Summer Festivals in Britain and Ireland

author: Joshua Burns

This Summer is here and the hot days have become hotter. Many of you, I’m sure, have holidays planned with sun, beaches and cocktails in mind. But for those of you who have decided that you’ve had enough of the heat and are heading to either Britain or Ireland, you might be wondering what there is to do. While there are both beaches and cocktails the problem of the disappearing sun makes them difficult to enjoy together. So, instead I thought I would give you a list of my personal favourite summertime festivals that can hopefully be enjoyed regardless of the sun.

Earagail Arts Festival
4th – 23rd July
(www.eaf.ie)
Ok, I thought I would start off with a little bit of bias. This festival happens to be held* in the county that I’m from in Ireland – Donegal. This is a bilingual arts festival in both English and Irish with different events all around the county. Being an arts festival it would probably be more enjoyable if you had a good command of English but this isn’t a prerequisite. Lovers of Irish music can enjoy different musical events and the experience of storytelling in the Irish language is something authentic and special whether you understand it or not. There’s even an event called ‘Ceol agus Tapas’ (Music and Tapas) on 12th and 19th July were you get to listen to Irish music while still feeling a little bit at home with some wine and tapas.

Another Love Story
18th – 20th August
(www.anotherlovestory.ie)
Staying in Ireland for now we have another festival that’s for those of you who like to get in touch with your spiritual side. Another Love Story in County Meath is described as ‘a random weekend stay in a beautiful country Manor’. Essentially people get together in a nice setting and practise yoga, dress up*, play music or just chat. As far as festivals go it’s more out there* than most but if you’re looking for something completely different or an experience you’ll never forget and you aren’t afraid of putting yourself out there* maybe this is the festival for you!
The Good Life Experience 15th 16th and 17th September
(www.thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk)
Moving over the water now to Britain we have The Good Life Experience in Flintshire, England. Although this festival happens a little later than the others, the variety of different events on offer make it appealing. The experience centres around four different sections: ‘music, talk and books’, ‘campfire cooking sessions’, ‘craft and the great outdoors’ and ‘for your pleasure’. The events that I like the most are the ‘campfire cooking sessions’. Here you learn many different techniques for cooking outside from foraging* for food to making sushi. However, if you don’t like cooking too much you can also learn many other skills such as axe* throwing, tree climbing, candle making or even spoon carving.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival
4th – 28th August
(www.edfringe.com)
Now, I couldn’t make a list like this without including my favourite of all the festivals in the UK. We are up north in Edinburgh, Scotland now for the world famous Fringe Festival. Every year people come from around the world to this particular festival. However, this year is going to be special because it’s the 70th anniversary of the festival. For those of you who don’t know what it is, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes over* the city for a whole month out of the year. While there are many different types of acts the most popular are the comedy ones. Many of the most famous comedians in the English-speaking world made their name in the festival. That being said, for all the quality talent, there are many awful shows. This is part of the fun of the festival though – you get much of the enjoyment from taking the risk!
So, there you have four different festivals that are on in Britain and Ireland over this summer. If none of them catch your eye, there are many more on offer. So, why not put down* the cocktails, brush off* the sand, leave the sun behind and come enjoy something different for a change!

Glosary

  • To be held: where it happens
  • Dress up: wear costumes
  • To be out there: an expression meaning something is a bit strange or different.
  • Put yourself out there: to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone.
  • To forage: looking for food in the wild.
  • Axe: a tool used for chopping wood.
  • Take over: to assume control.
  • Put down: to put something onto a surface.
  • Brush off: to wipe.
  • Catch your eye: call your attention.

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