The spectacular national St. Patrick’s Day Parade returns to the streets of Dublin on Sunday March 17th + St. Patrick’s Festival Quarter at the National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks returns for a magical day-to-night Festival for all, in the heart of Dublin 16th – 17th March
THE NATIONAL ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE, DUBLIN, 2024
This year’s National St. Patrick’s Day Parade, driven by the values of joy, community, diversity and sustainability, promises to be the most ambitious ever, featuring more pageants, more participants, bringing more laughter, spectacle and joy to those watching.
A fantastic new pageant has been commissioned featuring a collaboration between the St. Patrick’s Festival Community Arts programme and the North-East Inner-City Partnership (NEIC). The pageant will honour and celebrate the Festival’s connection to Dublin’s inner city, with its own residents taking centre stage on the streets of the Capital. The Festival continues to work with Ireland’s foremost creative pageant companies including Bui Bolg, Spraoi, Inishowen Carnival, The Outing Queer Arts Collective, Artastic and Dublin Cycling Campaign. Bui Bolg once again partners with Kia for an exciting new pageant exploring the link between Spréach, electric vehicle technology, and the circular economy; while the Olympic Federation of Ireland will look forward to Paris 2024, while also celebrating 100 years of Irish participation in the Olympic Games. With half a million spectators expected to line this year’s route, the Parade will feature 18 pageants and performance showpieces, 14 marching bands from across Ireland, North America and France and over 4,000 participants in what is shaping up to be the largest ever National St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The theme of this year’s Festival and Parade is ‘Spréach’, the Irish word for Spark, which represents the unique essence of Ireland and of Irish People. It’s what sets us apart and what brings us together, and oftentimes it’s the reason that people from all over the world have a special place in their hearts for Irish people, place and culture.
The Festival has worked with pageant companies and partners to explore the different interpretations of Spréach – whether that’s the glint of craic in the eye that is so familiar to Irish people, or whether that’s the light of innovation and discovery so present throughout our history. Whether that’s the fire in our bellies, so evident in our sporting heritage, or about the flame of creativity that is so rightly celebrated throughout the world through our writers, poets, musicians, artists, actors and all our amazing creatives. Spréach is about celebrating that uniquely Irish spark of life.
A limited number of Parade Grandstand Seats and Hospitality Packages can be purchased here and for those that are unable to attend this year’s Parade, the full Parade will be broadcast nationally live on RTÉ One, and around the world on RTÉ Player.
FESTIVAL QUARTER AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND, DECORATIVE ARTS & HISTORY, COLLINS BARRACKS
Back for Festival 2024 is the hugely popular St. Patrick’s Festival Quarter at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks which will be home to a magical day-to-night Festival for all, from March 16th to 17th. The grounds of one of Ireland’s most spectacular and historic heritage sites in the heart of Dublin will feature An Halla Mór (Main Stage), Goal Rí Rá Stage (Bandstand), Tigín (Snug), Ruaille Buaille Tent, Bia Mall – a new artisan food space, Súgradh games area and the Timpeall programme of walkabout entertainment.
FESTIVAL QUARTER SATURDAY 16TH
Craic, ceol, dancing, conversation, workshops, games, food, and all kinds of entertainment for absolutely everybody is the order of the day and all daytime events are completely FREE. Expect family friendly bank holiday Saturday fun, with a focus on traditional Irish music alongside contemporary Irish music. An Halla Mór, a 3,000 capacity outdoor tented main stage area, will play host to Síolta Circus and Tumble Circus, while Mark the Science Guy brings the wonder of science to life through exciting experiments. There are tunes all afternoon in the Ruaille Buaille Tent from Grooveline, Code of Behaviour and loads more, while the GOAL Rí Rá Bandstand in Clarke Square showcases an eclectic mix of music from all over the world with artists who have made Ireland their home. Enjoy performances including Bollywood Ireland, Lapree Lala and more before finishing up with the Celaviedmai Presents: Who’s Next?
There will be a huge array of entertainment for all ages all day, wherever you are onsite, including pop-up performances from Mariachi San Patricio, food on the go at the Bia Tapa area, as well as Bia Mall – a brand new artisan Irish Food experience in Festival Quarter dedicated to showcasing the very best of Irish food producers. Families will enjoy Súgradh, an extended outdoor games area presented in association with Dublin Airport that will keep children and adults of all ages entertained all day, while the even more adventurous or rhythmically inclined can try out the Afro Dance workshops.
MOTHER AT FESTIVAL QUARTER SATURDAY 16TH
Saturday night at Festival Quarter sees the return of Cultúr Club with Mother, a very special night of live music, queer performance and art in celebration of Irish LGBTQ+ club culture and the transformative power of the dancefloor in one of Ireland’s most iconic spaces. Headlining the Main Stage is Irish-born DJ & producer, trUst label boss, and co-founder of Body Movement Festival, SAOIRSE, with RTÉ Choice Music Prize-nominated electronic powerhouse Elaine Mai joined by MayKay, as well as sets by DJs Ruth Kavanagh, Ghostboy, Rocky T Delgado, Kelly-Anne Byrne and Puzzy Wrangler. And don’t forget the Mother ‘Géilí Mór’; Ireland’s largest Queer céilí returns with the fabulous PJ Kirby (co-host of the smash hit podcast, I’m Grand Mam), with help from RiverDrag & a live queer céilí band.
FESTIVAL QUARTER SUNDAY 17TH
St. Patrick’s Day at Festival Quarter promises a huge celebration of Irish culture throughout the day and night from noon until 10:30pm, and all completely FREE. Come along to the centre of the world for St Patrick’s Day celebrations with Irish traditional music in every corner, Céilí dancing for all, collaborations and mash-ups galore. St Patrick’s Festival at Collins Barracks carries the buzz of the Parade all day long.
One of the highlights of the day is the world famous Céilí Mór on the Main Stage with Dearbhla Lennon. An action packed day of music will also see Faró, Louise Mulcahy and Ispíní na hÉireann perform, before finishing up with a barnstorming set by Denise Chaila and friends for a session that will turn traditional Irish music upside down and inside out!
The Rí Rá Bandstand will be hopping all day long with Alfi, Mo Cultivation, Trá Pháidín, The Deadlians and many more providing the tunes. An Tigín, the closest thing you’ll get to a traditional Irish Snug in festival form, plays host to the Baltimore Fiddle Fair appearing throughout the day along with Trish Reilly and Thomas McCarthy, Pavee Point Flower Making, The Ruskavellas, Niamh Bury and plenty more. Féila na Gealaí will take over the Ruaille Buaille Tent, while pop up performances all around the site come from Bang Bike Belfast and Acid Granny.
ONE CITY FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
Thursday 15th – Sunday 18th March
As part of a curated programme of events in collaboration with cultural partners around the city, there will be a diverse offering of St. Patrick’s Festival supported live events throughout Dublin over the period of the Festival. Working with internationally renowned Arts organisations including the Abbey Theatre, CoisCéim Dance Theatre and This Is Pop Baby and featuring walking tours and an after dark programme, the One City Programme is dedicated to showcasing some of the best Irish Arts and Cultural experiences that the country has to offer. The Festival is also teaming up with Guinness Storehouse, The Digital Hub and Dublin City Council for a transformative street art initiative along Thomas Street and Crane Street in the historic Liberties area of Dublin 8, entitled A Better City, more information on which will be announced in the coming weeks.
This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the city while also supporting our workers across the arts, culture, heritage, festivals, entertainment, tourism, hospitality and accommodation industries, locally, nationally and internationally.
Speaking of the Festival programme announcement, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste said: “Every year, St. Patrick’s Festival is a wonderful celebration of our Irish culture. I’m especially looking forward to being a part of the Parade and seeing the eye-catching Lord Mayor’s Coach on our city’s streets once again. I’ll also be planning a visit to the Festival Quarter at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks which sees a packed programme of events for all ages. I congratulate the St. Patrick’s Festival Board and team for once again creating such a fantastic celebration of so much inspiring Irish talent.”
Of the Programme announcement, Richard Tierney, CEO, St. Patrick’s Festival said: “Every year it takes a phenomenal amount of work from artists, arts workers, makers, creators, live events teams and community organisations, drawn from across the country, as well as the core Festival team to bring the magical national festival to life. There is a huge amount of activity taking place across the capital over St. Patrick’s Festival weekend. From the always exciting Festival Parade to entertainment and events for all ages at Festival Quarter and the One City Festival Programme with cultural partners across the city. We are thankful to all our funders, partners and sponsors who have made this year’s Festival possible and can’t wait to welcome everyone from near and far to Dublin this March.”
Catherine Martin T.D, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media commented: “Across the world people celebrate St Patrick’s Day and it is a great opportunity for Ireland to showcase its culture and creative talent as well as encouraging visitors from far and wide. This programme of events has something for everyone to come and enjoy while the Festival Quarter keeps the “Spréach” or spark lit for the community. This year’s celebration will have over 4,000 participants and it continues to foster a collective inclusive spirit both locally and nationally.”
Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland said:“St. Patrick’s Festival returns to Dublin this year with a fantastic programme of music, entertainment and arts that celebrate the unique spark in Irish culture, heritage, and history. St. Patrick’s Festival Dublin is so important for Irish tourism as it gives visitors from at home and abroad the opportunity to experience the very best of our capital city, while kick-starting the tourist season by showcasing Ireland as a fantastic tourist destination to people around the world. The latest Fáilte Ireland research shows that over 570,000 people attended the Saint Patrick’s Festival in 2023 generating over €110 million in revenue for Dublin city.”