- 03 Mar 21
St. Patrick’s Festival is made possible through the continuous support of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council, TikTok and many more generous partners.
Despite the hardship of the last 12 months, this year's St. Patrick's Festival hopes to lift up the nation's spirits with a reminder of Ireland's cultural strength and richness of heritage.
The revivalist theme of this year’s Festival is Dúisigh Éire! Awaken Ireland! - inviting audiences around the world to throw off the long, dark months and rise to embrace the brighter days ahead.
Running virtually from March 12 – 17, viewers can watch over 100 events worldwide with the help of the St. Patrick’s Festival TV channel (SPF TV).
Hot Press have rounded up some of the most exciting St. Patrick's Festival 2021 events set to occur below, with something for absolutely everyone to enjoy.
Family fun and community spirit are at the heart of every St. Patrick’s Festival, and this year is no different. Join one of the few practising seanchaithe in Ireland, for Irish Legends with Storyteller Eddie Lenihan. The author, lecturer and broadcaster is one of the few practising seanchaithe (traditional Irish lore-keepers and tale-spinners) remaining in Ireland. Often called a national treasure, the Kerry native and is known for his of Irish folk heroes, fairies, fallen angels, and other supernatural beings from mythology and oral history. Lenihan currently maintains the largest private collection of folklore in Ireland.
Younger festival goers can also join the madcap adventures of Belfast’s Tumble Circus presents The MacCarnyson, a hammer smashing Belfast inspired circus movie like no other, with class circus, big laughs and dead-on skill. Ballet Poulet by Fanzini Productions are also putting on a non-verbal, family friendly street show featuring clown, dance, circus, comedy and absurdity. If science is more up your alley, Science at Home with Dr. Dan Nickstrom will feature some crazy science experiments filmed at his secret laboratory in Co. Westmeath. Ireland's Young Filmmakers is the chance to enjoy five special 15-minute film collections from the Fresh Film Festival, showcasing the best short films made by young people from Ireland.
The St. Patrick's Festival 2021 programme aims to celebrate the contemporary and traditional music of Ireland recorded by our finest artists and musicians.
ABAIR: A series of songs and stories is curated by MacDara Yeates and hosted by Donal Fallon, consisting of three events exploring the oral folk traditions of Ireland. The Cobblestone Sessions at The Complex will see some of Ireland’s best known trad performers, including the McBride Family, Donnacha Dwyer and Michelle O’Broin, take part in six sessions. Mary Coughlan will also performs some of her best hits with her band.
Barróg La Féile Pádraig ó Whelan’s, Dublin will be a huge St. Patrick’s Night get together to round off Festival 2021, pre-recorded at the legendary Whelan’s venue in Dublin. Acts showcasing their talent will include Lisa O’Neill, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Caoimhe Ní Fhlatharta, Seamus Begley, Doireann and Siún Glackin and many more. Bands of Ireland presents Play On For 2021 will feature some of our best-loved and up-and-coming musicians getting toes tapping with performances filmed across the country, including Kíla, Moxie, Pádraig Jack, Dylan Kennedy and many more.
Homebeat presents Transitions will feature a slew of Irish acts including New Jackson, Sorca McGrath, Simon Cullen, Polytunnel and Gareth Quinn Redmond. The Soundtrack to Ireland's Future: Emerging Artists from Ireland Music Week have prepared an eclectic line-up of 48 emerging artists from all corners of Ireland - including Inhaler, Beauty Sleep and Gemma Bradley. Performing from the Guinness Storehouse will be Pillow Queens, Gemma Dunleavy and Adam Mohammed.
Solas x Soulé at The Complex Dublin, supported by TikTok, will see the pop sensation perform brand new music - with official releases due from early summer on via Diffusion Lab. Soulé has amassed over 12 million Spotify streams, nabbed three 'Song of the Year' Choice Award nominations as well as performing at the country's leading festivals, from Electric Picnic to Body & Soul to Other Voices. For St Patrick's Festival 2021, in response to the festival's audio-visual SOLAS concept, Soulé will be pulling out all the stops to treat us to a live performance bursting with colour, light, dance and theatre.
TikTok's €500,000 investment in Solas: Awakening Ireland is set to fund creative community projects across the country. Locations featured in the Solas programme include the GPO and the Mansion House in Dublin, Trim Castle in Meath, Powerscourt Waterfall in Wicklow, Athenry Castle in Galway and Grianán of Aileach in Donegal.
This aspect of St. Patrick’s Festival 2021 sees Ireland through the lens of film, literature, poetry, performance and art. Celebrating Pat Ingoldsby offers a unique opportunity for everyone to discover or delve into the prolific storyteller's poetry. For film lovers, CúChulainn Awakes by Eamon Carr features Garrett Lombard as CúChulainn, Denis Conway as the visionary Seer and Olwen Fouéré as the Chorus, a triumvirate of exciting Irish talent breathe fresh life into the legendary Irish icon.
'Mary-Land' by Rachel Burke is a short contemporary dance film explores the boundaries of the female experience in Irish society. 'EX' by Eamonn Doyle, Niall Sweeney, David Donohoe and Kevin Barry sees the four acclaimed Irish artists create a new body of collaborative work. Finally, 'The Saint Patrick Show', inspired by stories and legends from Saint Patrick’s time right up to modern day Irish poetry, will feature 2021 Grammy nominated Fontaines D.C. frontman Grian Chatten, Matthew Campbell from the Shamrock Tenors, soprano Mary McCabe, and other Irish artists.
One of the country’s most loved sketch comedy groups, Foil Arms & Hog, are also joining St. Patrick’s Festival for some Paddy’s Day sketches. RTÉ History Show presenter Myles Dungan presents The Dodgy History of Ireland, a light-hearted animated series on famous Irish people and events in history.
History and heritage, food and culture, community, traditions, tours and more come together for the Festival’s Living Ireland strand of events, a reflection of Ireland now - how we live and love, work and play, make and create, remember and celebrate.
Musician and mental health advocate Niall Breslin joins the Festival for Mindful Moments - Teen Spirit with Bressie, his spoken word piece where he returns to his secondary school classroom and ponders what he would have said to his teenage self to help his mental health.
Beloved broadcaster Marian Richardson hosts Comhrá Le Marian, a series of lunchtime chats from the National Gallery of Ireland with some of our country’s best minds including Sabina Higgins, Panti Bliss and Liz Nugent. Lastly, A Treasury of Irish Voices with Brendan Balfe will see the broadcaster and historian speak with Dave Fanning on the fascinating recordings from Ireland’s broadcasting history
Streaming live globally on the St. Patrick's Festival website, you can also replay all programmes after they have aired up until March 21.
The Festival are also broadcasting live to 1.1 million homes in Ireland on Oireachtas TV, which can be found on all TV provider platforms in Ireland.
Dúisigh Éire! Awaken Ireland! Today, the programme for the National St. Patrick’s Festival, 12-17 March 2021, is unveiled. Festival Programme and more information at https://t.co/wgjiZXQ23I ☘️@DeptCulturelRL @Failte_Ireland @DubCityCouncil#SPF2021 #SPFTV #stpatricksfestival pic.twitter.com/5RM0tbrn5L
— St. Patrick's Festival 🇮🇪🐍☘️💚 (@stpatricksfest) February 17, 2021