July 4, 2009

Popular summer festivals in Ireland and Scotland

Belfast Festival, Belfast

October 16 – October 31, 2009

Held annually, Belfast Festival stretches over two weeks of festivities. This year it will be held October 16 thru October 31.

This festival grew out of a small local event, organized by and held at Queen’s University in Belfast. A decade later the Festival was ten times bigger and had already attracted such names as Dizzy Gillespie, Ravi Shankar, Laurence Olivier and Jimi Hendrix.

In the 1970s the Festival was a cultural oasis in a landscape dominated by political upheaval and it was to act as a catalyst for the city's future cultural renaissance. By the early ’80s the Festival had expanded into a two week long arts extravaganza across the whole of the city and was hosting everything from Moscow State Ballet and the Royal Shakespeare Company to Van Morison and Mariinsky Orchestra that is set to open this year’s festival.

One of the Festival's enduring key roles is as an advocate of local work, giving Belfast's arts practitioners a unique opportunity to present their work on an international platform.

Puck Fair, Kerry

August 10 – August 12, 2009

Held on 10th, 11th and 12th August every year, Puck Fair offers 12 hours of free family street entertainment including horse fair, parade and coronation ceremony of King Puck, open air night concerts, fireworks display, children's competitions, street entertainers and dancing displays.

This Ireland’s oldest and longest celebrated and most unusual street festival is held in Killorglin, in the geographical heart of Kerry.
The story of the festival’s origin goes back to the English Ironside Leader Oliver Cromwell, when while the "Roundheads" were pillaging the countryside around Shanara and Kilgobnet at the foot of the McGillycuddy Reeks, they routed a herd of goats grazing on the upland. The animals took flight before the raiders, and the he-goat or "Puck" broke away on his own and lost contact with the herd. While the others headed for the mountains, the Puck went towards Cill Orglain (Killorglin). His arrival there in a state of semi exhaustion alerted the inhabitants of the approaching danger and they immediately set about protecting themselves and their stock.

Upon that moment, the local residents decided to dedicate a special festival to honor the goat that warned them about the danger.

There are also other stories associated with the festival, but the above is the most known and told stories. Either way, each tradition arises from a tale that might or might not be true. This is not the point – the point is that this festival brings joy, even though only for 12 hours, to this small Irish city. It is a time when old friends meet, when new friendships are forged and the cares of everyday living are put on hold.

Oxegen Festival, Dublin

July 10 – July 12, 2009

Every year, thousands, or 80,000 people attended last year alone, to be exact, gather in Dublin for Rock & Roll time.

Days, weeks and months before the Oxegen, Europe's favorite Rock & Roll weekend, the surrounding areas stock on tents, sunscreen and toilet paper to ensure that all those thousands of fans have a safe, clean and good time together.

Even though it’s a relatively young festival, founded in 2004, Oxegen became an annual Ireland’s biggest music festival, which was originally called Witness festival.

Oxegen is generally regarded as Irish version of the world-renowned Glastonbury Festival, and attracts not only the locals, but thousands of fans come from overseas.

Tip: Make sure you get the tickets quickly as the countdown to craziness starts away earlier. For tickets, click here. Or contact here.

T in the Park, Balado

July 10 – July 12, 2009

Less than a week to go, one of the most popular and crowded Scottish music festival will be taking place in Balado, Kinross-shire in Scotland.

Having begun at Strathclyde Country Park in 1994, T in the Park has grown in size and influence to become one of the most important and critically acclaimed music events on the international festival circuit.

Now attracting over 80,000 music fans from all over the globe each day, T in the Park is consistently a sell out success. This popularity can be attributed to the festival’s unique atmosphere, the legendary Balado crowd, unrivalled the world over and an annual line-up that is one of the most exciting on the planet.

With over 180 artists performing across 11 stages over 3 days, T in the Park consistently attracts the finest international and local talent. Its inception has led to the development of a strong and sustained outdoor live events industry in Scotland with its model inspiring the emergence of other successful UK festivals.

Now one of only two CarbonNeutral events in the UK (the other being DF Concert’s Connect festival) T in the Park is the largest CarbonNeutral festival in the world and continues year on year to reduce its impact on the environment through its working practices.
The following artists graced the festival’s stage over the years: Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Who, Vagabond, Pet Shop Boys, Iggy Pop, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Who, Green Day, The Killers, Foo Fighters, REM, Oasis, Radiohead, to home-grown heroes Franz Ferdinand, Primal Scream, Amy Macdonald, The View and The Fratellis, just to name a few.
For tickets, click here.

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