Tuesday 25 June 2019

From Bloom to Cat Laughs – what’s on this Bank Holiday weekend

Vantastival 2018. PIC: vantastival.com
Vantastival 2018. PIC: vantastival.com
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

It looks like our June Bank Holiday weekend is going to offer up a little sunshine so we've trawled the schedules to find out which events and festivals will allow you to soak up a few rays across the country...

Bloom, Phoenix Park, Thursday May 31 - Monday June 4

Pictured is "The Enchanted Wood" designed by Peter O'Brien, one of 20 show gardens at Bord Bia’s Bloom festival. Bord Bia’s Bloom Iain White - Fennell Photography.

Bord Bia’s Bloom is Ireland’s largest gardening, food and family festival and is the perfect family day out in the sunshine.  There will be a range of impressive show gardens including one from the winner of this series of Super Garden and another from Super Garden judge Brian Burke, food, music, fashion, debate and family entertainment.  Tickets are still available and children go free.



Kilkenny Cat Laughs, Thurs May 31 - Mon June 4

David O'Doherty.

From the opening gala on Thursday with David O'Doherty, Reginald D Hunter, Joanne McNally, Abandonman, Lords of Strut, Maeve Higgins, Alison Spittle and MC Karl Spain to Adam Hills and Zoe Lyons on Saturday there's a comedian for every taste and inclination.  What better way to spend a long weekend than laughing yourself silly?  Weekender tickets cost €200 while you can nab a Saturday for €85 or Sunday for €64.  Or tickets for the offbeat STRAY strand are €100.  For more info:



K-Fest, Killorglin, Kerry, Fri June 1 - Mon June 4

K-FEST Photo by David Hegarty_6977.jpg
K-Fest. Photo by David Hegarty

This gem of an arts festival offers more than 60 events in vacant retail outlets and deserted buildings across Killorglin, from Film Night with Jim Sheridan to The Poetry of Rock 'n' Roll to music from Le Boom and Fangclub, ROE and Katie Laffan, as well as performance art, artists, a DJ competition, busking competition, photography and so much more. 

Children can see the Little Stars Gallery at The Dail which boasts the stars decorated by local children.  There are also Galactic Talks, and a dress up competition on Sunday.  There's also a Fairy Trail and Comedy for Kids as well as book readings.



Vantastival, Louth, Friday June 1- Monday June 4

vantastival 2017.jpeg
Vantastival 2018. PIC: vantastival.com

For parents who love festivals but worry about leaving/bringing the kids, Vantastival is the perfect solution.  It's a truly family-friendly festival that takes place across the weekend at Beaulieu House & Gardens, Co. Louth.

The line-up has something for everyone from Le Galaxie to The Stunning to The Hot Sprockets, Engine Alley and LOAH.  And it has all the extras we've come to expect from festivals these days from gourmet food stalls to boutique camping to festival traders. 

For the kids there are scheduled activities across the weekend at the Enchanted Garden Kids' Camp with arts, crafts, bouncy castles, bubble shows, laughter yoga and more.



Forbidden Fruit, Kilmainham, Dublin, June 2, 3, 4

Alannah Beirne and Thalia Heffernan at the Bulmers Live 100% Irish stage at Bulmers Forbidden Fruit Festival in Kilmainham,Dublin. Picture Brian McEvoy

Bulmers Forbidden Fruit is handily located (for Dubliners at least) on the grounds of Kilmainham and although there's no camping, there's no need to sleep either as the party continues at the Forbidden Fruit Nights after parties taking place in a variety of locations across the capital once the gates close on the festival site.

The line-up includes Justice, Bonobo, Vince Staples, Glass Animals, Bicep (live), Senis Sulta, Hunee, Ross from Friends (live), The War on Drugs, Grizzly Bear, Thundercat, Warpaint, Spoon, Superorganism, and Glass Animals.

Fresh from their live sets on the Kilmainham stage, these acts will perform intimate DJ sets in various city centre venues: Bonobo will alongside George Fitzgerald & Willaris K in the Button Factory; Four Tet, Floating Points & Ben UFO will be playing b2b in Wigwam and there are many more.  Tickets for the after parties are only available to buy at the festival site over the weekend.

At the time of writing there are three day tickets still available for €162.50 plus booking for the day festival, two day (Sat and Sun) cost €119 plus booking, Saturday day, Sunday day, or Monday day tickets €64.50 plus fees, from Ticketmaster.


Cowboys and Heroes Country Music Festival, Leitrim, Fri June 1 - Mon June 4

Lisa McHugh

Located in Drumcoura City, a 50 acre western themed rance just outside of Ballinalore Co Leitrim, it has lake views, forest trails and boasts a line up including Robert Mizzell, Patrick Feeney, Mike Denver, The Ward Sisters, Lisa McHugh and Derek Ryan among many, many more. 

There will also be an American car show, Jive & Line dancing classes, the Western Horse Show, Country Star competition, Jive competition and Gun Slingers show.  Monday is a Kids and family fun day with a kids tractor run, line dancing and more.  There also amusements, a food village, camping, tipis and five different bars.


Read more: Missed out on an EP ticket? Here are 6 European music festival alternatives to consider

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