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13 Music Festivals In Ireland In 2020 That Are Worth Your Hard-Earned Cash

13 Music Festivals In Ireland In 2020 That Are Worth Your Hard-Earned Cash

If you’re on the prowl for music festivals in Ireland in 2020, then you’re in luck – there are a HEAP of festivals of every shape and size taking place in Ireland over the next 12 months.

Looking for big ass music festivals with hundreds of acts? We got ’em!

Sniffing around for smaller, more niche festivals that’ll treat you to a unique (and, at times, quirky) festival experience? Yep, we have them, too.

In fact, there’s a little bit of something for everyone (there’s even a camping festival for families!)

In the guide below, you’ll find 13 of the best music festivals in Ireland in 2020

All Together Now 2020

Photo via @ATNfestival on Twitter

The 13 Best Music Festivals In Ireland in 2020

  1. Electric Picnic (Sep 4th – 6th)
  2. Body and Soul (Jun 19th – 22nd)
  3. Indiependence (Jul 31st – Aug 2nd)
  4. Sea Sessions (Jun 19th – Jun 21st)
  5. All Together Now (Jul 31st – Aug 3rd)
  6. KnockanStockan (Dates TBC)
  7. Life Festival (May 22nd – May 25th)
  8. Forbidden Fruit (May 30th – 31st)
  9. Another Love Story (Aug 14th -16th)
  10. Vanfestival (May 29th – 31st)
  11. Belsonic (June 2020)
  12. Kaleidoscope (June 26th – 28th)
  13. Forever Young Festival (Jul 10th – 12th)

OK – let’s dive into each of the above and see what they’re all about!

1. Electric Picnic 2020 (Sept. 4th – 6th)

Electric Picnic music festival Ireland

Photo by Tourism Ireland via Ireland’s Content Pool

Electric Picnic is arguably the most well-known music festival in Ireland (it’s the biggest, anyway).

Its first-ever event (a one-day gig) took place way back in 2004. Since then, it has grown into a weekend-long festival that attracts some of the biggest acts from across the globe.

The festival, which takes place at Stradbally Hall in Stradbally, County Laois, is described by organisers as ‘an annual arts-and-music festival’.

Music fans can either opt to visit on a day pass or fork out for a weekend ticket (camping is optional).

2. Body and Soul 2020 (Jun. 19th – 22nd)

Body and Soul 2020

Photo by Failte Ireland via Ireland’s Content Pool

Body and Soul is one of the more quirky music festivals in Ireland that’s back again in 2020.

What do I mean by quirky? Well, throw your eyes over how the organisers describe it and you’ll see what I mean:

‘You are invited to enter a parallel world of spellbinding music and performance, immersive art installations, mind-expanding workshops, thought-provoking discussions, glittering woodland discos, soothing wood-fired hot tubs and unparalleled gastronomic experiences.’

The festival takes place over a weekend in mid-June in County Westmeath, and it’s solid craic if the reviews from a group of my friends that went last year is anything to go by.

3. Indiependence 2020 (Jul 31st – Aug 2nd)

Indiependence festival 2020

I’ve heard a lot of good things from friends that have made the trip down to Mitchelstown in County Cork for the Indiependence Festival.

This is another solid option for those of you looking for music festivals in Ireland that fall during the summer months.

This weekend festival tends to have a pretty decent line-up (2019 saw everyone from Bastille and Gavin James to Lewis Capaldi and Hermitage Green take to the stage.

The venue itself is also pretty damn special. Indiependance takes place within a gorgeous tree-lined 52-acre site that’s overlooked by the magnificent Galtee mountains.

4. Sea Sessions 2020 (Jun 19th – 21st)

Sea Sessions 2020

Photo via Ireland’s Content Pool

If you’re planning to explore a bit of Ireland this summer and fancy visiting an Irish music festival in the process, plan your trip around Sea Sessions.

Sea Sessions takes place in Bundoran in Donegal (there are heaps of things to do in Donegal!), which is arguably Ireland’s surf capital, and promises 3 days of music, surf, sport and partying… by the sea!

This festival kicked off back in 2008 and has since geown into of of the best music festivals in Ireland… when it’s not lashing rain and you’re getting lashed on while standing on sand, that is!

Over the years, it has welcomed artists like Clean Bandit, Dermot Kennedy, Tinie Tempah and plenty more! 

5. All Together Now 2020 (Jul 31st – Aug 3rd)

All Together Now 2020

Photo via @ATNfestival on Twitter

All Together Now has been the most talked-about festival over the past two years. It seemed to pop up out of nowhere in 2018 and returned in 2019 to deliver a second instalment.

According to the organisers, All Together Now brings, ‘a weekend of freedom, inspiration and escapism through music, spoken word, comedy, theatre, debate, art, workshops, feasts of food and bespoke cocktails.’

The festival is set across an impressive 16 stages in Curraghmore Estate in County Waterford. 

Visitors can expect everything from secret woodland stages and rolling lawns to gentle hills and hidden forests.

If you’re looking for music festivals in Ireland in 2020 that are suitable for families, whack All Together Now onto your list.

There’s a dedicated Kids Together area that’s packed with creative things to inspire young festival-goers.

6. KnockanStockan 2020 (Dates TBC)

KnockanStockan 2020

I feel like I’ve been debating to go to KnockanStockan for the past ten years at this stage…

This festival takes place a handy 5-minute drive from Blessington in County Wicklow, where it’s nestled at the foot of the Wicklow mountains (there’s an endless number of things to do in Wicklow if you’re visiting!).

KnockanStockan spans across privately owned lands that are respectfully adapted to play host to 6 stages along with snug lakeside campsites, fire-pits, and plenty of other festival facilities.

If you’re looking to explore Wicklow in 2020 and fancy visiting an Irish music festival, also, lash this one onto your ‘to-visit’ list.

7. Life Festival 2020 (May 22nd – 25th)

life music festival in Ireland

Photo via @lifefestival on Instagram

The next festival in our guide is dedicated to electronic music.

Life Festival has been taking place in Ireland for over 15 years, which is pretty impressive for a relatively niche genre (in a country as small as Ireland, that is). 

Life aims to pack ‘as much big-name international talent as we can fit over 3 days, as well as continuing to provide a platform for local & emerging talent’, according to the organisers.

This music festival takes place within the beautiful surroundings of Belvedere House in County Westmeath.

8. Forbidden Fruit 2020 (May 30th – 31st)

Forbidden Fruit Dublin

Photo via Forbidden Fruit

Forbidden Fruit is a fairly popular music festival that takes place in Dublin at the end of May each year.

This festival is Dublin’s longest-running city-centre festival and in 2020, it returns for its 10th anniversary.

Forbidden Fruit takes place within the magnificent grounds of Dublin’s Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, which makes it nice and handy to get in and out of via public transport.

I’ve been to Forbidden Fruit a couple of times over the years. On both occasions, I haven’t known any of the acts playing… this would usually put me off going to a gig, but on both visits to this festival, I’ve enjoyed it.

9. Another Love Story 2020 (Aug 14th – 16th)

This is a new one on me. According to the organisers, ‘Another Love Story is a bespoke festival weekender of music, art, conversation, food & frolics nestled amongst the graceful charm of our 18th Century home – Killyon Manor.’

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Another Love Story takes place inside Killyon Manor in Meath, and not just in its grounds. This means visitors can expect to be wowed in the manors Front Room, Library, Cinema and stunning Ballroom.

Festival-goers can expect a wealth of Irish talent along with select international guest performers.

10. Vanfestival 2020 (May 29th – 31st)

If you’re spinning around Ireland on a road trip in a camper, then this music festival should twig your interest, as campers are free to park on-site.

Vantastival takes place at the end of May in the grounds of Beaulieu House in County Louth (here’s a guide to LOADS of things to do in Louth if you visit).

This is a family-friendly music festival in Ireland that’s back again in 2020.

Visitors can expect a host of local and international acts, gormet food stalls, festival traders, scheduled kids’ activities, art, craft and plenty other quirky additions.

11. Belsonic 2020 (June)

Belsonic festival belfast

Photo via Belsonic on Facebook

Belsonic festival is a month-long festival that takes place in Ormeau Park in Belfast.

The line up that this festival attracts is insanely impressive. There’s currently 5 massive gigs confirmed for the 2020 festival:

  • Lionel Richie (June 7th)
  • Iron Maiden (Jun 15th)
  • Lewis Capaldi (June 21st)
  • Dermot Kennedy (June 25th)
  • Picture This (June 28th)

If you plan on attending one of the gigs above, hop into our guide to the best things to do in Belfast for some extra things to do while you’re there.

12. Kaleidoscope 2020 (June 26th – 28th)

Russborough house wicklow

Photo by Chris Hill via Tourism Ireland

Next up is Kaleidoscope – another one that’s perfect for those of you in search of music festivals in Ireland that are family-friendly.

Kaleidoscope (good God I’m struggling to spell this!) returns to Wicklow’s Russborough House next June for a weekend packed with music, theatre, sports, food, fun and much more.

You can also camp at this festival if you fancy.

Now, camping with your kids at a festival in Ireland probably sounds pretty daunting, but this isn’t any ordinary festival.

Kaleidoscope is Ireland’s first music and arts camping festival for families and friends – so you can expect plenty of other people trying this for the first time.

13. Forever Young Festival 2020 (July 10th – 12th)

If you’re a fan of 80s music, this next festival is going to be right up your street.

The Forever Young Festival takes place in Palmerstown House Estate in Kildare, where it brings together some of the biggest 80s acts from around the world.

In 2019, visitors to the 3-day festival watched everyone from Hot House Flowers and Bonnie Tyler to Holly Johnson and The Fizz take to the stage.

Music Festivals Ireland – Which ones would you recommend?

When it comes to music festivals Ireland has it’s fair share.

That being said, it has been a while since I’ve been to one that really blew me away. The best festival I’ve ever been to in Ireland was Oxegen, back in the days when it was still a rock festival.

Actually, it was still pretty good when it was transitioning into its rock and rap phase, to be fair.

Anyway… have you a music festival in Ireland that you swear by? Any that you’d never go back to?

Let me know in the comments below! Cheers. 

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Emma

Friday 21st of February 2020

New (or should I say returning after over 20 years) festival this year is Sunstroke... happening in Punchestown 13-14 June. Definitely one for the lovers of heavier music / metal etc. featuring Faith No More, Deftones, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sepultura etc.

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