Make this fun festival part of your bank holiday plans
Spend your May bank holiday on the banks of the River Shannon at Limerick’s Riverfest, running from 4th to 7th May 2018
A vibrant festival in a vibrant city
Nestled on the banks of the River Shannon, surrounded by lush, rolling countryside and full-to-bursting with lively pubs, Limerick is a – much-overlooked – jewel in the Irish tourism crown. As far as weekend jaunt destinations go, Ireland’s third largest city is hard to beat. With a striking blend of medieval monuments, shopaholic-worthy plazas, bright boutiques and artsy cafes, it really does tick all the boxes. It’s urban dynamism in miniature, with super friendly locals to boot.
If you’ve never been to Limerick, or if you haven’t visited in years, it’s about time you took that trip! Shortlisted for the European Capital of Culture 2020, Limerick is a thriving hub of daring arts, music, dance and literature. What better time to explore this city and soak up some culture than at Riverfest Limerick 2018?
The 14th edition of this burgeoning festival promises to be bigger and better than ever. Taking place over May bank holiday weekend, this is the easy answer to that panic-inducing question ‘how will I entertain the kids?’ It’s a festival to delight families and free-as-a-bird visitors alike – and will provide ample fodder for the Tuesday morning water-cooler anecdote exchange. The Riverfest Limerick line-up is positively heaving with big-name acts and unmissable events.
Music to your ears
Jake Lukeman, who goes by the snappy moniker Jack L, is an Irish songwriter and musician who has been making waves with his new-ish Magic Days album. No longer interpreting the work of great musicians past, these songs see Jack’s deep, blues-bar voice take centre stage. Catch him playing in Dolan’s pub on Saturday 5th May and let his soulful numbers get you in the Riverfest Limerick swing of things.
Fresh from supporting Tori Amos on the European leg of her world tour in late 2017, Bell X1 will bring their melodic hooks, husky vocals and rousing anthems to King John’s Castle on Sunday 6th May as part of Riverfest Limerick. One of the most played bands on Irish airwaves, theirs is the kind of head-bobbing, body-swaying pop that will give you that bright-evening-bank-holiday feeling in no time.
Foodie fanatics and fashion lovers
What would a festival be without food? Or fashion for that matter? Luckily, Riverfest Limerick 2018 delivers both in abundance.
The Limerick Food Experience, which takes place in the Hunt Museum on both Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm, will showcase the very finest local produce from the surrounding area. Sample fine meats, melt-in-the-mouth cheeses and freshly baked bread. All completely Instagram-worthy, of course. Meanwhile the Riverfestival Village will bring a bustling hub of stalls brimming with delicious street food to the banks of the river. You’ll find everything from corn dogs to curries and doughnuts to ice-cream. Musical entertainment will delight you as you scoff and munch. For the serious BBQers (here’s looking at you Dads!) the The Riverfest BBQ on the Boardwalk competition will be a chance to flex those burger-flipping muscles.
For the style-savvy, there will be two fashion shows happening on Friday, highlighting the very best looks from Limerick’s leading high-street stores and boutiques. Got a surly teenage girl on your hands? This might be just the thing to snap her out of her grump. Expect to see a mix of bridal, occasion and casual-wear sashaying down the catwalk – with some delightful millinery thrown in for good measure. It’s next season, covered.
Ambling from stall to stall, pint in hand, is a wonderful way to spend a weekend. Though admittedly it is a little low-energy for some people. Yes, there are those that seek blood-pumping, hair-raising, PB-smashing adrenalin hits – even on a bank holiday weekend. If this sounds like you, rest assured Riverfest Limerick 2018 has catered for the fitness fanatics too.
On Sunday 6th May, the Bon Secours Hospital Great Limerick Run offers full, half and relay marathons from the starting point of Pery Square. Serious and fun runners alike are invited to come for the race and stay to experience the whole of Riverfest Limerick.
While this race may be one of the biggest sport-lover events the festival has to offer, it is by no means the only one. Over the course of the weekend, you can try your hand at zorbing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and sailing. There’s even a kayak at night tour for dreamy-eyed lovers. Lycra-clad bike enthusiasts will also get their fair share of cycling with organised races and tours.
Children are not left out of the programming either. There is a dedicated kid’s run and little ones will also love getting out on the water. All that activity is bound to tire them out – ensuring an argument-free bedtime.
Fun for the whole family
A lot of festivals that claim to be family-friendly put on activities that segregate children entirely from the main event. Riverfest’s clever programming ensures that parents and children will enjoy a host of activities together. From watersports to races, cheese-tasting to ice-cream slurping and insect-hunting to firework displays, Riverfest Limerick is where great family memories are made.
Did someone say ‘free’?
The vast majority of activities at Riverfest Limerick are completely free. Even more incentive to make the trip! For a full timetable of events see Riverfest.ie and get ready to make Riverfest Limerick part of your May bank holiday plan.