Kilkenny’s intimate size and atmospheric venues make it a brilliant location for the many festivals that fill the calendar each year.  Here’s a flavour of what’s on offer:

Kilkenny Roots Festival

May Bank Holiday Weekend 

The May Bank Holiday weekend comes alive with swing, bluegrass, rockabilly, cajun, folk and blues. Since 1998, The Kilkenny Roots Festival has attracted some of the finest names in the Americana canon; acts like Calexico, Ryan Adams, Mark Eitzel, Ray LaMontagne… The list is very long, and these are but a few of the names drawn to the magnet of the Marble City Mardi Gras in the past.

All forms of music under the Americana/Roots banner are well represented over the four days. From midday to midnight audiences wind their way through the medieval streets sampling the huge range of music in the 30 plus venues, hosting over 30 acts from Ireland, the UK, USA, and Canada, with over 80 shows, including 50 free events on the pub gig trail!!!

It’s our favourite festival of the year, book early, you’ll love it!


Cat Laughs Comedy Festival

Every June Bank Holiday weekend  30,000 visitors descend on Kilkenny for a world class programme of top Irish and international comedians and there’s loads of laughs to be had. The festival has grown from a small event in 1994 comprising a handful of shows to an internationally acclaimed festival which showcases the very best in Irish and international comedy acts.

There’s a brilliant buzz on the street and laughs in venues across the city plus with pints and the possibility of sunshine what more could you want?

Kilkenny Arts Festival

Each summer for 10 days in August the Kilkenny Arts Festival brings the very best in Irish and international visual art, classical music, theatre and dance, jazz, world & traditional Irish music, literature, film, indie music, craft, children’s and street events.

It gets bigger and better every year, attracts over 23,000 people and there is something for everyone so if you fancy avant garde theatre, silent films with live scores, colourful street performances, hidden gems, experimental stuff, spoken word, gigs in gorgeous venues like St Canices Cathedral or good old classics then don’t miss it.

Savour Food Festival

October Bank Holiday Weekend

Taking place over the October Bank Holiday weekend and now in its 6th year the Savour food festival  showcases  local food producers, includes cookery demonstrations by well known chefs and has something delicious on offer for all those who are passionate about food. A highlight of the festival is a tented food village set up in front of Kilkenny Castle with stalls where you can taste and buy the very best of food from Kilkenny producers, restaurants, hotels, cafes and chefs.

yum,yum, yum!

Kilkenomics Festival

An economics and comedy festival..really?
It might seems like a bit of a mad idea for an event but Kilkenomics is proving very successful. Taking place over the first weekend in November  and moderated by some of  the brightest and funniest standup comedians, Kilkenomics – Europe’s first economics festival – puts economists, financial analysts, journalists and other specialists on stage and under the spotlight to talk through important issues such as the property bubble, currency fluctuation, the debt crisis, taxation and natural resources and the environment among others.

The comedians give permission to a wider audience to attend the events and they have the ability to simplify big ideas and make them more accessible. It’s serious, but it’s fun too.

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