Sunday 21 January 2018

#SummerFest - 11 affordable festivals you didn't know were on this weekend

#SummerFest is the series on Irish summer festivals

Photo: Clare Cullen
Photo: Clare Cullen
Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

Stuck for something to do this weekend? Look no further, as have a list of eleven festivals with affordable and exciting activities that we bet you didn't even know were on.

#SummerFest is's series focusing on Irish summer festivals around the country. If you want your festival featured, email with the subject line 'SummerFest' and tweet your pics with #SummerFest for your chance to be featured on


1. Achill Island 'Festival of The Sea''

This festival  began on the 4th of July and will end on the 3rd August. Daily events range from food markets to traditional music to guided walks and golf.


Affordable festivals you didn't know were on this weekend

Achill Island 'Festival of The Sea''

  • Movie on A Beach Saturday 11th July on Keel Beach (€5)
  • Family Fun Open Sports Day with Mini games, novelty races, bubble football and lots more. 1pm -4pm at Fr. O’Brien Park, The Valley
  • Dooagh Day Festival - Rock Around the Dock, Sunday 12th July Curragh racing, sheep dog demonstration, family games, live music, duck race, pipe band, seafood BBQ, face painting and more.
  • Guided Walks, Sunday 12th July, departing Dooagh Beach at 10am. Booking required - Tel. 086 8439683, cost €25.
  • Texas Scramble, Sunday 12th July, Achill Island Golf Club, Keel.
  • The Sunday Session, McLoughlin's Bar, Achill Sound, Sunday July 12th. 6pm - 8.30pm. Free event.

Bray SummerFest

  • Groove Festival July 4th & 5th 2015
  • Summerfest Fun Fair & Summerbay (Kids Zone) – Individually priced with weekday offers on site from July 12th until August 3rd 2015
  • Food and Craft markets from 10 am on July 18th & 19th – Air Show Weekend
  • Bray Air Show, Sunday, July 19th 2015 from 2pm – Free event
  • Smash Hits live on Bray’s iconic Bandstand (Free open air gig) Sunday, August 2nd
  • Firework Display Bray Seafront – Monday, August 3rd at 10pm – Free event

Galway Film Fleadh

  • Women in Film and Television presents: It's All About the Money, Friday 1oth July
  • Irish Shorts, Friday 10th, Sat 11th and Sunday 12th July.
  • In Conversation: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Saturday 11th July in the Town Hall Theatre Bar, FREE. (Ticketed event)
  • . 'John Reilly and Friends' Live, Sat July 11th & Sun July 12th at St.Nicholas’ Cathedral. Doors 8pm. Show at 8.30pm. Tickets €30
  • An Afternoon with John C. Reilly and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Sun 12 July in the Town Hall Theatre. 3PM. Tickets €20.
  • One Minute Film Festival, Sunday 12th July in the Cinemobile at 1.45Pm (30 min). Tickets €3.

Ballina Salmon Festival

  • International Night, Friday 10th July
  • National Busking Competition, Saturday 11th July. Tickets €10/€20 for bands. €1,000 prize. Town Centre, 12PM to 5PM.
  • Open Air Concert with Keywest, Bar Square, Sat 11th July. FREE. Market Square Ballina, 8.30PM to 10.30PM.
  • Mardi Gras, Saturday 11th July, FREE. Parade starts at Convent Hill and ends at River Moy. 10.30PM - 11.30PM.
  • Monster Fireworks Display, Saturday 11th July, FREE. Emmett Street overlooking the River Moy, 11.30PM.

Laya Healthcare's City Spectacular 2015, Dublin

  • Trampoline Mission 3, July 11th and 12th, Merrion Square East, 1PM, 3PM and 5PM. Belgian trampoline trio perform acrobatics for assembled crowds. Free event.
  • Happy Yoga and FitKidz classes for children, July 11th and 12th in Merrion Square Park.
  • Doktor Kaboom! Live Science Shows. July 10th, 11th & 12th 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
  • Happy Yoga with Guru Dudu, July 11th & 12th 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
  • Silent Disco Walking Tours. Thurs July 9th 6.30pm, Friday 10th 1pm, 6.30pm, 8.30pm, Sat 11th 2pm, 6.30pm & 8pm, Sunday 12th 6.30pm. Dublin City Centre, meeting point is Molly Malone statue on Suffolk Street.

Valentina Isle Festival 2015

  • Holistic treatments - Saturday and Sunday 2pm to 6pm, from holistic massage to reflexology.
  • Saturday 11th July - Swing Saturday. Think Harlem in the 1920's and 30's.
  • Sunday 12th July - Trad Sunday with Dingle Tradfest.

Clonmel Junction Festival 2015

  • Deirdre O’Kane - Comeback Girl. Friday July 10th at 8pm.
  • Family Fun By The River. Saturday July 11th at 2PM. FREE.
  • Finale Garden Party. Sunday July 12th at 2PM. FREE.

For full event listings and ticket information click here.


2. Bray SummerFest

Bray SummerFest kicked off last weekend with Groove Festival, and this weekend the 'SummerFest Fun Fair and Summer Bay' opens to the public this Sunday. It will be open from 12pm every day until August 3rd.

For full event listings and ticket information click here.


3. Galway Film Fleadh

Galway Film Fleadh began on Tuesday and ends this Sunday. 

Celebrating its 21st Birthday this year, the Fleadh will be hosting a wide variety of events from panel discussions and conversations with directors to Irish short films to a live Q & A session with celebrated actor John Reilly (Stepbrothers. will be covering the Q&A and for the live performance by his band 'John Reilly & Friends'.

If you have any questions for John Reilly, tweet with #SummerFest.

For full event listing and ticket information, click here.


4. Ballina Salmon Festival

Ballina Salmon Festival is a family-centred festival running since 1964 and welcomes circa 200,000 visitors to the North Mayo town every year. It began last Friday and will end this Sunday.

For full event listings and ticket information click here.


5. Laya Healthcare's City Spectacular 2015, Dublin

Celebrating it's tenth birthday this year, the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular is in Dublin this weekend and in Cork next weekend.

Over 250,000 people are expected to attend both events.

For full event listings and ticket information click here.



6. Swell Festival 2015, Donegal

Music, arts, spoken word and comedy for people who like something a bit more relaxed. Over eighty acts, two stages, July 10th to 12th. Weekend, camping and day tickets still available.

Full lineup here.



7. Valentina Isle Festival 2015

Valentia Island Ireland is one of the Europe’s westernmost inhabited locations, lying off the southwest of Kerry on the Atlantic Ocean, next stop America. Tickets from €50.


8. Townlands Carnival 2015, Cork

TownLands is set in the picturesque countryside near Macroom, in the grounds of the old Rusheen Farm estate with up-and-coming music acts from both home and abroad spread over 5 stages, Children’s entertainment, art installations, camping areas, food, drink and more.

1. Glamping available - try your hand at 'Glam Camping'.

Full lineup here. Tickets from €35.


9. Clonmel Junction Festival 2015

The Clonmel Junction Festival is a celbration of art and culture with a variety of free and family-friendly events across the weekend ranging from art installations and projects to comedy and music.

For full event listings and ticket information click here.


10. Live at the Marquee, Cork

Live at the Marquee is an annual music festival which takes place in Cork, Ireland during the summer, usually over multiple days in June and July. The first event occurred in 2005 when Cork was the official European Capital of Culture. Running from the 11th June - 14th July 2015 at the Docklands, Centre Park Road, Cork.

Live at the Marquee is one of the Vodafone Ireland Centre Stage-sponsored festivals, alongside Catlepalooza, Body & Soul and Indiependence.

Van Morrison, The Frames, Status Quo and Damien Rice are among the appearing acts.

Buy tickets here.


11. Bulmers Live At Leopardstown

Bulmers Live at Leopardstown is a mixture of music and racing together with great food and drink. Paddy Casey will be performing on Saturday the 11th June and tickets start from €15 for racing and concert.

Buy tickets here.


Have we missed any? Tweet your local festival with #SummerFest to be included in our weekly features. If you want to come and cover your event, email with subject line 'SummerFest'.

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