Nothing says summer is on the way more than seeing the number of events being announced for our calendars in the coming months. Any excuse to travel around the country, whether watching a musical number in a local theatre or wandering to an outdoor festival in a town centre. Here are some to add to your agenda that are signalling that summer is around the corner…

6-9 April, Irish Annie’s Musical

Irish Annie’s stars much-loved actor and comedian, Ricky Tomlinson, who is returning to the stage to tour in this new musical comedy. Visiting venues across the country including The Crescent Concert Hall, Drogheda on 6 April; Town Hall Theatre, Galway on 7 April; and The Everyman in Cork on 8-9 April, the show is a celebration of Irish culture from the music to the comedy featuring a live six-piece band, The Shenanigans. The show also sees the return of Catherine Rice as Irish Annie and Asa Murphy as Seamus Murphy. The evening promises to have the audience laughing, singing, and dancing the night away.


'Putting on the Ritz' cabaret show with Luke Thomas and John Nolan

20 April, Putting on the Ritz

Luke Thomas and his band The Swing Cats are bringing their new live show to The Everyman in Cork. The live show will feature Dancing With The Stars pro champion, John Nolan, and special guests, The Runaways.

The show will include iconic songs and dance performances from the golden age of Hollywood Cinema from legends like Ginger Rogers, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. Expect to hear and see all time classics like Singing In The Rain, Let’s Face The Music And Dance, and many more.


Kilfenora Music Festival, Co Clare.

26-29 April, Kilfenora Trad Festival

This will be the 15th festival (in a series that began in 2009) with the centenary of the Kilfenora Céilí Band. The festival is noted for great concerts and céilís, plus cracking pub sessions.

On Friday night, they will stage a dance spectacular with the Avalon Celtic Dance Company together with talented young dancers and musicians from North Clare; a main concert on Saturday night that features duo Tommy Fitzharris and Dónal McCague, joined by the singing of Nell Ni Chroinin (Danu) and Colm O’Caoimh (Caladh Nua) on guitar.

The event will also feature this year’s prize-winner from the Meitheal Summer School – Hannah Lyons, a harpist from Mayo. The highlight on Sunday will be the open-air céilí in the Square with the great Kilfenora Céilí Band, preceded by a talented youth céilí band.

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City of Jazz and Big Band Festival.

2-6 May, City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival

Preparations are well underway in Derry as tens of thousands of music lovers get ready to flock to this year’s City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival, which takes place over the May Bank Holiday weekend. The programme includes global performers, fan favourites, local acts and new faces, as well as jazz workshops and dance classes, so there will be plenty to keep you entertained over the course of the five-day event. And the majority of the events are free for all to enjoy, making top class live performance accessible to everyone.


2-6 May, Birr Festival of Music

Established in 2016, Birr Festival of Music is an ever-developing, classical music festival held annually in the midland’s town of Birr, Co Offaly.

The programme includes a vibrant range of events from concerts (indoors and outdoors), workshops, street performances and pop-ups featuring singers and musicians of national and international acclaim.

The town will be buzzing for the three days with lots on for music fans and families alike. They are also home to The Trench Award and Birr Young Voices, which take place during the festival.


3-6 May, Kilkenny Roots Festival

If you’re a fan of Beyoncé’s Texas Hold Em, this might be the festival for you. Since 1998, the festival, which takes place in Kilkenny city, has attracted some of the finest names in the Americana/Roots canon including Calexico, Ray LaMontagne, Phosphorescent, and Alabama Shakes.

This year’s line-up is promising the to be the biggest to date with Jeffrey Foucault, The Handsome Family and Robert Finley, to name a few. You’ll be able to sample a range of music in over 30 venues, hosting over 40 Irish and international acts, with 90 ticketed and free shows from early afternoon until late into the night.

There’s a mixture of old and new acts on the free pub gig trail and all styles are catered for, from swing to bluegrass, rockabilly to cajun, folk, blues and beyond.


Today FM presenters Matt Cooper and Louise Cantillon with busker Saibh Skelly getting in tune for The Big Busk for Focus Ireland supported by TodayFM on 12 April. \ Justin Farrelly

12 April, The Big Busk

The Big Busk in aid of Focus Ireland, supported by Today FM, is back and will take place nationwide on Friday, 12 April. Now in its third year, this annual event has raised over €615,000 in funds to date for Focus Ireland’s vital homelessness services. Their aim is to add even more to this impressive tally this year.

Busking events will be held across the country throughout the day and the homelessness charity are calling for talented musicians, choirs, singers, buskers, community groups and schools – whether they are solo artists, or part of a group – to sign up for The Big Busk and help raise funds toward vital homeless services.

Participants can also get involved at one of The Big Busk events in Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick and Sligo, or by gathering their family, friends, neighbours or colleagues and organising their own event in their local community, at a location of their choosing, or even online. CL

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