As well as huge concerts attracting headliners and tens of thousands of fans, there will also be a busy schedule of smaller festivals celebrating traditional Northern Irish music, fantastic food and drink and of course world-renowned local writers.
To help you plan your summer itinerary, Discover Northern Ireland has put together an event list for some of the festivals, events and experiences coming up this year.
The Celtic classic; 7-10 July, Londonderry and Belfast: A must for motoring enthusiasts, the Celtic Classic is a celebration of motoring combining some of Northern Ireland’s most breathtaking drives. The event includes a static car display in Ebrington Square in Londonderry as well as a visit to the Titanic Experience in Belfast. The drive from Londonderry to Belfast is one of the world’s most beautiful road journeys along the Causeway Coast. The event ends with a ceilidh and a gala dinner with performances and dancing.
Lunar Viewing Experience at OM Dark Sky Park & Observatory; July 8 and August 5, Cookstown: For all you stargazers out there, you can take part in a lunar session and observe the landscape of the Moon through a 14-inch Meade telescope exploring craters, mountains and plains. Using some of the latest technology in the world, you can share the same visions Neil Armstrong first witnessed and learn more about the lunar landscape and the features you will be able to see.
Craig Hella Johnson Choral Festival; July 9, Ulster Hall, Belfast: Belfast is hosting six traveling choirs from across the United States in July for the Craig Hella Johnson Choral Festival 2022. It will be an unmissable celebration of choral music that will bring together over 100 talented voices. Participating choirs this year include the Atlanta Young Singers, Beau Chant Community Choir, Belling Burley HS Bel Cantos/Bella Voce, Canticum Collective, Friends of CHJ and Wisconsin Ensembles.
Camp Dalfest; July 16-17, Glenarm Castle: With headliners such as Melanie C, Tom Odell and Amy McDonald, Camp Dalfest is gearing up to be a real highlight of the summer music calendar. Originally known as the Dalriada Festival of Music & Food, Camp Dalfest is a musical and foodie adventure within the grounds of spectacular Glenarm Castle. With local comedians, shows for children and cooking demonstrations, Dalfest guarantees good music, good food and good times.
Happy Days International Beckett Festival of Enniskillen; July 22-25, Enniskillen: Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the festival returns for the first time since the pandemic with a packed schedule of performances inspired by Samuel Beckett. The five-day festival will celebrate the centenary of Beckett’s presence at Portora Royal School from 1920 to 1923. The festival will host three “Made in Fermanagh” productions of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Inferno – Not I and Ohio Impromptu which is directed by Line of Duty star, Adrian Dunbar and is set on Devenish Island.
Belfast TradFest; 23-29 July across Belfast: Belfast TradFest returns with a packed program of some of the finest traditional musicians, singers and dancers. With a summer school and a full program of concerts, workshops, lectures, lectures, sessions, céilís and club festival, Belfast TradFest also brings together Irish and Ulster Scottish musical traditions, in a shared celebration of culture and heritage. . Festival headliners include Sharon Shannon and Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam Ó Maonlaí.
Carnival of colors; August 6-7, Londonderry: In Your Space Circus returns to Londonderry for the Carnival of Colours, a street party like no other filled with fascinating acts and artists. Back downtown, this year’s lineup includes Granny Turismo with their hard-hitting moves and super cool dance moves, Cikada Circus with their amazing acrobatic skills, Frankie Magilligan and the TeaTime Company with their contemporary circus show, Stick -Stock. There will also be a host of local artists on the Peace Garden stage as well as graffiti and circus workshops.
Hillsborough Honey Fair; August 6-7, Hillsborough Castle and Gardens: You’ll be buzzing for the return of the Hillsborough Honey Fair. With over 50 local producers and vendors of high quality food products, this event is for foodies looking to celebrate Northern Ireland’s exceptional produce. Against the historic and scenic backdrop of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, sample delicious local food and drink while relaxing to live music in the 100 acres of gardens. There will be a host of bee and honey related activities to keep you bizzy all day long.
Feile an Phobail; August 4-14, Belfast: West Belfast Feile an Phobail returns to the city in August with concerts by Imelda May and Paul Brady. For those a little older, there will be a Back to the 80s concert filled with hits from your youth. There will be the usual program of concerts, sporting events, debates and discussions, plays, carnival parade, family events. Last year’s festival was the biggest in Feile an Phobail’s history with 250 events and this year organizers promised 2022 would be epic.
Lughnasadh: Tales of the Past; August 5-7, Navan Center & Fort: This exciting weekend begins with an evening of storytelling and music as it delves into some of the greatest stories of Irish mythology by exploring the ‘Tales of the Past’. On August 6, there is a family fun day called “Games of the Past” which is influenced by old Tailteann games. The weekend ends with the Sunday morning ‘Wellness for the Future’ featuring yoga, meditation, drumming and dancing.
ISPS HANDA World Invitational; 11-14 August, Galgorm Castle & Massereene GC: This unique global event, a must for local golf enthusiasts, is part of the main European Tour, LPGA Tour and European Women’s Tour. One of the most innovative events in world golf, it features two separate tournaments with 144 men and 144 women, including Irish LPGA star Leona Maguire. The ISPS Handa World Invitational will take place simultaneously at Galgorm Castle and Massereene Golf Club. Some of the best players in the world will compete for two equal prizes of $1.5 million each. With a global audience of 640 million in 2021, this is a fantastic opportunity to tell the world that Northern Ireland is made for golf.
Belfast Mela; 20-28 August, Belfast: Celebrate Belfast’s diversity with a spectacular week-long program of world music, dance, food and art across the city. Bringing communities together, Mela organizes a series of events culminating in a fabulous festival finale at the city’s Botanical Gardens. A first for this year is the Mela Carnival which will bring together hundreds of participants and performers for a spectacular carnival parade and celebrations in the Mela Global Village within the grounds of City Hall.
NI Masters EuroPro Tour; 18-20 August, Clandeboye Golf Club, Bangor: The EuroPro Tour returns to Northern Ireland in 2022 for the Northern Ireland Masters, with thousands of local golf fans expected. With Clandeboye’s demanding course set to challenge anyone not in top form, this event will be a masterclass for spectators. Last year’s event saw a world-class field including Dermot McElroy, Brendan Lawlor, Mitch Waite and local man and host, Jonathan Caldwell, who was instrumental in securing the Tour on the Bangor course he’s been playing since he was a junior. This year we can expect to see a bigger and better tournament at the world class Clandeboye Golf Club.