Heading to Ireland for a summer break can be a wonderful idea. The small country hosts some of the world's best arts and music festivals during that time and spending a summer vacation there will give you umpteen choices. Apart from drinking stout, enjoying the lush greenery and idyllic villages the country offers, you will be able to enjoy the best of art, literature and music. So, save the dates for the following festivals you can enjoy in Ireland this summer.
Bloomsday Festival, Dublin (June 11—16)
The unique Bloomsday Festival in Dublin celebrates the story of Leopold Bloom, the central character in James Joyce’s famous novel, Ulysses. Fans of the book are invited to dress up and step back in time as, across Dublin, musical, artistic and food-related events bring Ulysses to life.
Belsonic, Belfast (June 18—24)
Legends of the music scene including Nile Rodgers & Chic, The Script, Liam Gallagher and Carl Cox will take to the stage at Belfast’s biggest beat bash. The week-long festival, held in Ormeau Park, leaves plenty of opportunity to explore the historic city and soak up some Belfast vibe.
Summer in the City, Dublin (June 23—24)
Ireland's newest open-air music event looks set to be a massive hit with the line-up featuring top bands The Chainsmokers, Picture This, Clean Bandit, JP Cooper, Little Hours and Rita Ora. Another great reason to visit Dublin.
Seafest, Galway (June 29—July 1)
Taking place on the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way, Seafest is Ireland’s national maritime festival celebrating all things oceanic. Events include a seafood fair, seafood cookery demonstrations with celebrity chefs, tours of ocean-going vessels, boat trips, flyboarding displays and exhibits on marine life and deep-sea exploration.
Galway International Arts Festival (July 16—19)
Named as one of the top five summer festivals in Europe, Galway International Arts Festival is an explosion of arts activity including theatre, dance, music, opera, street spectacle, visual arts, discussion and comedy taking place across 33 venues. This year top Irish band Kodaline returns to the Festival Big Top, while new drama and award-winning productions take to the stage.
Indiependence Festival, Cork (August 3—5)
A stellar line-up including headliners Primal Scream, Walking on Cars and Jake Bugg makes this one of the best music festivals of the year, with performances on multiple stages across a tree-lined, 52-acre site overlooked by the gorgeous Galtee mountains.
Kilkenny Arts Festival (August 9—19)
Aptly subtitled ‘Artistic adventures in Ireland’s medieval city’, the Kilkenny Arts Festival has classical music at the core of its programme. Its eclectic mix of music is performed in the city’s historic churches, castle, courtyards, townhouses and gardens adding medieval magic to the experience.
Getting there: Plenty of carriers, such as Emirates, British Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and KLM among others offer flights to Dublin with a stopover from India. The majority of the stopovers are in London. There are flights to other destinations in Ireland, namely Cork and Shannon, too.
Visas:The British Irish Visa Scheme allows for travel to and around Ireland and the UK on a single visa. The recently launched scheme allows visitors from India to travel freely within Ireland and the United Kingdom using either an Irish or UK visa. This will mean that tourists and business visitors will be able, for the first time, to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa.