Top Picks For October Festivals

October festivals ireland

Just because summer has flown away from us for another year doesn’t mean the festival spirit is not still alive and well in Ireland! There are a few good things to look forward to this month for music fans and food fans and those who like to combine a bit of both! Check out our quick festival top picks  for  October.


FOTE 2017

Good Food Ireland member Jp McMahon’s brainchild annual Food On The Edge event has become something of a ‘must attend’ for anyone with a deeper interest in food than just the usual, ‘Instagram-my-dinner’ approach. This two day symposium tackles the nitty gritty of the food industry, with big name chefs from all over the world adding their take on a  given theme. This year’s panel of international speakers will address the audience on The Future of Food. 

Food On The Edge

For chefs, foodwriters, hospitality industry workers and food enthusiasts who want to create a better global food network, Galway is the place to be next week. FOTE 2017 takes place Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th October 2017. Booking essential. You can get one or two day tickets online at the Food On The Edge website.

Savour Kilkenny

Another Bank Holiday festival which has gone from strength to strength over the last number of years. Savour Kilkenny is the Marble County’s jewel in its food crown.

Savour Kilkenny Food Festival

A complete showcase of local and Irish produce and a true testament to the rich culinary heritage of this city. The Savour Stage reads like a who’s who of the Irish food world, with Catherine Fulvio, Ken Harker and John Kelly of Mount Juliet, Lynda Booth of Dublin Cookery School, celebrity chefs Neven Maguire and our own Rory O’Connell of Ballymaloe Cookery School, plus many others, put on the show of shows in the demo kitchen over the festival weekend.

Savour Specials include a talk from Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Takashi Miyazaki, Cork and Ireland’s most talked about Japanese chef putting on sushi for the festival launch, and the famous Savour Taster Trail.  On Saturday and Sunday, the Savour Food Market showcases around 100 stalls of local and Irish food and drink producers. If you’re a serious foodie who wants to meet the faces in Irish food, this weekend is not to be missed

Belfast International Arts Festival

Belfast is an iconic city, always buzzing at any time of year. Even more so from the 6th to the 28th October, when the place comes alive for the Belfast International Arts Festival. The ethos of the organisers of this event say ‘Our aim is a simple one; to create a genuinely civic event of contemporary arts and ideas of international appeal and stature.’ This they do through a full programme of visual arts, theatre, lectures, classical music, special events and film, spanning three weeks. Something for everyone. If you want to make a short break of it in Belfast, check out the luxury offering of the Culloden Estate and Spa in the Belfast suburbs or the fantastic sassy chic of the city centre Europa Hotel.

Belfast International Arts Festival

Taste Of The Lakelands

The Midlands region of Ireland finally gets its own food festival! Taking place this weekend, Saturday and Sunday 7th and 8th October at Lanesborough Co. Longford, the inaugural Taste of the Lakelands. TV celebrity chefs like Gary O’Hanlon and Rachel Allen form an enviable line up for cookery demonstrations throughout the weekend. Over 60 small food producers selling their wares during the two days. Friday evening starts with a Vintage Tea Party to the sounds of an Orchestral choir. Wear your best vintage clobber as there will be prizes for Best Vintage Costume and Best Vintage Headpiece.

Taste Of The Lakelands
Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

Cork lights up on the bank hol weekend of  27th-30th October , with the rifts of Jazz spreading through the city. The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival celebrates a  40 years this year – reason enough to celebrate!  Venues like The Everyman Theatre, Cork Opera House and Triskel Christchurch welcome big names and headline acts in the Jazz world, from all over the world. The Festival Club at the Metropole Hotel sees those sax notes being hit nightly,  with a list of different performers each night.

This year, to celebrate the big 4-0, the Festival Club at the Metropole will enjoy exclusive links with Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho, London. Funk, groove, blues and Dixieland are all here.  While you’re in cork, soak up the great food buzz and enjoy casual dining at Farmgate Cafe, On the Pig’s Back, or The Sandwich Stall in the English Market on Friday and Saturday. The River Lee Hotel and Hayfield Manor Hotel, both just a short stroll from the city centre, or the private grounds and peaceful surroundings of The Maryborough Hotel close to the city are also waiting to welcome you for overnight b&b or dinner in their fine restaurants.

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