Dúisigh Éire! Awaken Ireland! is the theme of this year’s festival, a clarion call to the Irish across the world to throw off the long, dark months and rise to embrace the brighter days ahead. St. Patrick’s Festival is made possible through the continued support of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council, and many generous partners and funders.
Dúisigh Éire! Awaken Ireland! promises to be a positive and uplifting celebration of our incredible people, our beautiful island, our community bonds, our young people, artists, creators and makers, and our diaspora across the world. The Festival will connect our global family, to mark our national day, through remembrance and celebration, song and story, laughter and tears, exploring the unique ties that bind us as a people.
For this year’s online Festival, a rich and dynamic series of events are being safely created and recorded by hundreds of artists, musicians, performers, makers, creators, arts and live events workers and community organizations across Ireland. These events will run on St. Patrick’s Festival TV (SPF TV), a dedicated, global online TV channel at www.stpatricksfestival.ie which launches on March 12 and runs over six great virtual days and nights. The Festival will also be available to watch at www.rte.ie/culture. In Ireland, 1.1 million homes will be able to watch SPF TV on the Oireachtas TV channel, which can be found on all TV provider platforms in Ireland - Saorview Channel 22, Virgin Media Channel 207, Sky Channel 517, eir Vision Channel 504, and Vodafone Channels 201, 207 and 208. Please do note, some events may not be available on Oireachtas TV due to technical challenges.
Through St. Patrick’s Festival TV, the world is invited to take a front row seat at St. Patrick’s Festival 2021, connecting our family of 80 million through music, theatre, art, performance, poetry, storytelling, traditional arts, virtual tours, food, culture and much more. The full SPF TV Guide with days and times for each event will be announced in early March. If you miss a show, each event will be available to watch immediately after it is broadcast on its own event page on stpatricksfestival.ie and viewers will be able to play back all the events on the until March 21.
The Festival will tell the stories of our dynamic, modern, diverse culture, and uplift and celebrate our proud ancient traditions. With over 100 events taking place across six great virtual days and nights, there is something for everyone at the Festival this year. SPF Óg offers a boisterous collection of events, performances, workshops and fun experiences for families and young people; Sounds is a packed programme of contemporary and traditional music from Ireland, recorded by our finest artists and musicians; Stories invites the world to explore Ireland through the lens of film, poetry, literature, performance and art; while Living Ireland is a reflection of Ireland now, how we live and love, work and play, make, create, remember and celebrate.
Artists and performers set to take part in the diverse 2021 Festival Programme include comedians Foil, Arms & Hog and Michael Fry, legendary poet Pat Ingoldsby, treasured writers and broadcasters such as Marian Richardson, Brendan Balfe and Manchán Magan. If food is your love then check out chef Tadgh Byrne’s series on the history of Irish food, while for the young and young at heart the fabulous Fanzini Brothers and Tumble Circus will entertain, as will iconic storyteller Eddie Lenihan. Take part in some wellness and mindfulness events with Bressie and Michael Ryan and their guests including The Happy Pear amongst others. For the musically inclined, Festival 2021 features some of our best-loved musicians including New Jackson, Pillow Queens, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Mary Coughlan, Myles O’Reilly, Gemma Dunleavy, Sorca McGrath, Gareth Quinn Redmond, Matthew Nolan, Lisa Hannigan, Adrian Crowley, DC Fontaines’ Grian Chatten, Matthew Campbell of The Shamrock Tenors, soprano Mary McCabe, The Breath, Moxie, Kíla and Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn of Ye Vagabonds. Also taking part are traditional performers and storytellers including Donnacha Dwyer, Sin A Deir Sí, Ceiliúradh ó Chorca Dhuibhne, Shandrum Céilí Band, Caoimhe O Flaherty, Ronan O’Flagherty, Naoise Mac Cathmhaoil, Nuala Hayes, Jerry O’Reilly, Dermot Bolger, Annemarie Ní Churreáin and Nell Ní Chrónín. While international guests performing as part of St. Patrick’s Festival 2021 include Welsh legend Gruff Rhys and Scotland’s Brìdghe Chaimbeul and Aidan O’Rourke. Maybe you’ll enjoy some traditional workshops from the Aran Islands like Cleas willow weaving & Aran knitting workshops, or choose from one of the many virtual walking tours of Ireland, from Ballad Tours Dublin to the Galway Food Tour to name just two.
While St. Patrick’s Festival looks forward to a time when Ireland commences the journey towards reopening, and prepares to welcome the world to our beautiful, vibrant, island, this year we invite all our people to celebrate from home, in support of the tireless work of our healthcare warriors and our frontline workers, who battle on every day to protect our people and lead us out of the pandemic.