Embrace the culture of Northern Ireland this summer

Northern Ireland is gearing up for an unforgettable summer filled with a diverse array of events that promise to captivate locals and visitors alike.

From gastronomic delights and exhilarating concerts to cultural festivals and world-class golf, there is so much on offer to help you embrace Northern Ireland’s giant spirit.

Discover Northern Ireland has curated the perfect summer menu by rounding up some of the top festivals and events to help your summer sizzle.

County Derry

YES Festival, June 13-16, Derry

The all-women, free, Yes Festival is a novel take on the “return of Ulysses”. It’s the homecoming and culmination of the three-year international Ulysses European Odyssey programme and features a host of public activities over four days in Derry and Donegal, including theatre, dance, visual arts, film, writing, photography, textiles, circus, music, rap and song. In a special finale, Imelda May will discuss her songwriting and debut poetry collection, A Lick and A Promise, and perform an acoustic set of some of her favourite songs.

Foyle Maritime Festival, June 27-30, Derry

This year heralds the return of the Foyle Maritime Festival to the city of Derry, a four-day festival with an extensive programme of entertainment, activities and interactive events, all played out on the banks of the River Foyle. Visitors will be invited to enter a 1.5 mile bustling maritime village where they can enjoy boat tours, river races, the Legenderry Food experience, and an array of wonderful family friendly animation experiences and entertainment. The quayside will be transformed into an international pleasure ground featuring a big wheel, city beach, riverfront dining, festoon lighting, bespoke animation and vintage fairground rides.

County Antrim

Stendhal Festival, July 4-6, County Antrim

Ireland’s largest independent camping arts and music festival, Stendhal has a spectacular setting in the northwest. Lets your senses feast on the host of visual arts on offer as well as music, comedy, poetry, and a dedicated family programme. With eight stages and 40 acts spread across the main arena, woodlands and Karma Valley, the programme is packed with an amazing array of performances, art, workshops, and activities for all ages. Headliners include Heather Small, Hot Chip, The Zutons and The Orb.

#OnThePull, July 5-6, Antrim

The only competition of its kind in the UK and Ireland, this popular event sees 100 tractor drivers compete in a series of head-to-head races, pulling one of six fully loaded Redrock trailers specially constructed for the competition. Colin Graham and Mikala Fredriksson will headline the Friday night concert covering American country hits, while there is entertainment for children and adults, as well as food and refreshments on site.

NI Open, July 23-28, Galgorm Castle

The NI Open, presented by Tom McKibbin, is one of the 30 tournaments played on the European Challenge Tour. The 72-hole stroke play tournament will have a cash prize of over €250,000 and will feature some of the best up-and-coming golfers from Ireland and across the world. Tickets are free and tournament week will offer attractions for all the family away from the course.

Antrim Coast Half Marathon, August 25

Thanks to its flat and fast route, Antrim Coast Half Marathon is perfect race for beginners, those seeking a PB or the elites competing in Northern Ireland’s only world athletics elite road race. Last year saw the fastest Men’s and Women’s half marathons ever run in the UK and Ireland. The course runs alongside the stunning Antrim coast, making this one of the most beautiful races in the world.

Belfast

Belfast 24 – Midsummer at The Lyric, July 4-7

Belfast 2024 is an ambitious cultural celebration with a wide-ranging programme of creative projects and events. The Lyric brings the theatre outside this summer with a vibrant and spectacularly fun staging of William Shakespeare’s all time classic ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ – where lovers fall in and out of love, spirits and sprites haunt the forest, an actor turns into a donkey and magic and mischief abounds everywhere. This is the first staging the Lyric has undertaken in its outdoor space, where they will create a brand-new “Wooden O Stage”, for an immersive experience into Shakespeare's world-bending comedy.

Belfast TradFest, July 23-29

Belfast TradFest, the pinnacle of world-class traditional music concerts, fiery pub sessions and Ireland’s fastest growing summer school of traditional music, is set to celebrate its sixth edition across Belfast UNESCO City of Music. Featuring a week-long programme of workshops and a full programme of concerts, talks, lectures, sessions, céilís and festival clubs. Festival headliners include Lúnasa, Bow Brothers, BIIRD and Neil Martin.

August Feile, August 1-11

Feile an Phobail's flagship programme is most certainly the August Feile which has grown to become Ireland's biggest community arts festival. The west Belfast 10-day festival is jam-packed, with the highlight being the Falls Park concerts and comedians such as Paddy Raff and Neil Delamare confirmed. This is all complemented by debates and discussions, exhibitions, international food fayres, children's events, walks and tours to name a few.

Belfast Mela, August 17-25

Celebrate Belfast’s diversity with a spectacular week-long programme of world music, dance, food and art across the city. Bringing communities together, Mela hosts a series of events culminating in a fabulous festival finale in the city’s Botanic Gardens. Don’t miss the Mela Carnival which will bring together hundreds of participants and artists for a spectacular carnival parade and celebrations in the Mela Global Village in the grounds of Belfast City Hall.

For more information, and to help you build your perfect summer festival itinerary, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com

 

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