Saturday 19 January 2019

Do you have FOMO about EP? Here are 11 alternative events to enjoy next weekend

Who needs EP anyway?

Signing up for Willie Daly’s matchmaking skills
Signing up for Willie Daly’s matchmaking skills
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

With Electric Picnic selling out months in advance, and spare tickets few and far between, you may well be staring into the abyss of the first weekend of September wondering what the hell you're going to do with yourself.

Never fear, we've trawled the festival and events schedules to find the best of what's on offer to keep you occupied from Friday September 1 to Sunday September 3...

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

Matchmaker Willie Daly with Siobhan O’Brien, Co Clare, and Deborah Hopkins, Germany

Kicking off on September 1st, the annual festival runs until October 8th with a programme that offers so much more than matchmaking. Music-wise, there's Mike Denver and country DJ Gerry Sexton on Friday, followed by Nathan Carter on Saturday.

There's also "dancing and matchmaking after mass till late every day".  Sure what more could you want?  If you hang about there's the LGBT music and matchmaking festival The Outing the following weekend.


Harvest Time Blues

Monaghan, Harvest Time Blues.jpg
Harvest Time Blues Festival, Monaghan

Monaghan's rhythm and blues festival runs over three days from September 1st and boasts a jam-packed line up of the best of jazz, blues and country.  Now in its 21st year it's considered one of the best blues festivals in Europe. 

The line-up includes Lucky Peterson from Dallas, Jeff Jensen Band from Memphis, The Steepwater Band from Chicago, Texas' talent Sugaray Rayford, homegrown talent Crow Black Chicken and Grainne Duffy and many, many more.


Annual Appalchian & Bluegrass Music Festival

Rackhouse Pilfer

The 25th annual festival takes place at the Ulster American Fold Park in Omagh from September 2-4.  Expect "strumming on the porches of log cabins, dancing in the cobbled streets, and jamming outside the General Store".

There will be six stages of music at the museum throughout the day or you can book tickets for the evening concert in the park. 

Among the artists performing on Friday include Old Hannah, English band Flats & Sharps, Canadian group Viper Central and Scottish group The Dirty Beggars. On Saturday Estonians Robirohi will perform as well as Rackhouse Pilfer from Sligo. 

For more info; full line-up, food, tickets etc visit


Air Waves Portrush

Air Waves Portrush

The air display show takes place across Saturday and Sunday against the stunning backdrop of the Giant's Causeway and Dunluce Castle and the beach will be available for spectators.  It's split across two viewing areas - Village North (Lansdowne) and Village South (East Strand) and a visit to both is recommended.

Confirmed aircrafts include the RAF Red Arrows, RAF Typhoon FGR4, RAF Battle of Britain Memorial (Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane), Mig 15, RAF Grob Tutor Mark 1, Team Raven, Consolidated Catalina, Wildcat Aerobatics, Irish Coastguard S-92, Muscle Biplane, Bell Huey, Hughes Loach, Aerobatic Glider, and Calidus Autogyro.

The are also attractions on the ground including a motor village, Star Wars characters, and the Ulster Aviation Society exhibit.  There's free parking and free admission.  Check out


Johnny Logan: The Greatest Hits Tour

Johnny Logan in 1987

Three time Eurovision winner (he won twice and penned Linda Martin's winner 'Why Me') and hugely successful solo artist Johnny Logan will be belting out his greatest hits at Vicar Street on Friday and Saturday night.  Tickets from €39.95 from Ticketmaster.


Blackrock Film Festival

Some Like It Hot

The inaugural Blackrock Film Festival takes place from August 31st to September 3rd at Blackrock Village, Co Louth and is an expansion of the hugely popular Cinema on the Sand event.

A movie will be shown on the beach and there will be three more movies showing in venues around the village across the weekend. 

Charlie Chaplin classic The Kid will be screened in Danny Hughes' shop on Thursday while Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl will be shown on Blackrock Beach on Friday. On Saturday, Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon's Some Like It Hot will screen at The Clermont Arms and on Sunday Roddy Doyle's The Commitments will screen in The Neptune. 

The events are free. For more info email


Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter

Harry Potter fans from across the world will converge on Dublin for LeakyCon, a weekend-long celebration of all things Harry Potter.  There's a convention running August 31st to September 3rd and a Fandom Expo on September 3rd. 

Evanna Lynch, Dan Fogler, Katie Leung and Alfred Enoch will be in attendance, as well as a host of other names connected to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  For more info check out


Katie Murphy prepares for Riverdance at the Gaiety Theatre

Composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty, and directed by John McColgan, Riverdance continues to run at the Gaiety Theatre over the weekend.  If you still haven't seen it (and even if you have) it's a must!


Christy Moore

Christy Moore performs on stage at the Royal Festival Hall on April 4, 2012 in London, United Kingdom.

The legend that is Christy Moore plays the Johnstown House Hotel, Meath on Friday September 1st. 


Sister Act

Some of the cast of Sister Act

Directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, this feel-good musical will lift your EP-missing spirits. Tickets from Ticketmaster. 


The Origami Festival


Looking to exercise your dormant creative muscles?  The Kiki Theatre and Performance Group present the Origami Festival taking place in Portlaoise from August 26th to September 3rd with workshops, competitions, and a decorative and interactive public exhibition of stunning origami works. Email or call 085-1696575 for more.

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