged to break glasses placed on spikes. €5 entry fees to the parish Christmas lights fund! Ireland’s best beard and moustache competition is also on Sunday (2-3pm), with prizes for best partial beard, full beard, trend beard and six-week beard (€7/5 entry).

Details: festivaloffinn.com

Phizzfest, Dublin

Phizzfest is an annual festival held in Phibsborough, Dublin.

Several anniversaries are being marked this year, including the 100th anniversary of the arrival of cinema in Phibsborough – with ‘pop-up cinema’ venues headlined by an outdoor screening of The Commitments in King’s Inn Park. Other highlights include Julie Feeney, Dermot Bolger, Carlo Gébler, Comedy Night with John Colleary and Pat O’Donnell, an Indian Classical Music Recital, and a talk on the 50th anniversary of Brendan Behan’s death by his nephew, Colbert Kearney, entitled “The Homer of the North Circular Road”.

Details: phizzfest.ie

The Festival of the Pirate Queen, Co. Mayo

Celebrate the life of Grace O’ Malley, the original wild Atlantic woman, at the The Festival of the Pirate Queen in Clew Bay, (May 2-5). Take a voyage of discovery and learn about her inspirational life and times with talks and tours, yawl racing on Achill island, and craft beer tastings at the Grainne Ale Festival.

Details: piratequeenfestival.ie

The Roscommon Lamb Festival

Pull the wool over your eyes with a great family break celebrating Ireland’s farming heritage at The Roscommon Lamb Festival, (April 30 – May 5). Apart from all those cute, cuddly, lambs other highlights will be the “Best of Roscommon Food Trail” and a monster lamb barbeque – Brazilian style!

Details: roscommonlambfestival.com

Vantastival, Co. Louth

This family friendly weekend at Bellurgan Park, Co. Louth, (May 24) celebrates campervan culture with three stages of live music and entertainment from acts like Hot House Flowers, Fight Like Apes and John Spillane.

Details: Vantastival.com

Punchestown Festival

Giddy up to The Punchestown Festival, (April 29th – May 3rd), the grand finale of the jump horse racing season with the best of British and Irish racing talent converging on Co. Kildare for sport, food, fashion, and entertainment.

Daetails punchestown.com

Cork International Choral Festival

Cork will be on song as it welcome choirs from all over the world for a rousing  programme of concerts  and singing competitions during the Cork International Choral Festival, (April 30th – May 4th). Talented amateur international choirs will raise the rafters as they compete for the prestigious Fleischmann International Trophy.

Details: corkchoral.ie

Féile na Bealtaine, Co. Kerry

Feel the energy and excitement at Féile na Bealtaine in Dingle, Co. Kerry, (May 1st – 5th), a dynamic, bilingual, multi-disciplinary arts festival in this picturesque fishing town. All ages will be stimulated and enthralled and this year’s line-up includes indie rock band Little Green Cars and singer songer writer  Lisa O Neil.

Details: feilenabealtaine.ie

Fleadh by the Feale, Co. Limerick

Join in a feast of traditional music, busking, dance and storytelling at Fleadh by the Feale in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, (May 1st – 5th). The highlight is the All-Ireland Bone Playing Competition held outdoors on a stage in the square attracting entries from all over the world.

Details: fleadhbythefeale.com

Kilkenny Roots Festival

The marble city goes mardi gras for The Smithwicks Kilkenny Roots Festival, (May 2nd – 5th), featuring a mix of Irish and international acts in over thirty venues throughout Kilkenny city  playing Americana, folk, bluegrass and rock. The stunning lineup includes Mark Mulcahy, Jimmy McCarthy, and Morgan O’Kane.

Details: kilkennyroots.com

Riverfest, Limerick

Gather on the banks of the majestic River Shannon in Limerick City for Riverfest, (May 2nd – 5th),  a weekend for foodies and fun seekers with the Great Limerick Run, Irelands largest barbeque cook-off, and a continental fair of European artisan food products.

Details: riverfest.ie

Connemara Mussel Festival, Co. Galway

Feast your senses at the Connemara Mussel Festival, (May 2nd – 4th) along the new Wild Atlantic Way. Taste beautifully cooked local produce, see unparalleled views of the magnificent Connemara land and seascape and hear sounds of music, dancing, talks and theatre. The festival hub is Tullycross Village where professional chefs will demonstrate the cooking of mussels and other local produce.

Details: onnemaramusselfestival.com

More frestival information on discoverireland.ie