7 Family Friendly Music Festivals Summer 2013


Wondering about taking the kids with you to a music festival this summer? We have picked 7 family friendly music festivals that are taking place in Ireland this summer.

wellies and tent

Westport Festival of Music and Food

The ‘Westport Festival of Music and Food’ is a two-day, family-friendly Westport Festival which is taking place this year on the 29th and 30th of June in Westport House, one of Ireland’s most beautiful historic homes and parkland estates set amidst a stunning 400 acre site in the heart of Co. Mayo. 

Headlining acts at the festival will include Elvis Costello and Imelda May with other confirmed acts including The Stunning, Alabama 3, Damien Dempsey, Ryan Sheridan, Delorentos and many more. 

As well as family camping section, the on-site family area has the award-winning Pirate Adventure Park on the festival grounds.  Families will be able to enjoy the Pirate Queen swinging ship, the Pirates Plunge Water Slide, the gorgeous swan Pedaloe Boats, the Westport House Express miniature train ride, bouncy castles and many more fun festival activities!

"We went last year to the first Westport Festival with our 2 daughters aged 7 and 10 and everybody thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a great venue for a festival because of the facilities and the Pirates Park and also because it's so close to town. You never felt crowded, there were tons of families there too and the fantastic food was an added bonus." – Jill

Tickets for Westport Festival of Music & Food are on sale now via www.westportfestival.com with combined festival and camping tickets on sale through www.westporthouse.ie. Find them on facebook and Twitter.


body&soulThis year’s family friendly Body&Soul Festival takes place in Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath from June 21st – 23rd. Body&Soul invites you and your family to come down to the woods on the summer solstice weekend to dance with the fairies and follow twinkling pathways to secret corners unknown, all with new sights, sounds and stories that will thrill, excite and enchant the spirits of your Soul Kids.

Alongside all the fabulous music acts and activities are daily Kiddies Yoga, Arts & Crafts, Mask Making, Den Building, Jewelry Making, Funky Feet Dancing Workshops, Circus Skills, Trapeze Shows, a Kids Disco and lots more

"We've been to Body and Soul for 3 years and the kids love it! There is a lovely wooded area when you can wander around and you'll happen upon all kinds of quirky entertainment. The Soul Kids area is great for the younger ones and because it's contained within a walled garden, it is beautifully sheltered and safe. We're going again this year and we can't wait – the count down is on!" – Paul

A Family ticket is available for those wishing to stay in the dedicated Family Campsite for €139. A family ticket permits entry for 1 adult and 2 children aged 12 or under. Also Campervan tickets available for €50 for those who have left their tenting days behind!  Tickets for Body&Soul are available at www.ticketmaster.ie, Credit Card Hotline 0818 719300 and outlets nationwide. More info at www.bodyandsoul.iefacebook and Twitter


Electric Picnic

One of Ireland's most popular festivals, this year's Electric Picnic takes place at Stradbally Estate, Co. Laois Friday 30th August – Sunday 1st September with Fatboy Slim, Bjork and Arctic Monkeys top of the bill.

The “Soul Kids” children’s area is a wonderland for children and has a reception for babies, toddlers and children up to 12. It is programmed with all sorts of creative workshops, kids yoga, chill out space for parents, and games.

Families can purchase special Family tickets for Electric Picnic which permit access into the specially designated Family Campsite. Here there is parking within close proximity to the tents and it is exclusively for families so no need to worry about rowdiness from revellers or late night noise.

"Electric Picnic is all about the music. Most of the big acts start late in the evening so make sure to factor that into your plans each day. The family camping is well away from the general area so it's relatively quiet and the Soul Kids area has loads on during the day. There's so much to see and do, there's even a circus on site!" – Mary Kate

Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie, Credit Card Hotline: Ph 0818 719300 & usual outlets. Visit www.electricpicnic.ie, find them on facebook and Twitter.

Related: 20 essential family tips for going to a music festival

BIG HOUSE Festival

big house festivalCastletown House in Celbridge will fling open its doors over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Sat 3rd, Sun 4th and Mon 5th August to host Ireland’s first BIG HOUSE Festival – a Cultural Carnival of art, music and entertainment.

From ages 1-100 there is something for everyone at BIG HOUSE. Discover rock ‘n roll in the ballroom or tap your toes to trad with a twist. Enjoy tea-time theatrics or dance in the colonnades picnic on the lawn, as an opera plays out before you. Pause by the silver screen, or bathe in the sounds of a classical quartet by the lake. And later get lost in a forest full of mechanical birds or speak your mind at the Big House Parliament. Explore the house and your imagination!

BIG HOUSE highlights so far include Jerry Fish’s Carnivale Show, award-winning comedy dance troupe ponydance presenting Anybody Waiting?, The Ark’s Ukulele Céilí workshop for children, and Choice Music Prize winner Julie Feeney in a special event in the Long Gallery 

Tickets are available at www.BigHouse.ie. Advance day tickets are only €22.50, family tickets just €45. More info at www.BigHouse.ie, find them on facebook and Twitter.

Classic Carrick on Shannon

carrick water music festivalIf classical music floats your boat, check out the Carrick on Shannon Water Music Festival in lovely Leitrim, taking place June 25th – 30th. This charming event includes the Lakelands Gala Proms.

Why not make a break of it and rent a cruiser – or seek out adventure at Lough Key Forest & Activity Park!  You can stay in a log cabin at Riversdale Self Catering, in nearby Knockvicar. 

Visit www.carrickonshannonwatermusic.com, find them on facebook

Drogheda Samba Festival

drogheda samba festivalCatch the beat at the Drogheda Samba Festival, Co. Louth, taking place June 28th – 30th, where over 300 drums will be setting the pace.

When your eardrums have had their fill, enjoy traditional seaside fun in nearby Bettystown.

Or why not wind down with a scenic walk and some gourmet food in the beautiful medieval village of Carlingford.

Visit www.droghedasamba.com, find them on facebook.

Groove Music Festival

groove kilrudderyGet your groove on for James Morrison, UB40, Damien Dempsey, Soul II Soul and more at the Groove Music Festival taking place July 6th and 7th in the stunning surrounds of Kilruddery Estate in Bray, Co. Wicklow, the garden county of Ireland.

Explore Bray’s victorian seafront and cool down with a dip in the sea.

Or visit splendid Enniskerry village, with its bijou shops and nearby waterfall at Powerscourt. Under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.

Visit www.groovefestival.ie, find them on facebook and Twitter.

For more festival ideas go to www.discoverireland.ie/familyfun

Do you plan to take in a music festival this summer with the kids? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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