West Cork Festivals

West Cork is abundant with festivals and events throughout the year to suit everyone’s tastes. Why not visit us during these festivals and soak up the local atmosphere. Below are just some of the West Cork festivals and events that take place each year. Please note dates will change slightly each year. Festival dates for 2014 have not been announced yet for all events but they will be similar dates to 2013.


West Cork Drama Festival Rossmore 8th – 14th March 2014

The 52nd West Cork Drama Festival raises its curtain on Friday March 8th. St Mary’s Hall, Rossmore is the venue for the feast of drama which will be staged over the eleven day festival. All plays start at 8pm except for the final night which starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are €10 each and can be booked by calling the festival office on (023) 8838526.

West Cork Rally 16th – 17th March 2014

The 2013 Quality Hotels West Cork Rally will take place on St Patrick’s Weekend, March 16 and 17. Usual format, with stages on the Saturday and the Sunday and centralised service after every two stages.


West Cork Garden Trail 14th – 29th June 2014

This annual event, a highlight of the Irish gardening year, gives an opportunity to view the beautiful and diverse gardens of West Cork. While many of the gardens are open to visitors throughout the summer, there are some open to the public only during the Garden Trail – don’t miss your chance to see them! Some of the fees taken during the West Cork Garden Trail go to charity.

West Cork Chamber Music Festival Bantry 25th June – 5th July 2014               

Listen to world-class chamber music from morning to night in the intimate library of historic Bantry House and the town’s two beautiful churches, St Brendan’s and St Finbarr’s.


West Cork Literary Festival Bantry 6th – 12th July 2014                

Features workshops, readings, seminars, book launches and other events from the work of new, well-established, and even writers who have gone before.

South of Ireland Band Championships Clonakilty 5th July 2014               

34th Annual South of Ireland Band Championships at Clonakilty Community Hall and on the streets. Complimentary day of music and fun for all the family.

Random Acts of Kindness Festival Clonakilty 19th – 21st July 2013 TBC

The first ever RAOK festival was held in July 2012. It opened with a bubble blowing ceremony followed by a street party.  There was also a Jungle BBQ with face-painting, storytelling & hoola hooping. All events were fun, free & for all ages. As part of The Gathering 2013, there are new events for overseas visitors include workshops in spoken Gaeilge, GAA & trad music.
Random Acts of Kindness 

Skibbereen Childrens Festival 22nd – 28th July 2013 TBC           

Fun filled festival for all children. Activities include arts and crafts, Irish dancing, painting, outdoor activities, flower arranging, baking, photography, and much more. Family Day is Sunday 29th July.

Skibbereen Arts Festival 26th July – 3rd August 2013 TBC            

Skibbereen once again pays homage to the vibrant fabric of our community that is the arts with many world-class national and international acts coming to town. There are many free events also taking place.

West Cork Fit-up Theatre Festival August 2013 TBC

This Festival revives the tradition of professional theatre companies touring shows to small rural towns and villages. Dates and details to be decided for 2013.

Courtmacsherry Harbour Festival August 2014               

Family friendly festival full of events and visual displays. The highlight of the week is regatta day. Dates and details to be decided for 2013.


Clonakilty Waterfront Festival 1st – 4th August 2014 TBC             

Superb line up for a fun packed August Bank Holiday weekend. Flavours of West Cork, Tribute night, Full Moon Party, Sunday Sounds and lots more.

Rosscarbery Family Festival 8th – 17th August 2014               

Rosscarbery comes alive with locals and tourists alike, turning out and gathering in the square to enjoy the many street activities and entertainment which are provided over our ten day community run festival. Highlights include the Rag Parade, Sandcastle Competition on Warren Beach, pig, mouse and duck racing. There is a Family Funday Sunday on Sunday 11th August at Celtic Ross Hotel as part of the Festival programme.

http://www.rosscarbery.ie or follow the festival on Facebook

Glandore Classic Regatta 16th – 20th August 2014   

With the beautiful backdrop of Glandore Harbour, this is the 11th edition of this bi-annual event. As well as the usual harbour and offshore racing there will be a race to the Fastnet Rock (20Nm.) on the Tuesday to celebrate the visit of the Jolie Brise on her 100th anniversary. The Jolie Brise is a Le Harve Pilot Cutter built in 1913, won the first Fastnet Race in 1923 and again in 1929 and1930. She still holds the record for the most Fastnet wins. January 2013’s Classic Boat Magazine names her as “one of the most famous yachts in history”. As part of the programme there will be fireworks on the Sunday night. For full programme and details visit http://www.glandoreyc.com/classic/classicprogram.html

Masters of Tradition Bantry 20th – 24th August 2014               

Unique Irish Traditional Music Festival headlined by Martin Hayes, the fiddler from East Clare, whose distinctive touch and extravagant virtuosity has brought the tradition to new levels.

National Heritage Week 23rd – 31st August 2014               

There’s lots of fun in store for you during National Heritage Week. Check out the website for what’s happening in Cork and West Cork. From medieval fairs, night time bat walks, classical music, poetry, theatre, traditional music, storytelling, historical re-enactments, local history walks and talks, maritime and coastal events, food fairs, traditional skills workshops and archaeological digs. There’s something for everyone and most events are free!

Rosscarbery Horse Fair 26th August 2014               

A step back in time, Rosscarbery Horse Fair is an event that has taken place for generations. Experience street trading, stalls, music and festive fun for all the family.


Cape Clear Storytelling Festival 5th – 7th September 2014               

Basking in the natural beauty of this island off the South West coast of Ireland, the festival celebrates the richness of local and international folklore, while drawing attention to the uniqueness of Cape’s flora and fauna.

A Taste of West Cork Food Festival 5th – 14th September 2014              

Brings together an unique mix of food markets and demonstrations, cookery competitions, special dinners, brunches & banquets, food-tastings, talks, exhibitions, childrens’ events, guided walks, boat tours and some great live music!

Kinsale Arts Festival 19th – 28th September 2014            

Summer Arts Festival, Cork. Visual art, music, architecture, comedy, theatre, literature & free family fun.

Clonakilty Internation Guitar Festival 18th – 21st September 2014               

Artists featured include Roy Harper, Gary Lucas, Honkeyfinger, West Cork Ukulele Orchestra and much more. The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival are proud to present a programme of workshops, masterclasses and seminars from some of the world’s best performers and experts, giving us mere mortals a glimpse of the methods and techniques which make them so successful.


West Cork Music Autumn Concert Series               

Enjoy a series of concerts in different locations in West Cork from October to November.

Michael Collins Birthday Celebrations Clonakilty 16th October 2014 TBC

A man of action, a man dedicated to the cause Irish freedom, a very intelligent and astute man who dominated Irish life during and post the war of independence. Join us in the life and celebration of Michael Collins, ‘The Big Fella’. Visit Michael Collins Birthday Celebration for details. More information will be added once updated.


Clonakilty Marathon 7th December 2014 TBC               

Clonakilty Waterfront Marathon takes place on the 7th December. This is the third year of the event. With a mix of three courses, Full Marathon, Half Marathon and Mini-Marathon – it is a new fixture on the Irish running calendar. The Clonakilty Waterfront Marathon races will hit the scenic roadways, byways and beach routes of this bustling West Cork town and region, creating a heady and healthily challenging mix at a seasonally quiet time of year for the sport.