1. Dalriada Festival
July 18-25, Glenarm Castle
Billed as Northern Ireland’s biggest cultural and heritage Festival, the main objective of the Festival is to recycle and share talent, renew passion and belief in our local area and regenerate excitement in our land, its people and our shared cultural heritage. Attracting in excess of 20,000 visitors this festival has something for everyone from Highland Games, Fine Foods, Celebrity Chef demonstrations, arts and crafts, live music and children’s entertainment to large outdoor concerts.
Tickets, lineups and more information from dalriadafestival.co.uk/content/tickets
2. Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival
July 26 – August 3, various venues
The fourth Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, Happy Days, will take place over two long weekends, between 23 July and 3 August 2015. The annual Beckett festival is directed by Sean Doran. With its multiple and atmospheric locations, the festival boasts performances in all of Enniskillen’s four churches, the 300 seat Ardhowen Theatre on the banks of Lough Erne, at Portora Royal School, and off the beaten track, in the underground caves of Marble Arch, on remote islands, and hidden locations in the countryside.
Full details happy-days-enniskillen.com
3. Belfast Guitar Festival
July 24, 25 and 26, T13
In its second year the Belfast Guitar Festival, run by Paul McMordie, is one of the city’s newest events supporting up and coming artists.
From folk, Americana, blues and rock to flamenco, indie, jazz and percussive (tappy tap stuff to you and me) this is a festival for music lovers and music players.
In the industrial urban setting of T13 this festival is family friendly and gives artists the opportunity to experiment with new material as well as play their well known tracks and covers.
Line-up to be released in coming weeks.
For more information log onto facebook.com/belfastguitarfest
4. August Feile
July 30 – August 9, Falls Park, Belfast
Feile an Phobail’s flagship programme is most certainly August Feile which has consistently grown from strength to strength. The August Feile is a jam-packed programme of events including: music concerts, debates and discussions, exhibitions, international food fayre, children’s events, literary events, community events, walks and tours, sports, dramas, something for everyone at every age. The August Feile is a magnet for both locals and visitors alike and attracts tourists from around the world.
For more information, tickets and listings feilebelfast.com/events/
5. Sunflower Fest
July 31-August 2, Tubby’s Farm Hillsborough
Sunflowerfest is an excitingly different and magical weekend-festival of great music, arts and entertainment. It nurtures the mind, body and soul through a wide range of superb live music, fantastic fun for the family, performances in the Enchanted Glade, storytelling, poetry, and interactive art, dance and music works
Tickets and lineup information from sunflowerfest.co.uk
6. Open House Festival
August, 1-31, various venues in Bangor
Open House is a registered not–for–profit charity that organises annual music and arts festivals in Belfast and Bangor, Northern Ireland as well as hosting a year-round programme of special events and one-off concerts. This August various acts will play in various venues across Bangor ranging from hotels to churches to boats.
Information, listings and bookings from openhousefestival.com
7. Monsters Of Rot V
August 1 (Letterbreen, County Fermanagh)
Belfast band Altus are among the first bands to be announced for the forthcoming Monsters of Rot metal-fest. The festival has been one of the country’s best kept metal secrets. The one-day fest of extreme metal is held in the farthest corner of Northern Ireland – Letterbreen, County Fermanagh on Saturday August 1.
Tickets are £15/€18, including camping and available soon from monstersofrot.com. For more check out https://www.facebook.com/events/663751490413618/
8. Belfast Hills Heritage Festival
August 3-8, various locations
Join the annual celebration into the Belfast Hills that promises to be full of fun activities for all the family.The Belfast Hills Partnership’s week long summer programme of events will bring the Hills alive with folklore, nature, entertainment and good healthy outdoor fun.
Activities include walks, talks and wildlife hunts
For more information go to belfasthills.org or call 02890 603466
9. Stendhal Festival of Art
August 7-8, Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady
Stendhal Festival of Art brings an all encompassing artistic experience to the Roe Valley, home of Danny Boy. Celebrating the creativity of artists from all over Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and further afield, Stendhal Festival of Art is much more than just a music festival. Experience the syndrome with Stendhal Festival of Art.
Tickets and further information from stendhalfestival.com/shop/
August 15-26, Custom House Square, Belfast
In its eighth year Belsonic will be headlined this year by drum and bass and soul band Rudimental, Paloma Faith, Bastille, Stereophonics, Above & Beyond and All Time Low.
With a mixture of genres the festival is set to see thousands of people pack into Custom House Square over six nights.
Already confirmed for support are Duke Dumont, The Coronas, twenty one pilots, Mini Mansions and Echosmith.
Tickets priced from £27.50 are available from belsonic.com or ticketmaster.ie.
11. East Side Arts Festival
August 19-31, various venues across Belfast
Everyone from Van the Man and Duke Special to up and coming artist Souk will join the line-up of the festival this year. Also on the bill is a range of other arts performances and events.
For more information log onto eastsidearts.net
12. Linenfields Festival
August 21 & 22, Banbridge
A new festival based in Banbridge has been launched and they’ve chosen country hunk Nathan Carter to headline.
LinenFields Festival, which runs from Friday August 21 to Saturday August 22 will bring a flavour of American and Irish country to the picturesque meadows.
The inaugural festival will featuring a host of tribute acts on Friday August 21 including Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks.
Country music heart-throb Nathan Carter will headline the festival on Saturday August 22.
Tickets are available from ticketmaster.ie or you can get more information from linenfieldsfestival.com.
13. Tennents Vital
August 28-29, Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast
Superstar DJ Calvin Harris and The Script will headline Tennent’s Vital this year. Also on the bill are bands such as Ellie Goulding, John Newman, Disciples and Burns.
This year’s festival is shaping up to be a musical collective, with long-time collaborators Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding having worked with the rest of the bill throughout their careers – Calvin Harris’ successful recordings with John Newman are proven chart successes, while BURNS featured on the re-release of Ellie Goulding’s album and secured a coveted support slot on Harris’ UK tour.
Tickets are available from ticketmaster.ie.
14. Hilden Beer Festival and Music Festival
August 28-30, Hilden Brewery
Beer enthusiasts across the country know that the August bank holiday weekend means only one thing…Hilden Beer and Music Festival! This year’s event will be the biggest and best yet with a great band line up on 3 music stages and 3 bars serving over 30 ales, stouts, lagers and ciders from Britain and Ireland. More than 20 musical acts will perform over the weekend creating a line up that features rock, bluegrass, blues, traditional and singer song-writing talent.
For more information go to taproomhilden.com
15. Belfast Mela
August 30, Botanic Gardens Belfast
Explore the sights, sounds and smells of the world at Mela, a unique global get-together with tens of thousands of people enjoying music, dance, food, fashion, cuisine and lots of community celebration. Set across the magnificent settings of Botanic Gardens, the Mela celebrates Belfast at it’s best and is a perfect way to round off your summer in the city!
Tickets and further information available from belfastmela.org.uk/buy-tickets
16. Hillsborough International Oyster Festival
September 1-6, various venues around the town
The Hillsborough Oyster Festival will include activities, performances and eating experiences to satisfy all tastes. This year’s Festival will see the return of the World Oyster Eating Championship, the glamourous Pearl and Oyster Ball, The Oyster Masters Golf, the Super Car Dream Sunday and the Soapbox Derby which is being sponsored by TrustFord this year.
For more information log onto hillsboroughoysterfestival.com
LOOK WHAT YOU MISSED 🙁
Belfast Photo Festival
June 4-30, venues across the city
Belfast Photo Festival is a not for profit organisation that presents one of the leading international festivals of photography in the United Kingdom and Ireland.Since 2011, this major photographic event has attracted thousands of festival-goers to Belfast, celebrating some of the finest national and international contemporary photography across 30 museums, galleries and public venues.
More info at belfastphotofestival.com
Strangford Lough Maritime festival
June 10-14, Strangford
Portaferry will be filled with Medieval Mayhem on Sat 13 and Sun 14 June during the annual Strangford Lough Festival. Falconry and archery displays and have-a-go sessions will be a huge draw at Exploris Park and you can also pick up some ancient recipes or try out your writing skills with the cooks and scriptor monk. The events are mostly FREE, with something for everyone, from getting your hands on marine mini beasties to heritage boat trips.
To book boat trips contact Portaferry Visitor Information Centre 028 4272 9882.
The Danny Boy Jazz and Blues Festival
June 11-14 , various venues Limavady
The 1993 established Limavady Jazz and Blues Festival, in recognition and celebration of the town’s links to the tune, became the Danny Boy Jazz and Blues Festival in 2014.Held each year in early June, showcasing the best jazz and blues sounds from across the globe. There are family-friendly events and more throughout the 19th annual Roe Valley weekender.
For lineups, information and tickets dannyboyjazzandblues.com
June 19-21,Queen’s University Students Union
Q-Con is the annual Gaming & Anime Convention hosted by QUB Dragonslayers, the Queen’s University Belfast Gaming and Anime Society. This year Q-Con returns for its 22nd year and promises to continue its tradition of providing the UK & Ireland’s greatest weekend of gaming and anime entertainment!Consoles, Role Playing, Wargames, Live Action, CCG & TCG, PC LAN, Board Games, Tabletop, Anime Screenings, Cosplay, Charity Events, Social Events… It’s almost too much for one weekend to take!
To pre register and more information q-con.org.uk
Down Royal Summer Festival of Racing
June 19-20 , Down Royal Race course
Join us for an exceptional weekend of racing, style and flair. The Summer Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse is the only place to be on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th June. Racing on Friday 19th June commences at 5:45pm (approx) – an all National Hunt Card featuring the Tote.com Galway Plate Trial, won in 2014 by the Noel Meade trained Fisher Bridge.
More information and tickets from downroyal.com
June 24-28, various Locations Derry
Ireland’s premier electronic music festival, Celtronic 2015 celebrates its fifteenth anniversary this summer. The acclaimed festival which has been described as ‘Ireland’s answer to Sonar’, regularly attracts thousands of music fans to the city of Derry to dance to the world’s best electronic music talent.
Tickets from celtronicfestival.com
Tall Ship Races
July 2-5, Titanic Quarter
Over 50 tall ships from across the globe will anchor in Belfast for the start of The Tall Ships Races 2015. Organised by Sail Training International, The Tall Ships Races will be welcomed by the annual Lidl Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival.
This is the third time that Belfast has hosted the races, having previously welcomed the ships in 1991 and 2009.
The best time to view the ships ‘en masse’ will be on Sunday 5 July (10am – 2pm) during the Tall Ships Parade.
For more information tallshipsbelfast.com