Festivals & Events

Kilkenny is home to some of the best and quirkiest festivals in the world. From the Subtitle Film Festival to mega music events, epic live performances at the Arts Festival to Economics, extraordinary stand up shows to Kilkenny Animated, the schedule just keeps getting better.

St. Patrick's Festival Kilkenny 2024

St. Patrick's Day in Kilkenny

Savour 7

Spend a mouth-watering weekend at Savour Kilkenny

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St. Patrick's Festival Kilkenny

St. Patrick's Festival Kilkenny 2024

St. Patrick's Day in Kilkenny

Savour 7

Spend a mouth-watering weekend at Savour Kilkenny

Spf Kk Header

St. Patrick's Festival Kilkenny

St. Patrick's Festival Kilkenny 2024

St. Patrick's Day in Kilkenny

Savour 7

Spend a mouth-watering weekend at Savour Kilkenny

Spf Kk Header

St. Patrick's Festival Kilkenny

The Sondheim Festival

The Sondheim Festival

Christine Scarry and Red Alchemy Theatre Company, in association with Kilkenny Arts Office, are honoured to present THE SONDHEIM FESTIVAL - celebrating the life and work of theatre titan, Stephen Sondheim - which takes place over the weekend of 7-8 October, with the main events being held at the Watergate Theatre.

The award-winning actor and singer Fra Fee will close this year’s Festival with the concert, Now You Know! Having previously performed in Stephen Sondheim’s Follies (Opera Toulon), Putting It Together (Lyric Theatre) and A Little Night Music (Palace Theatre), Fra will celebrate his artistic association with the legendary Stephen Sondheim through an evening of story and song, with the incomparable David Hayes on piano, and with special guest, violin virtuoso, Denice Doyle.

 

An exciting new addition to the Festival this year is The Sondheim Festival Bursary worth €3,000 – generously sponsored by HP – which will be awarded by open competition in the Live Final on 7 October, with special guest Liz Callaway. The money provided by The Sondheim Festival Bursary is for the support and advancement of the winner’s musical theatre education.

Other high quality events include individual performance masterclasses with Broadway's Liz Callaway and West End's Paul Monaghan, a choral workshop with David Hayes, dance masterclass with Belinda Murphy, an accent workshop, painting in the pub, and a fun quiz with Edward Hayden – all with a Sondheim twist!

Yulefest Kilkenny

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Spend Christmas in Kilkenny with Yulefest

Beginning November 25th

Kilkenny’s medieval city & county will transform into a wonderland of festive cheer for all the family this Christmas season!

 

Yulefest Kilkenny has something for all age groups, whether you’re looking for a festive staycation or to create a magical Christmas for the kids. Visitors can expect Christmas markets, live music, Christmas gardens, light displays, fire shows, Santa visits plus some very special events. All alongside Kilkenny’s great shopping and food options. See Kilkenny’s medieval city through the twinkling of Christmas lights and come celebrate Christmas in Kilkenny with Yulefest. Beginning with Santa’s arrival on November 25th 2023!

St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny

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Celebrating Irish music, culture and creativity with a big festival in a small city!

 

15th - 18th March 2024

 

During the St. Patrick’s Festival, Kilkenny city and county come alive with pageantry, craic agus ceol. Centred around the St. Patrick’s Day Parade but stretching across the weekend, visitors can enjoy the thrill of American Marching Bands, a parade of local colour, interactive workshops for all ages and the best in live Irish music at Kilkenny Tradfest. All in a small intimate city that’ll make you feel right at home.

 

St. Patrick’s Day may be celebrated all around the world but there is nothing quite like celebrating it in Ireland. With a packed St. Patrick’s Festival programme, a wealth of heritage and culture, and so much to do and see, Kilkenny is the perfect place to spend St. Patrick’s 2024!

 

Festival activities include:
- St. Patrick's Day Parade
- Street Entertainment
- Live Music
- Interactive Workshops
- The Big Wheel
...Plus lots more special events to be announced!

 

For more information check out the website and social media channels.

Website – Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

Savour Kilkenny Food Festival

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Savour the taste of Kilkenny this October Bank Holiday weekend!

27th - 30th October 2023

 

One of Ireland’s favourite food festivals, Savour Kilkenny marks the end of autumn in the stunning setting of Kilkenny’s Medieval city. Known for its diversity and quality of food producers, distilleries, breweries, restaurants and cafés, Kilkenny is home to some of Ireland’s and Europe’s best food.

 

Taking place over the October bank holiday weekend Savour Kilkenny brings visitors on a journey of discovery and taste that will truly awaken the senses! With a programme that showcases the very best of Kilkenny and Irish products, chefs and culinary ideas.

 

Expect talks from experts, demos from top chefs, unique dining experiences and all the food stalls you can imagine packaged into a festive atmosphere in the beautiful surrounds of Kilkenny city. Entry to the Savour Market and the majority of cookery demos and talks is free!

 

A visit to Savour is the perfect foodie weekend away or day trip with the family. Follow @SavourKilkenny for programme announcements and the latest event news.

 

This is a weekend you won’t want to miss so get planning and book your trip to Kilkenny for the October Bank Holiday weekend!

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Kilkenny Arts Festival

Kilkenny Arts Festival 2024

Since its foundation in 1974, Kilkenny Arts Festival has gathered many of the world’s finest musicians, performers, writers and artists in Ireland’s medieval city each August. For ten days, the city’s historic churches, castle, courtyards, townhouses and gardens offer a magical setting for unique collaborations and intimate encounters between audiences and artists.

Kilkenny Cat Laughs Festival

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Kilkenny Cat Laughs is Ireland’s annual craic pilgrimage, and has been heralding the start of the summer season since 1995. Now in it’s 25th edition, the festival has played host over the years to international and domestic world class comedy and is renowned for treating both talent and audience to a warm, welcoming and convivial atmosphere in Kilkenny, at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. Cat Laughs has a reputation for being the comedians’ comedy festival, and for creating an atmosphere where anything can happen.

Over the years the festival has nurtured the fledgling careers of Irish acts like Dara Ó Briain, Aisling Bea, Graham Norton, Dylan Moran, Maeve Higgins, Ardal O’Hanlon, Joanne McNally, Deirdre O’Kane, David O’Doherty, Des Bishop and many, many more. We have also welcomed international luminaries like Bill Murray, Zach Galifianakis, Laura Kightlinger, Bill Burr, George Wendt, Ross Noble, Peter Kay, Bill Bailey, Tig Notaro, Emo Philips and Sarah Millican among others.

In 2017, Matt Smyth and Dan Colley of Collapsing Horse Theatre took over the reins as Artistic Directors, bringing some of their own comedy influences onboard and and building on the fine legacy of the festival. They took the helm again in 2018 and 2019 and look forward to combining the best in comedy standup with new names in the world of improv, sketch, podcasts and more. Roll on summer!

Kilkenomics Festival

Kilkenomics is Europe’s first economics festival which brings together some of the world’s leading economists, financial analysts and media commentators with some of our funniest, sharpest standup comedians. We’ve been called “Davos with jokes” and we wouldn’t disagree with that assessment.

Our informal, entertaining formats invite our audiences to engage and enjoy. As we like to say: it’s serious, but it’s fun too! Jump into Kilkenomics now and engage with as many shows as possible, equip yourself with the information and insight we hope can help us all make smart choices for our futures - inform and entertain yourselves.

People who have taken part in previous years include David McWilliams (co-founder of the festival), Constantin Gurdgiev, Max Keiser, Gillian Tett, Rory Sutherland, Linda Yueh and Yanis Varoufakis.

Smithwick’s Kilkenny Roots Festival

Kilkenny Roots Festival

The Smithwick’s Kilkenny Roots Festival will celebrate its 25th year with a wide range of Irish and international acts, performing in venues throughout Kilkenny city from 28th April to 1st May. Since 1998 the festival has attracted some of the finest names in the Americana/Roots canon, including Calexico, Giant Sand, Ryan Adams, Alejandro Escovedo, Guy Clark, Chuck Prophet, Ray LaMontagne, Richmond Fontaine, Rodney Crowell, Phosphorescent, Sturgill Simpson and Alabama Shakes.

Audiences wind their way through the medieval streets sampling the huge range of music in the 30 plus venues, hosting over 40 Irish and international acts, with over 90 ticketed and free shows from early afternoon until late into the night.
There’s a mixture of old and new acts on the free pub gig trail and all styles are catered for, from swing to bluegrass, rockabilly to cajun, folk, blues and beyond.

View the 2023 programme here.

The Iverk Show

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The Iverk show, The oldest show in Ireland, is a one day traditional yet modern. Now in its 188th year the Iverk show is a family / community based event hosting All Ireland championship finals and qualifiers for other finals. There are local classes for horses, sheep, crafts, cattle, flowers, poultry, dogs, fruit, cakes, vegetables, farm produce, arts, jams and honey. There are classes are for adults and children with special sections for primary and secondary schools. There is a competition for the ‘Most Appropriately Dressed Lady’ and a bonny baby competition as well as a fashion show. A display of vintage cars, tractors and machinery with working demonstrations is one of the highlights.

The 100’s of trade stands from large outdoor exhibits to small indoor industries & artisan food stands attracts local and national food producers. A garden and entertainment section has been developed in the past couple of years. The show has a total prize fund of almost €30,000.

Town of Books Graiguenamanagh

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The Graiguenamanagh ‘Town of Books’ Festival, now in its 15th year, was ‘born’ in 2003. From its origins as a small weekend event promoted on an experimental basis for one year, it has now grown into a fully fledged festival that features art, music, food and crafts, and a whole host of fringe activities. Of course, at its core the Graiguenamanagh ‘Town of Books’ retains its original vision, to transform Graiguenamanagh, for one weekend only, into a book lovers' paradise where booksellers are matched up with a number of empty spaces in the town.

Kilkenny Tradfest

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Celebrating Irish traditional and folk music with ceol agus craic. Kilkenny Tradfest takes place each March, on the St. Patrick's festival weekend, in the fantastic pubs and venues of Kilkenny city.

With headline gigs, the Bulmers Music Trail, and a mix of ticketed and free events, there is a gig,session and venue to suit everyone. Plus, St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny takes place on the same weekend. Guaranteed fun from day to night!

Visit KilkennyTradfest.com to plan your St. Patrick's weekend of music in Kilkenny!