What’s on in May – Best of the Irish Coast

It’s all about the festivals this May: Film, Food, Boats and Music. Not a bad combination really so lets see past this unwelcome April cold snap to the warm sunny days of May. It’s time to plan your summer get aways.

Check out the best of the Irish coast this May below:

1.  Bray Jazz Festival, Wicklow    29th April – 1st May

Bray Jazz Festival is Ireland’s leading contemporary jazz and improvised music festival on the east coast and 2016 will be its 17th year. The event will feature a host of great shows, including performances by American pianist Kenny Werner, by one of Sweden’s best known players Magnus Öström, and by Grammy Award winning West African singer Dobet Gnahoré.   A lot of hype surrounds local bank Retrofix who are expected to blow peoples mind with their headline harbour bar performance. Elsewhere, popular early evening recitals at Bray Town Hall will present a series of captivating duo performances, with artists from Norway, The Shetland Islands and Ireland set to feature.

Find out more: Bray Jazz Festival

2.  Acoustic yard singer song writers festival, Co Mayo    6th – 8th May

The Acoustic Yard Festival is primarily held at the Townhall Theatre Westport with other events located around the town. Artists confirmed include Declan O’Rourke, Bap Kennedy, Anna Mitchell, Craig and Willoughby, Kathleen Turner, Teresa Storch, Jeff Brown, Daithi Rua, Zia Land, Gerry Creen, Derek McGowan, Grainne Hunt and many, many more.

Find out more: Acoustic Yard

3.  Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of food and wine    20th – 22nd May

The Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine is now in its 3rd year and takes place on the grounds of Ballymaloe House and Cookery School. The event includes national and international authors, chefs, foragers, educators, wine experts, gardeners, publishers, TV presenters, bloggers and journalists. It is the only festival of its kind in Ireland and has created an important hub for food enthusiasts worldwide to meet and share ideas with each other.

Find out more Literary Festival   

4. Pint of Science    23rd and 24th May

Pint of Science is an a yearly science festival taking place in pubs in Galway and Dublin. The festival makes it’s Galway return on the 23rd and 24th of May in the Oslo Bar with two evenings jammed packed with sciencey goodness to entertain and delight over a pint or two! Monday night will be on all things about the Human Body with talks on diabetes, immunology and travel medicine. Tuesday will be particularly interesting with an evening of Marine Science talks about ocean acidification, seabed mapping, cold water corals and off shore bird and marine mammal life.

Find out more: Pint of Science

5. Conamara Bog week     27th May – 6th June

Conamara Bog Week is a celebration of all that is magical about the Conamara landscape. The festival celebrated it’s 30th birthday in 2014 and has grown to be a wonderful and unique festival with something to interest all age groups. Events include Art exhibitions, Sean Nos dance workshops, Cycle Races, Traditional Music workshops, Schools program, Illustrated Archaeology talks, Nightly Pub gigs featuring some of Ireland’s finest singers & musicians, The Monastery Hostel gig (candlelit dinner followed by wonderful music), The Conamara Walkabout (three gentle days of walking in a magical landscape in the company of scientists, musicians, poets and artists).

Find out more: Bog Week

6. Fastnet film festival    25th -29th May

The Fastnet Film Festival takes place every year in the picturesque fishing village of Schull on the south-west coast of Ireland. Short films from all over the world are screened and industry professionals  are invited to share their knowledge with the visiting filmmakers.

Find out more: Fastnet Festival

7. Burren Slow food festival – Surf & Turf Theme    28th – 29th May

Michelin star chefs, food writers and food producers come together for the Burren Slow Food Week Festival 2016  organised by Slow Food Clare, now in its 10th year – the theme of which is Surf & Turf – includes dozens of food events, ranging from workshops and demonstrations to food sampling and a charity cycle for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland featuring some of Ireland’s best known chefs as participants. Other events taking place during the Festival include tastings, foraging, the traditional Burren Slow Food Banquet, Bushcraft and Cooking for Kids, and the annual Burren Slow Food Festival Farmers’ Market.

Find out more: Slow Food

8. Antrim in the sunshine: Rathlin Sound maritime festival    27th May – 3rd June

The Seafood season started last month with the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival and now we’re looking forward to the start of the maritime festival season, kicking off with the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival. In its fifth year this festival is centred on Rathlin Sound, the body of water that lies between Rathlin Island and the town of Ballycastle on the beautiful Antrim coast and it celebrates the maritime traditions, local heritage and culture of this impressive area.

Find out more: Rathlin Sound

9. Destination West Cork: Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival    27th – 29th May

The Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival is a real treat for sailors and boat lovers alike and this years promises to be another great event. The festival runs from the 27th – 29th May and is a celebration of the traditional timber sailing boats of Ireland. The weekend event includes a number of races and talks that will showcase traditional Irish wooden boats.

Find out more: Boat Festival

About the Author

Daniel Farrell
Interested in all things on the Irish coast and sharing the best of it. // Email: Daniel@coastmonkey.ie // Follow on Twitter: @DanielsSeaViews