As the one national holiday that is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other, St. Patrick’s Day is the day when everyone wants to be Irish. What better way to spend it than over five fun-filled days in Dublin at St. Patrick’s Festival from 15th-19th March
The festival sets out to seize that opportunity, and completely transform the national and international perception of St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. This country is bursting with the kind of creative energy, ideas and enthusiasm required to make our national holiday an unforgettable experience for all.
The first St. Patrick’s Festival was held over one day, and night, on March 17th 1996, it has since grown to a 4-5 day celebration.
St. Patrick’s Festival Parade
Bands from far and wide will deliver dazzling rhythms and uplifting musical scores that will reverberate throughout the streets of Dublin for the magnificent procession. Marvel at as the Festival parade swirls by in all its glory and cheer along with the hundreds of thousands of people who make the atmosphere at the Festival parade something special to remember.
Let yourself be taken on a mysterious guided tour of the back streets of Dublin 8’s Liberties quarter. The Guinness family have helped shape Dublin’s past in this area since Arthur Guinness famously signed the lease on the St. James’s Gate site in 1759. Experience contemporary Dublin through an historic lens as commissioned street artists re-imagine photographs from Guinness Archive and pop into the local nooks and crannies to meet some of today’s locals who live and work in the vicinity. Starting at St. Patrick’s Cathedral the tour will weave its way along Thomas Street towards its final destination the Open Gate Brewery for a special experimental beer tasting.
St. Patrick’s Festival aims to strengthen the deep cultural connection between Ireland and its diaspora by showcasing the world’s largest collection of Famine-related art never before exhibited on Irish soil. In a unique celebration of St. Patrick’s Festival, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, is sending its acclaimed art collection to Ireland in March 2018. The works will go to Dublin Castle, West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen, and Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin in Derry for the exhibition Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger. The museum’s collection, the only one of its kind in the world, constitutes an incomparable direct link to the past of almost 6.5 million Irish and 40 million Irish-American people. The Great Hunger has had a significant impact on Ireland’s history, land, politics, culture, character and relations with others. This exhibition documents the scale of the Famine, the horror of it, how it permeated and changed Ireland and its diaspora irrevocably.
For the more energetic festival goers, take part in the annual Festival 5K Road Race! The course takes you through the heart of beautiful Georgian Dublin and is suitable for families, fun runners and dedicated athletes. You can be assured of a lively atmosphere as street performers, face painters and musicians will be on hand to entertain, and spectators line the route to cheer you on. Race participants can relax afterwards and take a leisurely stroll down to Merrion Square where the Festival Big Day Out will be in full swing.
See Merrion Square transform with a vibrant day-long street carnival, bursting with street theatre, music, aerial performances, workshops, Irish Language activities and of course a festival Céilí. Pilot a spaceship across the galaxy in Defender Run or shoot down aliens in the Space Invaders gallery in the interactive Reality Arcade inspired by classic retro games where it’s up to you to bring the games to life. Enter a world of fantasy and be inspired by mysterious storytelling by torchlight, shadow puppets, illustration and an exciting adventure puzzle room where Dublin UNESCO City of Literature’s Citywide read ‘Making Millions’ will come to life in a Georgian House. Catch a special reading from the book by the author Erica McCann.
This rarely seen drama, made in 1958, is a tale about a tail – a monkey’s tail – which appears on orphan boy, Shamus, when he steals an evil leprechaun’s pot of gold. Shamus wanders woefully, tail in tow, around the streets of Belfast before stowing away on a ship to Liverpool where he is befriended by a wholesome English family who are enchanted by his quaint and lovable ways. Set against a colourful backdrop of 1950s Belfast streets bustling with life this quirky and rarely-seen film is about an unusual child’s search for happiness and home.
Drive by Shooting, written and directed by John McIlduff, with a huge soundtrack composed by Brian Irvine, is a 10 minute looped graffiti style, animated opera video projection, designed to be projected as a life size image on walls in an urban context. The synced soundtrack is broadcast through dedicated headphones to the audience making the experience at once both communal but with an intimate listening experience. As with much opera it’s a story of passion and revenge, but this one plays out an age-old scene of betrayal and revenge on a grimy city street, as two octogenarians on zimmer frames stage a hit on a cheating husband.
St. Patrick’s Festival welcomes this opportunity to continue the dialogue of the #IAmIrish Project. The project initiated by Lorraine Maher in conjunction with the London Irish Centre, addresses the diversity of Irish identity and how we can challenge perceptions of what it looks like to be Irish. Jim Carroll of Banter and more recently RTE, will host a panel of speakers who will share their stories and experiences of what is or was like growing up in Ireland, the diversity of Irish identity today and what the future might look like for people of mixed Irish heritage. This event will challenge perspectives through storytelling, discussion and performance.
St. Patrick’s Festival & Kormac presents Kormac: Equivalent Exchange a one off show by leading Irish producer, DJ and composer, Kormac with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Kormac’s Big Band and an array of guests featuring over 30 musicians and artists including ArtSoul singer songwriter Loah and famed composer and conductor Eimear Noone performing a brand new collection of songs. More guests to be announced in the coming months.
In 2017 Kormac decamped to Bulgaria to study under Europe’s leading composers, conductors and orchestrators to learn new writing and production methods. The result, Kormac: Equivalent Exchange, with the Limerick based Irish Chamber Orchestra is an inspiring evening of unique collaborations which may never happen again.
Cuireann muid fáilte roimh chách ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar chultúr thraidisiúnta agus comhaimseartha na Gaeilge le Féile Naomh Pádraig. Cuireann Gaelspraoi scoth na siamsaíochta Gaeilge ar fáil, agus tá imeachtaí ar siúl do ghach aois ghrúpa agus cumas teanga. Bígí linn! Gaelspraoi, the Festival’s Irish language programme is a series of fun and engaging events for all ages to enjoy. Dust off your dancing shoes and try out your aon dó trí’s at the Céilí, marvel at the extraordinary feats in the Cirque de Gael tent and pick up some new circus skills at the Festival Big Day Out.
Whether you have cúpla focal, or no focal at all, come and celebrate the Irish language with us!
From waltzers to family attractions to the carousel, there is something for everyone at the Festival Funfairs. Dare to be suspended upside down, turned over or whisked through the air. A firm festival favourite, the Funfairs will light up the city with colourful carnival fairgrounds. Whether you are young or young at heart, come along!
Join the ultimate walking tour of historic gay Dublin hosted by well-known civil rights activist and historian Tonie Walsh, as he trawls the socio-cultural and political life of LGBT Dublin, from St. Patrick’s proposition by a band of randy sailors in the 4th century to decriminalization of male homosexuality and the advent of marriage equality in the 20th century. Expect two hours of education, illumination and possibly a little titillation. Tonie Walsh is an activist and DJ who has been tireless in the pursuit of LGBT rights. He was the founding editor of GCN, he is the creator and curator of the Irish Queer Archive, and between the Horny Organ Tribe and responsibilities in the National Gay Federation, has made an indelible mark on queer culture in Ireland.
The High Hopes Choir is the culmination of Ireland’s first homeless choir created by David Brophy with the assistance of Musical Director Carmel Whelan and Managing Coordinator Glenn Alexander. This ambitious performance-based project aims to change the public perception of homelessness whilst improving the lives of homeless people through choral singing. Building on the success of their choral performances since 2014, the members now embark on a new journey with The Complex and its artists to present an evening of music, theatre, spoken word, visual art and poetry, exploring where the idea of home fits into the reality of homelessness.
A St. Patrick’s Festival presentation made with the support of The Complex.
Why not join some of our wonderful #StPatricksFest walks over the next few days. @HerstoryIreland Suffragette Walking Tour, @port_walks by #SheelaghBroderick, @PatLiddys walking tours & @tonie_walsh's Lavender Walk on Monday. Find all info here: https://t.co/P5zeWyzPaV https://t.co/UM1n1HUzxW
RTÉ Supporting the Arts are delighted to partner with the St. Patrick's Festival 2018. Enjoy five days and nights of culture, music and entertainment from 15th-19th March. For the full range of events see https://t.co/5qF8tpD9qd #RTESupportingtheArts https://t.co/jBQ5e0tivG
Here’s all you need to know about #StPatricksFest Big Day Out. Join us in Merrion Square this Sunday from 12 noon. Guaranteed fun for all the family. #StPatricksFest #StPatricksDay #FamilyFun https://t.co/b7AjRT5Spm https://t.co/miNYiVzO0u
Don't forget our #StPatricksFest Box Office in Festival House,
12 Essex Street East, Temple Bar is open all weekend.
Fri: 10am - 5.30pm
Sat: 9am - 5.30pm
Sun: 10am - 5.30pm
Mon: 10am - 5.30pm
You can pick up tickets & find out about all our events there!
If you're visiting Dublin for #StPatricksFest check out #MadeInDublin an installation collaboration of @EamonnD1 @dvddnh & Niall Sweeney, a panoramic of the city in sound and vision. Running in @TheComplexDub until 18 Mar 11am - 8pm daily as part of @thisispopbaby's #WhereWeLive https://t.co/J7kCDctZ15