Things to do over the May Bank Holiday weekend in Ireland

The Easter break is just over but we already have a long weekend to look forward to.

As always, there are so many things to do all over the country that it can be hard to decide on what to do.

There is music, arts, street theatre, family days out and plenty of fun.

We've narrowed the list down to help make your decision easier...


May-O Day

Mayo Day is a celebration of Mayo-ness organised by the County Council. Lots of shops, bars restaurants and businesses across the county are involved. Most events are on Saturday, April 29th including a fun family day of events at the Mall in Castlebar, live music and fireworks display in Westport and a 'Green and Red of Mayo’ singalong walk along the beautiful Bowers Riverside Walk.

Drogheda Arts Festival

The first festival of the summer continues through the Bank Holiday weekend. with an eclectic mix of theatre, music, tours, literature and spoken word, visual art, family and outdoor activities for all ages. There are outdoor family events on Saturday where the kids can learn circus tricks or just enjoy watchiing the experts.

Festival of Fools, Belfast

Top street artists from around the world and from Belfast too, give more than 120 free performances over the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend. Acts will be performing on Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Bank Square, Cornmarket, Cotton Court, Saint. Annes's Square and Writers' Square.


Woolapalooza Sheep & Farm Festival, Airfield Estate

Kick up your heels as the return of our annual Woolapalooza Farm Festival returns for two days over the May Bank Holiday weekend.  A fun-packed schedule of farm activities will be rolled out and will be sure to make you go barn-y for all things farm-y!

Lord Mayor's Day, Belfast

If you are in Belfast at the weekend you can enjoy the Lord Mayor's Day on the lawns of City Hall. There will be lots of live music, arts and crafts activities and workshops for children with traditional folk art activities as well as age-friendly walking tours of Belfast city centre.

Riverfest, Limerick

Limerick's biggest festival will feature waterfront events, Ireland's largest BBQ event, water activities and spectacular performances by world champion wakeboarders and jet ski riders, along with a very spectacular fireworks display. The city will become a mecca for families, foodies, fun runners and watersports enthusiasts during the May Bank Holiday weekend for Riverfest 2017.

Feile na Bealtaine, Dingle

A community-based arts festival to make artistic and cultural events accessible to all who live and visit the Dingle Peninsula. This is an opportunity to have your days turned upside down with heart-stopping music, dance, theatre, literature, lectures and much more. Events include Kila for Kids where the band will introduce children to the many varied instruments they play. 

Smithwick's Kilkenny Roots Festival

The ever-popular music festival has been going since 1998 and the line-up never fails to disappoint. With over eighty free and ticketed acts in thirty different venues, there is something for every taste. There’s a mixture of old and new acts on the free pub gig trail and all styles will be catered for, from swing to bluegrass, rockabilly to cajun, folk and the blues. Headline acts include Yola Carter, David Kitt and The Americans.

Connemara Mussel Festival

2017 is the 12th Connemara Mussel Festival. Originally established to promote the excellence of the mussels of Killary Harbour, the festival has grown to become a celebration of local people, food, culture and heritage, and is recognised as the premier food event for Connemara attracting visitors from near and far.  Events include cooking demonstrations, storytelling, exhibitions, talks, walks, runs, treasure hunts and dancing.

National Museum Country Life, Mayo

The museum in Turlough Park, Mayo has plenty of free events lined up over the weekend including a May Eve - Take a dash of the churn where Pat Broderick demonstrates the traditional technique of butter-making and learn about the customs associated with the month of May on 30th April from 2-3pm.

City of Derry Jazz Festival

Imelda May will feature as the headline act at the five-day festival on Sunday 30th April and Monday 1st May at The Millennium Forum. The festival is an annual celebration of jazz and big bands featuring artists from all over the world and welcoming more than 40,000 revellers over the bank holiday weekend.

Bray Jazz Festival

The Bray Jazz Festival returns for its 18th year featuring concerts, recitals and jazz trail shows at venues across the town.

Described as “one of the very best small jazz festivals in Europe,” Bray Jazz will host concerts featuring West African guitarist Lionel Loueke, Swedish saxophonist Malin Wattring, an exciting 14 UK big band Beats and Pieces, cult Australian trio The Necks, together with visiting artists from Denmark, Norway, India, Switzerland and more besides.

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