What’s On in Northern Ireland – 2024 Events Calendar

Major festivals, sporting events, artisan markets and more

Updated April 2024

Our calendar gives you a quick overview of major events taking place in Northern Ireland so that you can be sure not to miss out while you are visiting. Some events do require tickets, and some concerts can sell out early but thanks to the internet, you can book online wherever you are so that you don’t miss out on the big events when visiting Northern Ireland.

Event organisers: if you see that we are missing a significant event that visitors should know about, please email us with details!


2024 Dates Jump to >>  January  |  FebruaryMarch  |  April  |  May  |  June  |  July  |  August  |  September  |  October  | November  |  December


Public & School Holidays

See list of public holidays - 2024 >>
Date Day of the week Bank holiday
1 January Monday New Year’s Day
18 March Monday St Patrick’s Day (substitute day)
29 March Friday Good Friday
1 April Monday Easter Monday
6 May Monday Early May bank holiday
27 May Monday Spring bank holiday
12 July Friday Battle of the Boyne (Orangemen’s Day)
26 August Monday Summer bank holiday
25 December Wednesday Christmas Day
26 December Thursday Boxing Day
See list of school holidays - 2023-2024 >>
School holiday Dates (Inclusive
Schools resume after summer holiday 1 September 2023
Halloween 30 & 31 October 2023
Christmas and New Year 22 December 2023 to 2 January 2024
Mid-term 15 & 16 February 2024
St Patrick’s Day 18 March 2024
Easter 28 March – 5 April 2024
May Day 6 May 2024
Spring Bank Holiday 27 May 2024
Summer holiday begins 1 July 2024


January

IMBOLC Fetival - Derry
IMBOLC Festival, Derry Londonderry – celebrating the Spring festival with music and workshops
Lunch time and evening shows featuring the best in comedy, theatre, literature, and music. Belfast
Imbolc International Music Festival | 28 January – 4 February 2024 ‘Imbolc’ is a traditional Gaelic festival celebrating the start of Spring and coincides with St Brigid’s day. The Imbolc International Music Festival organised by Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin celebration of international and local folk, roots, and traditional Irish music through performances, sessions and workshops.   Derry Londonderry


February

Belfast Tradefest - The Friel Sisters & Michael Rooney
Belfast Tradfest  – Photo courtesty Belfast Tradfest
Imbolc International Music Festival | 28 January – 4 February 2024
‘Imbolc’ is a traditional Gaelic festival celebrating the start of Spring and coincides with St Brigid’s day. The Imbolc International Music Festival organised by Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin celebration of international and local folk, roots, and traditional Irish music through performances, sessions and workshops.   Derry Londonderry
Belfast Trad Fest Winter Weekend  | 24 – 26 February 2024 A winter weekend jam-packed full of traditional music, song and dance with  a full programme of concerts, workshops, talks, lectures, sessions, céilís & festival club in venues all over Belfast. Brings together both the Irish and the Ulster-Scots musical traditions, in a shared celebration of culture and heritage. Belfast


March

Féile an Earraigh – Spring Festival | 1-17 March 2024 A celebration of the Irish language, traditional music and culture through a range of events including concerts, workshops, Irish language classes, tours, walks, sports and family events culminating with Belfast’s St Patrick’s Day festivities.
Causeway Coast Walking Festival  | 15-17 March 2024 Popular festival of guided walks in the Causeway Coast Area. The 2023 schedule included walks such as Glenariff and the Dungonnell Way (15km) 4-5hrs;  Portballintrae to Ballintoy and Mullaghaneaney- Beyond the Summit of Wonders (9km): 3-4hrs. Booking required.
St Patrick’s Day ☘️ | 17 March Schedule from 2023:
Belfast
St Patrick’s Day Carnival Parade Pageant
– 1pm from Belfast City Hall
Féile Trad Trail – traditional music at various venues through the city
Ulster Folk Museum – a day of traditional Irish dancing, music and folklore
Many bars – traditional music
St Patrick’s Eve Concert, Custom House Square
plus more events at various locations in Belfast.
Downpatrick
Named for the Saint himself, of course Downpatrick has a St Patrick’s Day parade as well as entertainers, live music and activities at St Patrick Square. Learn more.
There will also be a programme of events at other towns and cities through Northern Ireland 
Fermanagh & Omagh Walking Festival  | 23-24 March 2024 Guided walks on the Saturday and Sunday in the Sperrin Mountains around Omagh. Choose from either moderate or challenging walks and enjoy this beautiful area.
Celtronic | 28-31 March
4 days and nights of great electronic music featuring some of the best international artists alongside the best local and national DJ’s producers and live acts.  |   Derry Londonderry


April

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May

Festival of Fools
Festival of Fools – 4-6 May – Photo courtesy Festival of Fools

 

More than 100 shows in 17 venues across Belfast centred around the Event tent in Custom Square. Expect comedy, literature, theatre, circus, dance, film and music. Some free events. Book early as some events are already sold  out. Belfast
Festival of Fools | 4-6 May 2024
The largest comedy, circus and outdoor arts festival on the island of Ireland. Free daytime shows. Belfast
Moy Park 2024 Belfast City Marathon | 5 May 2024 The energetic way to see Belfast! Starts at Stormont and ends at Ormeau Park. Categories – marathon, team relay and 8-mile walk. (Half marathon is held 22 September). Note that race packs are not mailed out but must be collected  the day before the marathon. Belfast
The 22nd City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival will feature artists from all over the world including Mission Impossible, Luke Thomas & The Swing Cats, The Jiveoholics, Red Stripe Band and many more! Derry Londonderry
North West 200 | 6-11 May 2024
One of Northern Ireland/Ireland’s largest sporting events and probably one of the world’s fastest road races. Portstewart / Portrush, Causeway Coast
The Balmoral Show | 15-18 May 2024
From sheep shearing to showjumping, livestock, plus a funfair, food tasting and a petting farm, this is a great day out. Sprucefield, County Down
Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival |  24 May – 2 June 2024
A 10-day festival of culture, music and food, with plenty of activities such as kayaking and boat trips to take part in. Ballycastle, Causeway Coast
Portrush Raft Race | 25 May 2024
Originally cancelled for 2024, this fun-filled charity event is now a go! Expect lots of action on the water as competitors race in their home-made rafts in a bid to take home the trophies, and raise mone for the RNLI.  Portrush, Causeway Coast

 

Tip: Book accommodation early… unless you plan to stay out all night! 💃   Check recommendations on Booking.com* 

*Affiliate link – we earn a small commission at no additional expense to yourself if you book any accommodation through this link. Thank you for your support!

June

Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival |  24 May – 2 June 2024
A 10-day festival of culture, music and food, with plenty of activities such as kayaking and boat trips to take part in. Ballycastle, Causeway Coast
Belsonic | 13-26 June 2024 A huge outdoor music festival in Ormeau Park comprising several concerts through June including big names such as Scooter/Ben Nicky, Sting, Take That, Limp Bizkit and The Farmer’s Bash with The Whistlin Donkey’s, The Tumbling Paddies and more. Tickets required for each event. Belfast
Kilbroney Vintage Show | 15 June 2024 Set in the beautiful Kilbroney park, visit one of Europe’s largest gatherings of classic vehicles including cars, tractors, motorcycles, steam engines and much more. Rostrevor
Banbridge Buskfest | 21 June 2024
An outdoor daytime busking competition followed by a prize giving ceremony in the evening. Banbridge, County Down
Armed Forces Day | 22 June 2024 A family day of military and RAF aerial displays, band performances, live music and a Military Working Dogs display. Newtownabbey
Foyle Maritime Festival | 27-31 June 2024 A four day festival celebrating the city’s maritime history on the banks of the River Foyle. Expect street entertainers, a fireworks/sound & light show, market stalls, water-based activities. Derry ~ Londonderry


July

Stendhal Music Festival
Stendhal music festival, Limavady – photo courtesy Stendhal

 

Music in the Park | Every Sunday through July & August Bring a picnic and enjoy live music in Ward Park, Bangor-by-the-Sea, North Down
Stendhal | 4-6 July 2024 3 days full of music, comedy, art and a dedicated family programme. Buy day tickets or a weekend ticket with camping options. Limavady, North Coast
Lady of the Lake Festival | 11-21 July – 2024 11-day festival centred around a mythical lady whose appearance on Lough Erne was thought to be a sign of good times ahead. Music, a raft race, various innovative competitions and activities, a fair day and a popular and noisy truck parade. Irvinestown, Fermanagh
The Twelfth | 12 July 2023 This public holiday marks the victory of King William of Orange over King James II (it’s complicated) at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. This is still celebrated by loyalist (to Britain) communities with huge bonfires on the evening of the 11th, and marching parades and bands of the Orange Lodges through towns on the 12th itself. Many locations.
Red Sails Festival  | 21-27 July 2024 Community organised week of entertainment and events, including live music on the waterfront, sand sculpture competition, gold tournaments, Irish dance and fireworks on the final day. Portstewart, Causeway Coast
Belfast Tradfest Summer Fest  | 21 – 28 July 2024 World-class traditional music concerts, fiery pub sessions and Ireland’s fastest growing summer school of traditional music is set to celebrate its 6th edition across Belfast UNESCO City of Music.  Belfast
Fiddler’s Green International Festival | 24-28 July 2024 Celebration of Irish music, culture and craic. With up to 200 events the festival caters for music fanatics, families who wish to enjoy a safe, child focused festival. Rostrevor.
Armoy Road Races – Race of Legends  | 26-27 July 2024 2 days of road racing on the country roads around Armoy culminating in the Race of Legends. Free entry with tickets for stands. This is the home of the famous ‘Armoy Armada’. Armoy, Glens of Antrim

July dates to be confirmed

Carnival of Colours
|
July – 2024 date to be confirmed
Free circus acts, arts and music in the Guildhall Square, Peace Park and at the Nerve Centre’s Hidden Pavilion. Derry Londonderry
SOMA Festival | July – 2024 date to be confirmed An eclectic festival with trad roots with contemporary ceol featuring big gigs, intimate concerts and cultural experiences including storytellers, poets and crafters. Castlewellan, North Coast
Camp Dalfest | Will not be held in 2024 A popular weekend long family-friendly music, dance and food festival set in the ground of Glenarm Castle. Previously known as the Dalriada Festival. Glenarm, Causeway Coast
The Ulster Fleadh | July – 2024 date to be confirmed A week of top traditional music and dance with both ticketed and free performances. Also a busy schedule of competitions for music and dance plus a parade.  Dromore

 

Tip: Book accommodation early… unless you plan to stay out all night! 💃   Check recommendations on Booking.com* 

*Affiliate link – we earn a small commission at no additional expense to yourself if you book any accommodation through this link. Thank you for your support!

August

Pipe band Marching - championships

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Sundays on the Maritime Mile | Every Sunday in August TBC Free music from 12 noon on Sundays at various locations along the Lagan riverside. Belfast Titanic Quarter.
Music in the Park | Every Sunday through July & August Bring a picnic and enjoy live music in Ward Park, Bangor-by-the-Sea.
Heart of the Glens Festival
| 3-11 August 2024
A community festival that features a range of activities and compeitions over the week including sheepdog trials, a community opening parade, the challenging Lurig Challenge Run, a food festival night and of course the music with a street Ceili and live entertainment to finish. Cushendall. Learn more – Heart of the Glens Festival
Wake the Giant Festival
| 17-18 August 2024
A festival celebrating the awakening of the mythical Finn McCool (Giant’s Causeway fame) who according to legend sleeps under Cooley Mountains. A 32-foot ‘giant’ mannequin is ‘woken’ and parades through the town. The town celebrates with live music, food, and activities for kids. Warrenpoint  Learn more – Wake the Giant Festival
Ould Lammas Fair | 24-27 August 2024 Ireland’s oldest fair and your opportunity to try Dulse, a traditional Ballycastle seaweed snack. The streets are lined with market stalls and events include a horse fair, a beach horse race, activities and a fireworks display.  You can also take horse & cart rides, enjoy the petting farm as well as the  funfair on the waterfront park. Ballycastle, Causeway Coast. Learn more – Ould Lammas Fair 
Open House Festival | 1-31 August 2024  A month-long festival of music and art at this stunning seaside town.  Free and ticketed. Music, Food & Drinks, Talks, Tours & Film in unusual venues. Bangor-by-the-Sea, North Down. Learn more – Open House

August dates to be confirmed

Féile An Phobail | August – 2024 date to be confirmed ‘Festival of the People’ – a 2-week festival  packed with an eclectic mix of events ranging from headline concerts, lively debates and discussions and art exhibitions to massive community and sporting events showcasing the very best of Belfast. Ticketed and free events. Various Belfast locations
Féile Derry  | August – 2024 date to be confirmed In its 31st year,the packed programme includes 100+ events across the city including music, literature, film, sport, history, comedy, art, carnival, fun days, health, discussions, tours and events and programmes for children, young people and older people. Derry-Londonderry – Learn more – Féile Derry
The Ulster Pipe Band and Drum Major Championships
| August – 2024 date to be confirmed
More than a hundres bands compete for the title with Grand Finale March Past and Salute to the Chieftain at the end of the day, when all the bands come together and play as one before the prize-giving. Antrim. Learn more – The Ulster Pipe Band and Drum Major Champs
Belfast Mela | August d – 2024 date to be confirmed An annual celebration of global cultures – music, dance, art and culture – at Botanic Gardens and through the city. Belfast. Learn more – Belfast Mela
Hilden Beer & Music Festival | August – 2024 date to be confirmed Summer beer and music festival in the ground of Hilden Brewery, Lisburn, Co Down. More than 30 musical acts and 70 beers and ciders are on the menu. Hilden, Co Antrim. Learn more – Hilden Festival
Ulster Grand Prix | This event has not run since 2019 due to a lack of funding but there is hope that this signature event may one day return to Dundrod, Co Antrim

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September

Eats & Beats Festival, Newcastle
Eats & Beats Festival, Newcastle – with the Mournes as a back drop
NI International Airshow | 7-8 September 2024 The airshow is back! Watch exciting aerial displays from the waterfront in Portrush. Also an armed forces village with military vehicles to climb aboard.  Portrush, Causeway Coast
Armagh Food & Cider Weekend | 5-8 September 2024 Set in the ‘Orchard County’, Armagh, the weekend comprises a series of foodie events and experiences centred around apples and cider. Highlights include a pop-up restaurant at a local cidery, a cider vs wine face-off and a murder mystery set amongst the orchards. County Armagh
Europen Heritage Days (EHOD NI) | 14-15 September 2024 Hundreds of FREE tours of places that are usually not open to the public, behind the scenes tours, special guided tours and just free tours of places that usually charge an entry fee.  Multiple locations throughout NI
Moy Park 2024 Belfast City Half Marathon | 22 September 2024 The energetic way to see Belfast! Starts and finishes at Ormeau Park. Register early as the event sells out year on year! Belfast
Eats & Beats Festival | 2024 dates to be confirmed A celebration of food and music that brings together the best of delicious local cuisine and live performances by some of the hottest acts around.  Newcastle, County Down
Wee Binnian Walking Festival |  2024 dates to be confirmed 3 days offering a variety of graded walks led by trained and experienced leaders for all categories of walker including a night hike, a 2-day Mourne Wall walk and other favourites as well as the Saturday night Blister Boogie. The Mournes. More information – Mournes Walking Festival
Belfast Maritime Festival|  2024 dates to be confirmed Ships to visit, live music and street performers, a Kidszone, a maritime Science Street and the opportunity to buy up the best of local produce and wares at the Belfast Bazaar.  Belfast Titanic Quarrter


October

’Awakening the Walled City’ Derry Halloween – Photo courtesy Derry City and Strabane District Council Credit ©Lorcan Doherty Photography
Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey Festival | 4-6 October 2024 Three days of foodie-themed events and activities in Bushmills, home of the famous whiskey. Visit a salmon fishery, follow the taste trail, cooking demonstrations, kids’ fun, live music.  Bushmills, Causeway Coast
Portrush BeerFest | 11-12 October 2024 Held in Portush’s cosy and atmospheric Victorian town hall, the Portrush Beerfest is a very pleasant way to get to know local artisan brews. Plus you get a souvenir glass. Happy days.   Portrush, Causeway Coast
Belfast International Arts Festival | Dates to be confirmed Now in its 62nd year, the festival offers free and paid events from walking tours to theatre, dance, poetry, classical and roots music, visual, film and digital arts and literature.   Various locations, Belfast
Derry Halloween | 28-31 October 2024  🎃 One of Europe’s Biggest Halloween Event, the city’s walls provide the perfect backdrop for ‘celebrating’ Halloween and the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced ‘Sau wen’ in the city). A full calendar of events, a parade and spooky experiences. Derry Londonderry
Footsteps in the Forest | 2024 dates to be confirmed A family-friendly self-guided, illuminated trail that will take you on the journey from the origins of Samhain to modern day Halloween through the spooky forest. From 5pm each day, free but booking is essential.  Slieve Gullion Forest Park


November

Belfast International Christmas Market
Belfast International Christmas Market
Belfast International Arts Festival | October/ November – dates to be confirmed Now in its 61st year, the festival offers free and paid events from walking tours to theatre, dance, poetry, classical and roots music, visual, film and digital arts and literature.   Various locations, Belfast
Belfast Christmas Market | mid November – 22 December – 2024 dates to be confirmed Set in the grounds of Belfast City Hall, this is a festive village of international foods and small gift shops plus a warm welcoming beer hall.  Monday – Wednesday, 10am to 8pm (bars until 9pm); Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10am to 10pm (bars until 11pm)* and Sunday, 12 noon to 6pm
*Market closes at 6pm on Friday 22 December Belfast
Enchanted Winter Garden | 23 November – 18 December 2024 A child’s delight, the popular Enchanted Winter Garden is a magical festival of lights set in Antrim Castle Garden with a Wonderland Wood, fairground rides, attractions and a food fair.  Entry tickets and tokens can be bought online for timed entry slots from 4:30pm. Antrim Castle Gardens


December

Belfast Christmas Market | mid November – 22 December – 2024 dates to be confirmed. Set in the grounds of Belfast City Hall, this is a festive village of international foods and small gift shops plus a warm welcoming beer hall.  Monday – Wednesday, 10am to 8pm (bars until 9pm); Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10am to 10pm (bars until 11pm)* and Sunday, 12 noon to 6pm
*Market closes at 6pm on Friday 22 December Belfast
Enchanted Winter Garden | 23 November – 18 December 2024 A child’s delight, the popular Enchanted Winter Garden is a magical festival of lights set in Antrim Castle Garden with a Wonderland Wood, fairground rides, attractions and a food fair.  Entry tickets and tokens can be bought online for timed entry slots from 4:30pm. Antrim Castle Gardens

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