2013 : The Year of the Festival

Reading Festival 2011This year you need to replace your usual two week sun holiday with a load of weekend camping trips because this summer is the summer of festivals. Last year there was no Oxygen or Slane but its all happening and then some this summer. With upcoming  festival headliners being frequently announced in the press its time to start being festival aware. So before you go and buy your funky wellies and brightly coloured tents, take a look at the low down of festival fun happening around Ireland this summer. You’ll need to decide which ones to hit and which ones to miss. Big decisions will arise when you have to choose between Indiependence, Castlepalooza and Oxygen  as they all fall on the same weekend – but fear not because no matter which one you pick you are almost certainly guaranteed a weekend to remember (or not…) Don’t forget though it’s all about the music!

Longitude Festival 

Dublin’s newest indie/rock music festival is taking place on 19th to 21st July. Located in Marlay Park this is going to be one of the hottest festivals of summer 2013. It takes on the style of Oxygen but without the camping (although I’m sure the residents of Rathfarnham are not complaining!) Early bird tickets are on sale and a one day ticket will set you back just €44.50 while a three-day weekend ticket will set you back just €129.50. If you’re not one of those ‘early birds who catches the worm’  don’t worry though as prices are still pretty reasonable – you can get a one day ticket from €54.50 and a three-day weekend ticket €149.50. Headliners include Phoenix Vampire Weekend, Kraftwerk 3D concert, along with Foals, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Kodaline and Jake Bugg to name but a few.


Oxygen is back this year after its break in 2012. The line-up has yet to be announced but Oxygen is Oxygen and it doesn’t really matter who’s headlining – it’s all about the camping and listening to music while you dance around in the mud!  This year though there is a slight change to the usual schedule. It’s taking place in the usual Punchestown Racecourse in Kildare but instead of three days it will just be two and instead of being in July it’s going to be in August, the 3rd and 4th to be exact (hopefully this will mean there will be a better chance of sun) The festival  will clash with Castlepalooza and Indiepedence so you will have to make the hard decision of deciding which one to go to.


Castlepalooza is one of Ireland’s trendiest and artisan festivals and has helped put Offaly, Tullamore in particular, on the map. The festival takes place on the weekend of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of August and would be great for your first festival camping experience. It’s a fairly small festival taking place in Charleville Castle, but hosts an abundance of entertainment that you will be pushed to fit it all into your weekend. Camping is a must and if you are a bit freaked out by the idea of sleeping in a tent why not go boutique camping and rent a Yurt or Tipi, classy. Early bird tickets are selling for €59.00 which is a three-day camping ticket so it’s definitely easy on the pocket.

Electric Picnic

This is not just a music festival and its for all the family – kids, grandparents and parents are all welcome down to Stradbally for the weekend. This summer’s festival takes place on 30th August till 1st September. Tickets would be on the higher end of the budget at €230 for an early bird but it is definitely worth breaking the bank for. Last years line up saw The Killers, Christy Moore, Elbow and The Cure which makes it a hard year to follow! Electric Picnic has comedy, it has music, it has great places to eat, the circus (Fossetts circus showed up for the 2012 Picnic) and for the really cool kids there’s the Soul Kids Festival  with its enchanting walled gardens of Stradbally Hall. I have heard nothing but great reviews about taking the kids to the Picnic. The family area is away from the main camp sites and sources have told me you can’t hear the normal festival activities which take place throughout the rest of Stradbally. If you fancy going a little all out for the weekend there are always alternatives to sleeping in just a tent…. last year there were Yurts, Tipis, Bell Tents, Festi Huts and Bunk Campers available to rent. This year’s line up is still to be announced but you can be sure it’s going to be epic.


No line up announced yet but last year’s was pretty awesome with the Coronas, Kodaline, Feeder and 2ManyDJs to name but a few. Being easy on the pocket it’s definitely a festival that you need to put in your ‘to go to’ pile. Taking place in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork on 2nd  to 4th August you can get an early bird 3 day camping tickets for €70.00 making Indiependence the cheaper but not lesser alternative to Oxygen. 2013’s line up is not out yet but according to their Facebook page it should be announced sometime this month.

Sea Sessions Festival

You may not be in Australia or Cali but for all you hip surfers out there, Bundoran, Co. Donegal,  is the place to be this coming June 21st, 22nd and 23rd as it is home to Ireland’s only beach festival! With surf competitions, music, camping and beach sports all packed in to one weekend it’s definitely got to be one of Ireland’s coolest festivals. A weekend ticket plus 3 day camping will only set you back €99.00 and the line up includes sixteen year old Derry singer song writer SOAK, the Dead Heavy’s and Fat Freddy’s Drop.

Mary Byrne

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