Sea Sessions


Six Great Festivals You Can Still Hit Up This Summer

Summer isn’t summer without spending at least one weekend in a field supping luke-warm beer and watching music, right? By the time the sun actually peaks in Ireland, however, many of your best festival options are already sold out. Electric Picnic broke new ground this year by selling out without announcing a single act. The more well-known UK events are long gone, too: the more desperate festival goer might even be considering security, or pulling pints, to get through the gate.

Fear not, for there are plenty of places offering great beats and even better buzz on our shores, or just a short flight away. Those at home have drawn in a huge array of international talent. Those a short flight away might well make you your plane ticket back on cheaper tickets, food and beer, so are well worth a glance. Here are our six best bets (you can still snap up tickets for) for 2018 summer shenanigans…

Knockanstockan (Blessington Lake, County Wicklow) This lakeside event a few kilometres from Blessington has a cult following, as one of those festivals it’s impossible to truly understand without going. Think effortless hippie cool, great chances to uncover new bands, an incredible atmosphere and top late-night action. If you’re willing to forget the big-name acts, you’ll probably have a better time here than almost anywhere else (tickets €150).

Featuring: Jinx Lennon, The Eskies, The Bonk, Elaine Mai and The Hot Sprockets.

Colours of Ostrava (Ostrava, Czech Republic) A hidden gem within a short drive of Katowice (Poland), the main draw of this four day July epic is the creaking steelworks it’s set in, the chance to sip wine in a hard hat, really, really cheap beer and a surprisingly stellar line up that runs late into the night. Visually stunning, with a strong dance showing and plenty of cultural appeal (€122).

Featuring: NERD, London Grammar, Josh Stone, George Ezra and Jessie J.

Sea Sessions (Bundoran, County Donegal) A west coast, beach-loving event that combines Bundoran’s ever-growing reputation for surfing with lively evenings of tunes. As well as the music and at least one afternoon of surfing (do it), you’ll be checking out BMX and skate jams, daytime beach sports, and another stunner of a location. Chilled. (from €109).

Featuring: Dizzee Rascal, Walking On Cars, Le Galaxie, Everything Everything and Delorentos.

Festival Fun: Six Sublime Summer Musical Outings Yet To Sell Out

It’s only May, yet many of both Ireland and Europe’s best festival offerings are now the preserve of those who bought early, or can afford the risky and overpriced world of the black ticketing market. Electric Picnic sold out without a single act announced. Glastonbury has undergone its annual (extremely brief) Spring resale and will offer no more. The biggest gigs of the summer – including U2 and Radiohead – have largely seen tickets fly.

The summer still holds plenty of promise for those music fans with a little less foresight, though, with some fantastic festival offerings still on sale both at home and abroad. As prime time for late ticket buyers arrives, we explore six of the best offerings you can still access, both at home and abroad…

Indiependence (photo by Dara Munnis)

Indiependence (€119) The steadily growing festival in Mitchelstown, County Cork has always had a monster of an atmosphere and well-curated quality deep into its lineup, in particular with its strong selection of local acts. Already on the last of their tickets for 2017, it’s a real bargain by Irish festival pricing standards, with the added bonus of being walking distance from the town’s pubs (where you’ll also find an additional music trail).

Starring: Manic Street Preachers, Frank Turner, The Coronas, All Tvvins, Tom Odell and The Riptide Movement.

Roskilde (photo: press)

Roskilde (€269) One of only a handful of European festivals to hold a torch to legendary Somerset offering Glastonbury, Danish super-fest Roskilde is also one of the most expensive festivals to get through the gates of, but makes up for it with eight days of camping for your money. Highlights of that extended stay (which sees punters build their own villages amid the tents) include the traditional naked race, a penchant for the unusual when it comes to music, and a truly stellar headline line up. As well as the music, it comes with countless artsy zones and a charitable philosophy.

Starring: Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, A Tribe Called Quest, The Weeknd, The XX and Blink-182.