What’s on in Ireland this September

Good news, everyone! With COVID restrictions finally easing, there are finally places to go and things to do! September is packed with activities for everyone. From arts and culture to food and music, next month is jam-packed with events all around the country. Here’s an overview of what’s on next month, with the most interesting and fun-filled events in September for all to enjoy.

Taste of Dublin, Dublin City,  1-5 September

Kicking off September’s run of events is the beloved Taste of Dublin festival, a much-loved day out signaling the end of summer. Over five days, restaurants from around the capital will be showcasing their best dishes. Held in the beautiful Iveagh Gardens, visitors can enjoy the city’s best food and discover some new Irish artisan producers.

Dublin’s top chefs will be wowing festival-goers at the Taste Theatre, whipping up their signature dishes and showing off their tips and tricks, while industry leaders will be giving talks and masterclasses at the Food for Thought presentations. This is one of the most important events for foodies and (unless you’re rained on) is always a great day out. Highlights this year include Ireland’s Hidden Food Trails and Creating Conscious Consumers, both on the Food for Thought stage. 

Waterford Harvest Festival, Waterford, 6th-12th September

The Harvest Festival is fun for all the family. This year, due to the impact of COVID, the festival will be a city-wide event. The festival is a celebration of local business, produce, and above all, food!

The Fat Angel wine bar in the Viking Triangle is offering games, fancy dress, foodie pairings and cider, while Revolution on John Street is hosting a Mega Burger Challenge. Grow It Yourself founder Mick Kelly and their Head of Food JB Dubois also host the COOK EAT GROW Experience, inviting guests to have a behind-the-scenes look at the making of their RTÉ programme COOK EAT GROW. You’ll be taken through their organic food gardens and get expert advice from the experts themselves. All events are ticketed, so visit their website for those, as well as a downloadable colouring page for any grown-ups or kids to have fun with.


Galway International Arts Festival, Galway, 28 August-18 September  

The Galway International Arts Festival began on 28th August and runs until the 18th. Featuring theatre performances, talks, visual art installations and exhibitions, the festival offers both in-person and online events for free.

Highlights this year include Medicine, the new play from Enda Walsh starring Clare Barrett, Aoife Duffin and Domhnall Gleeson, premiering at the festival before moving on to dates in Edinburgh and New York; imPRESSions, an online printmaking exhibition featuring Irish printmakers, international workshops and talks; A Handful of Dreams, an open-air performance with aerial performers, dancers and live musicians. It’s important to get your tickets as soon as possible, as in-person performance tickets are flying out.

people at an event

Home: Being and Belonging in Contemporary Ireland, Cork City, 8th July – 31st October 

Cork’s Gluckman gallery has been running a series of exhibitions revolving about being and belonging in the Ireland of today. This is the last instalment of exhibitions held at the Glucksman to mark the Decade of Commemorations through contemporary Irish art. This is the final show that explores the joy and challenge of belonging in contemporary Irish society. The exhibition features installations from Sara Baume, Martin Boyle, Brian Duggan, Treasa O’Brien, and many more. 

Autumn Air, Cork, 8th-12th September 

Cork’s Indiependence music festival isn’t going ahead in its usual capacity, however the team has put together Autumn Air, a series of (seated) concerts around Mitchelstown. The stellar lineup includes The Coronas, Lyra, Aslan, Wildyouth, Hudson Taylor, The Blizzards and more. The concerts will be across four different locations around the town. Check their website for tickets and COVID guideline information.

Clonakilty International Guitar Festival, Cork, 10th-19th September 

West Cork is the place to be for any music-lovers, as the Clonakilty International Guitar Festival returns. The festival celebrates Irish musicians from around the country, with this year’s line-up featuring Galway writer/performer Little John Lee, songwriter and recording musician John Spillane, and singer-songwriter Fiona Kennedy. Performances take place in different locations around the town, making the event one of discovery as well as of music. Check the Guitar Festival website for ticket details and accommodation information for this fun-for-all event.

Ennis Book Club Festival, Clare, 11th September 

The Ennis Book Club is a joy for anyone who has an interest in reading, whether your reading habits are casual and sporadic or voracious. Founded in 2007, its aim is to celebrate reading, no matter who you are, what you read or how often you do it.

This year features poetry readings with members of the Clare Youth Theatre, and a session with the Beyond Borders Book club discussing three books you need to read from countries outside Ireland. Although the festival has a more accessible, unpretentious approach, it still hosts big literary names like Sara Baume and Patrick deWitt. Sara will be presenting her audio/visual essay The Alphabet of Birds, while Patrick will be discussing migration in his acclaimed novel French Exit, along with other writers and events. All events are free but some are ticketed, so be sure to look at their website for more information.   


Dublin Fringe Festival, 11th-23rd September

Dublin’s theatre festival returns with an exciting programme. This year’s festival puts an emphasis on joy, pleasure and connection, with performances that reflect this ethos. Heave by Orla Graham and Seón Simpson is a theatre-film hybrid about long distance love in lockdown and falling back in love with Belfast. Narcissus, by Archway & tasteinyourmouth, is about queer friendship, celebrity sightings and life-changing nights out. Tonic, by Fionn Foley & Rough Magic, is an outdoor musical comedy satire dealing with Ireland in the aftermath of a cataclysmic doomsday event. This is always one of the most exciting events in Dublin, so be sure to check their website for tickets and performance times.

what's on in Ireland

Clifden Arts Festival, Galway, 15th-23rd September

Ireland’s longest-running arts festival returns for its forty-fourth year in Galway. With an eclectic and diverse mix of literary, musical, visual art and educational events, there is truly something for everyone. From the soothing sounds of harpist Maeve Gilchrist, to a lecture on the historical and current treatment of seniors by Hugh Duffy, to a one-man show written and performed by Seamus O’Rourke, there’s something to capture the mind and imagination of anyone who attends. Check the website for the stunning programme, as well as for ticket and booking information.   


Culture Night, Dublin  City, Friday 17th September 

Culture Night is a national celebration of Ireland’s vibrant artistic and cultural scene. All around the country at participating venues, free events are held to give the public a taste of the incredible artists that are creating in many different fields. The programme hasn’t been released yet, though there will be full compliance with COVID guidelines.Every event is free but requires a ticket to gain entry, which you must get in advance from the Culture Night website. Keep an eye on their website to see what venues in your city or town will be participating this year.

GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival Dublin, 29th September-3rd October 

The GAZE film festival celebrates queer voices. Partnering with the IFI and the Lighthouse, the festival showcases films from an LGBTQ+ perspectives. The full programme will be available from September 1st. Go to the IFI for tickets for the opening film Novice, and the Lighthouse website for tickets for the closing film No Straight Lines, and keep an eye on the GAZE website for the full programme. 

So there you have it, the rundown of what’s on next month. Whatever your interests, there’s something on this September for you to enjoy. With so many outdoor and in-person live events now happening, get planning now!

Natalie Madden
Natalie Madden

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