Ring launches €2.6M festival package and 2012 Home Holiday Campaign

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring has today (Thursday) announced funding of €2.6 million for 34 national festivals taking place all around Ireland this year.
The festivals include everything from next week’s St Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, to the Galway Arts Festival, Wexford Opera Festival, the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny, the Rose of Tralee, Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, and many others.
The funding was announced as Minister Ring launched Fáilte Ireland’s 2012 Home Holiday campaign, which kicks off this weekend. Further funding will be announced in the coming weeks for a number of additional festivals, particularly regional events.
“Tourism is key to our economic recovery and I’m especially pleased to launch such a strong package of festivals for this year. Festivals are magnets for visitors, from home and abroad, and they bring revenue and economic activity into every corner of Ireland. This funding is a serious investment in tourism and helps us to boost growth in a sector which already delivers jobs and almost €5 billion in revenue.
“We are also launching Fáilte Ireland’s 2012 Home Holiday campaign. I would encourage everyone to check out the action-packed festivals calendar at discoverireland.ie. Whether your taste is music, comedy or theatre, there’s something there for everybody.”
To coincide with the announcement of festival funding, Minister Ring confirmed that Fáilte Ireland’s 2012 Discover Ireland domestic holiday campaign kicks off this weekend. More than half a million ‘Spring Breaks’ special offer brochures, containing up to 200 special offers, will be distributed through the national press. The brochures will also be distributed through tourism information offices and will be accompanied by a national radio campaign.
The Discover Ireland TV campaign will start on March 12th and will run right through the peak holiday period, from March to August. The campaign will also run in cinemas across the country, targeting family movies, between from March and May. You can check out the large number of special offers available at discoverireland.ie/special-offers
The large number of festivals and events around Ireland will be promoted via Discover Ireland guides and on local radio stations, reaching around 854,000 listeners weekly. Online, the campaign will target key audiences on the most relevant sites in a creative and highly effective manner utilising all the latest social media.
Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Marketing, Orla Carroll today emphasised: “The Home holiday market remains highly important to Irish tourism and our research indicates that this year more Irish families than ever will be staying at home. This year’s Discover Ireland campaign aims to capitalise on that fact and present Irish families with a menu of fun, feasts and festivals, as well as great value accommodation offers, to entice them to get out there and re-discover their home country.”

Issued by:
Department of Transport:, Tourism and Sport Press Office. Nick Miller 086 6992080

Fáilte Ireland: Alex Connolly 086 7966320
Irish festivals and events in 2012
•          Temple Bar Tradfest                                      
•          St Patrick’s Festival, Dublin                            
•          Cork International Choral Festival                 
•          Titanic 100                                                     
•          Bloom                                                             
•          Galway Arts Festival                                                  
•          Killarney Summerfest                                                            
•          Kilkenny Arts Festival                                     
•          Fleadh Cheoil Na h’Eireann                           
•          Wexford Festival Opera                                 
•          NYE Dublin                                                     
•          Cat Laughs Comedy Festival                          
•          Street Performance World Championships   
•          West Cork Chamber Music Festival              
•          Earagail Arts Festival                                     
•          Spraoi                                                             
•          Rose of Tralee                                                
•          Dublin Theatre Festival                                  
•          Sligo Live                                                        
•          Guinness Cork Jazz Festival                            
•          Ironman                                                         
•          Cork Midsummer Festival                             
•          Listowel Writers Week                                  
•          Music Festival in Westport                            
•          Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival
•          Ireland Bike Fest                                            
•          Sea Sessions                                                   
•          Kinsale Arts Week                                          
•          Galway Film Fleadh                                       
•          ABSOLUT Fringe                                             
•          Dublin Culture Night                                      
•          Tullamore Show                                             
•          National Heritage Week                                
•          National Ploughing Championships               
Further details
Temple Bar TradFest
Ireland's biggest and best music & culture festival with concerts in historic venues, pub sessions, pipe bands, storytelling, film screenings, theatre, street entertainment and much more!
St Patrick’s Festival, Dublin
Ireland's leading multi-disciplinary arts festival which takes place annually over a 4 to 5 day period, in celebration of Ireland's national holiday, St. Patrick's Day.
Cork International Choral Festival
Experience the best in vocal music over 5 days with 4,500 and 85 performances held in 50 venues.
Titanic 100     
Centenary concerts on Spike Island giving the public a unique opportunity to be entertained by world class acts on arguably the most historical island in Ireland. 
A vintage fair on the streets of Cobh - a must for all those intrigued by the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
Cobh People's Regatta, one of the longest running regattas in Europe, will be enhanced to celebrate the Titanic Centenary Tribute Year.
Bloom is Bord Bia's gardening, food and family festival taking place for the 6th consecutive June Bank Holiday weekend.
Galway Arts Festival
Ireland's leading international arts festival, held in the beautiful city of Galway each year, featuring theatre, dance, visual arts, music, talks and street spectacle.
Killarney Summerfest           
One of Ireland's premier festivals bustling with a myriad of activities for all to enjoy. Take advantage of fantastic days to experience Killarney's natural beauty and an array of fun for all the family!
Kilkenny Arts Festival
Now in its 39th year, every August the city comes alive for 10 days with exciting events for all the family at the Kilkenny Arts Festival.
Fleadh Cheoil Na h’Eireann
The biggest traditional music festival in the world takes place once again in Cavan...be part of it!
Wexford Festival Opera       
One of the most loved opera festivals in the world, specialising in the presentation of rarely performed opera and including a superb programme of lunchtime concerts, afternoon ShortWorks and recitals.
NYE Dublin
Get set to ring in the New Year in Dublin City with concerts, music, outdoor markets and family entertainment.
Cat Laughs Comedy Festival
Each year Irish comedians are joined by a huge international line-up in what has become one of the most popular and well attended festivals in Ireland.
Street Performance World Championships           
The best contortionists, magicians, breakdancers, comedians and all-round jesters in the world come to Ireland to battle it out to become champion.
West Cork Chamber Music Festival
Nine days of world-class chamber music by international musicians from morning to late night. Concerts, morning talks & young musician masterclasses.
Earagail Arts Festival
A bilingual, multi-disciplinary festival offering a national and international programme of music, theatre, visual arts, literature & family events.        
The annual Spraoi Festival is a riot of colour and imagination right in the heart of Waterford City. Three days of international street art, world music and of course the Spraoi Parade - a must see event for all ages.                
Rose of Tralee
A landmark family event on the Irish festival calendar with parades, fireworks, air display, Circus, funfair, music and the selection of the Rose of Tralee 2012.          
Dublin Theatre Festival        
Europe's oldest specialist theatre festival, which has been on the world's festival calendar since 1957, staging the best of Irish and International theatre.
Sligo Live
Sligo Live celebrates folk, roots, and indie music. Over the past seven years it has carved out a niche as a relaxed, intimate and enjoyable music festival, attracting visitors from all over Ireland and abroad.         
Guinness Cork Jazz Festival  
Ireland's famous flagship Jazz Festival goes from strength to strength with a superb programme of world class jazz and jazz related sounds in over 90 venues. One of the best jazz festivals in Europe!
The event begins with a 1.9K swim in the crystal-clear waters of Galway Bay before athletes take on a challenging 90K bike course. With a spectator-friendly run course through the Salthill area of Galway.
Cork Midsummer Festival
This festival transforms the city each June with a summer solstice celebration of contemporary arts and culture. Expect extraordinary theatre and performance, music, street art, family and free events!
Listowel Writers Week         
A literary festival devoted to all writers including workshops, lectures, readings, interviews, debates, competitions, book launches, art exhibitions and an extensive children's programme.
Music festival, Westport
An open-air music festival run annually for the whole family, and featuring many well-known bands.
Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival
Honouring Ireland's much loved Rock'n' Blues guitarist - the late Rory Gallagher with open air street gigs, workshops, exhibitions, theatre, concerts and pub sessions.
Ireland Bike Fest       
International festival for motorcycle owners, enthusiasts and anyone with an interest in bikes. Get immersed in the Irish 'craic' and chrome and experience the fun and festival atmosphere that truly makes this event so unique.                        
Sea Sessions
A unique experience in a special coastal location, featuring the best of Irish & international musical talent, top Irish & European surfers and a host of other activities.
Kinsale Arts Week    
A famous, fabulous 9 days of great art, good food, music, drama, literature and unforgettable events in one of Ireland's most beautiful seaside towns. Expect the extraordinary and have a lot of fun too!
Galway Film Fleadh
Ireland's leading film festival takes place over six days in July and is above all a films lover's festival with numerous filmmakers on hand to discuss, debate and interact with their audiences.
ABSOLUT Fringe is Ireland’s largest multi-disciplinary arts festival. Now in its 17th year, the festival stages up to 525 events in over 40 venues, and around 150,000 people have at least one Fringe experience during the Festival. For 16 days the festival transforms Dublin into a ‘dream factory’, an exposé of great creative talent from around the globe.
Dublin Culture Night
On Friday September 21st 2012, locals and visitors across the island of Ireland will enjoy the unique experience of Culture Night, a free night of entertainment, discovery and adventure taking place in a record 30 towns, cities, counties and islands in Ireland. Museums, galleries, churches, historic houses, artists’ studios and cultural centres will open their doors late into the evening welcoming people of all ages to taste and sample their cultural delights for free on the evening.
Tullamore Show
Truly authentic high profile cultural event with a broad based programme focussing on an agricultural and country lifestyle. The event promotes an enhanced awareness of national & local traditions, cultures, farmers markets, competitive elements and ways of life.        
National Heritage Week      
Every year millions of Europeans visit historical monuments and sites throughout Europe on European Heritage Days. These are a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which over forty countries participate each year. The main aim of European Heritage Days are to promote awareness of our built, natural and cultural heritage and to promote Europe’s common cultural heritage. In Ireland we celebrate European Heritage Days with a full week of events throughout National Heritage Week.
National Ploughing Championships
A cross-section of everything associated with rural Ireland with over 300 competitions and 900 exhibitors showcasing every aspect of country life in Ireland.


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