Luke Kelly Festival

This event has ended

Smithfield Square, Sunday 13th August

Dublin City Council are delighted to present the Dublin City Council Luke Kelly Festival this August 13th at Smithfield Square, Dublin 1 from 12 pm to 6 pm. This FREE festival promises to be a huge celebration of Dublin music legend Luke Kelly through an engaging and entertaining mix of live music performances, interesting discussion sessions and family-friendly arts & crafts.

As a nod to his inner-city roots, the Dublin City Council Luke Kelly Festival will take place at Dublin's famous Smithfield Square and boasts a thoughtfully curated programme suitable for fans of all ages, along with anyone who wishes to learn more about the inspiring Dublin native. Put together by artist MacDara Yeates and author Leagues O'Toole, in liaison with Paula McCann representing the Luke Kelly family, each aspect of the day has been included to give attendees a real insight into the life and loves of Luke Kelly, along with a taste of inner-city Dublin. The unique mix of cultures, coupled with an inimitable wit and passion that the area and its inhabitants are famous for.


Main Stage

1pm-2pm – The Luke Kelly Songbook (Part 1)
Some of the finest folk singers from Dublin and beyond pay tribute to Luke by performing his best known and well-loved songs, featuring Seán Cannon (The Dubliners), Niamh Bury and Chris Kavanagh (The Legend of Luke Kelly).

3pm-4pm – Inner City Voices
A host of artists from in and around East Wall, Sheriff Street and Seán McDermot Street perform in a specially curated slot in memory of Luke, showcasing the musical diversity of Luke’s native north-inner-city, featuring sister-songwriters Zeztra, poet John Cummins and Cathal Brugha Street’s The Discovery Gospel Choir.

5pm-6pm – The Luke Kelly Songbook (Part 2)
Some of the finest folk singers from Dublin and beyond pay tribute to Luke by performing his best known and well-loved songs, featuring Pauline Scanlon and Damien Dempsey.

Discussion Tent

12pm-1pm – Luke's Life and Legacy
Biographer Des Geraghty, Luke’s niece Paula McCann, and Luke’s Brother Paddy Kelly join writer Dermot Bolger for a discussion on Luke’s upbringing, his love of sport, his beginnings in music and more.

2pm-3pm – Martin Carthy in conversation with Dermot Bolger
RTÉ’s John Kelly sits down with UK folk legend Martin Carthy to discuss the UK folk scene in the early 1960s, where Luke studied with the infamous ‘critics group’, ran into the infamous Ewan MacColl and plied his trade before returning to Ireland to form The Dubliners.

4pm-5pm – Dermot Bolger in conversation with Phil Coulter
Writer Dermot Bolger sits down with composer, producer and songwriter Phil Coulter to discuss his close friendship and many year’s working alongside Luke.

Crafts Area

12pm-1pm – Luke Kelly Statue Workshop
Using a blank polystyrene replica of the iconic Guild Street statue (designed and provided by sculptor Vera Klute), fill in Luke’s legendary curly hair and beard, using pieces of sustainable fabric, ribbon and linen.

2pm-3pm – Luke Kelly Wig-Making Workshop
Make your own Luke Kelly wig to wear around the festival site using hairnets and reams of reused Avoca wool.

4pm-5pm – Luke Kelly Bookmark Workshop
Make your own Luke Kelly bookmark in an ode to Luke’s love of reading and

Football Corner

2pm-4pm – Football Workshop with Home Farm FC
Luke’s childhood football club Homefarm FC host a soccer workshop in honour of Luke’s love of the beautiful game.

Sunday 13th August
Smithfield Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7, Ireland

Google Map of Smithfield Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7, Ireland

You might also like...

What's on

Dundrum On Ice

Dundrum Town Centre

Dundrum On Ice - Dublin's best ice skating venue in Dundrum Town Centre returns for 2023. One of Dublin's largest Ice Rinks returns for both beginners and ice skating aficiondado's. Dundrum on Ice offers our experienced team of Ice Marshals, Food and Beverages, incredible music and atmosphere. Bring in the festive cheer with Ireland's favourite Ice Skating experience.

What's on

The Christmas Experience at Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle

Get ready to embark on a magical journey through time and tradition - introducing ‘The Christmas Experience’ at Malahide Castle. Immerse yourself in the warmth and charm of the season as you journey through the historic castle, with its timeless beauty and traditional decorations. Each family will meet an array of beloved characters, witness Mrs. Claus and the elves as they prepare for the most wonderful time of the year and of course enjoy a heartwarming encounter with the main man himself, Santa Claus. There will be a special gift for all the boys and girls, and tasty treats for

What's on

The Moving Crib

St Martin Apostolate

This year The Moving Crib will be opening it’s doors for it’s 67th year! The Moving Crib has been a key feature of Christmas in Dublin for so long that parents and grandparents, who visited The Moving Crib as children, are now bringing their children and grandchildren to enjoy and re-live this amazing Christmas experience! The Moving Crib, the mention of which evokes a smile and fond memories of Dublin in the ‘rare auld times’ is the only one of its kind in Ireland (if not the world); it is an historical and entertaining experience. This Dublin landmark is as captivating today as