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Festivals & Events in Donegal


Whatever your interest, there´s a festival for you! Donegal boasts a year-round programme of unique and exciting festivals and events with something to suit every taste. Check out our comprehensive calendar of Festivals and Events in Donegal.

Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival

Various Locations & Online,Donegal

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25th Sept - 18th October 2020, Online, Ballybofey and Ballyshannon

25th Sept, 2nd Oct, 9th Oct, 16th Oct - Drumshee Days (Youtube) - Nora Gallagher, the Cloakroom Girl who sees all and knows all, invites us to share her funny, sunlit memories of Dry Dance Hall Days at Drumshee Parish Hall, in that summer of 1958.

In this four part comic drama series, Nora introduces us to the various characters that inhabit the dancehall on a Saturday night. Tune in to her memories of that distant summer as she relives interwoven shenannigans of the Drumshee dancers, over four Friday nights of the festival.

26th September - Ómós do Billy Finn (Abbey Arts Centre) - The late Billy Finn was a native of Kilkenny who spent much of his adult life as a secondary school teacher in Ballyshannon, where he was a founding member of the local Phil Rooney Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. An accomplished uilleann piper and flute player, his various sets of pipes and chanters have been generously loaned by his family to the Billy Finn Trust, whereby many young Donegal uilleann pipers are now learning to play.

29th September - Alan Finan (youtube) - A Ballyshannon artist who weaves intricate guitar melodies with thoughtful lyricism, a distinct sound embedded with electronic textures.

1st October - Zandra Queen of Jazz (Abbey Arts & Cultural Centre) - The extraordinary story of Alexandra (Zandra) Mitchell, who lived most of her later life at Coolmore House, Rossnowlagh. Alexandra was one of the foremost jazz saxophonists of her day, touring widely with an all-female ensemble throughout the UK and mainland Europe, including Germany, in the years up to and during the second World War.

3rd October - Sister Black (Abbey Arts & Cultural Centre) - Celebrated Ramelton World War 1 frontline health worker, Nurse Catherine Black, OBE, looks back on an extraordinary life, which took her from the battlefields of France to the court of King George V of England. Born in 1878, her family ran a draper’s shop in the town. Catherine’s passion though was for nursing and she moved to England as young woman,working in various hospitals before voluntering for military service, after the outbreak of the first World War. Maintaining a diary as she went, she published an account of her tumultous life in her autobiography, King’s Nurse, Beggar’s Nurse, in 1939.

3rd October - Fred Cooke in Simply Fred (Balor Atrs Centre) - Fred Cooke delivers a unique brand of comedy through his musical prowess, physical storytelling and warm, affable stage presence. Best known for his TV work, Fred is a regular on the hugely popular Tommy Tiernan Show and has appeared many time on Republic of Telly and The Fear.

4th October - Songs for An Autumn Evening (Youtube) - Deborah Cunningham, Paul Martin and Evan McGarrigle bring together a collection of favourites from their opera festival back-catalogue, for a unique event streamed from The Garden Suite at Harvey’s Point Hotel, Lough Eske.

6th October - Reevah (youtube) - Derry based Indie-folk artist Reevah released her debut EP, Hummingbird, in 2018. In the same year, she worked with The Ulster Orchestra on a commemorative project celebrating the 1968 Civil Rights movement, touring with the Orchestra throughout the summer months.

7th & 8th October - My Wife, Her Cat and Other Stuff (Balor Arts Centre) - My Wife, Her Cat and Other Stuff is a new play by Letterkenny writer Brian Walsh, performed by hugely popular actor and comic, Conal Gallen.

A husband relates a curious tale of domestic pet care, housetraining, keyboard warriors and animal psychology, moving gently to a conclusion that few could have foreseen.

7th & 8th October - ‘A Bit of Land’ and ‘Faint Voices’ (Abbey Arts & Cultural Centre) - A Bit of Land

Described as ‘a rollicking comedy in Ulster dialect at its raciest‘, when first performed in 1948, the action revolves around Tommy Boyle’s unorthodox attempt to ensure his supposedly deseased father, wills him the family farm. Naturally, things don’t go as planned, with hilarious results.

Faint Voices portrays the doomed relationship bwtween World War I soldier-poet Francis Ledwidge and his lover, Ellie Vaughey and the impact of his death on her, his family and his friends.

9th October - Night of Notions (Online) - An evening of original Music and Spoken Word curated by Berlin-based, Mountcharles musician and composer Conor Cunningham, featuring artists and performers from the Common Grounds Collective, among them Eamonn Travers from Ballyshannon and Claire Kinsella from Letterkenny. The Collective is an artists’ group who have been showcasing some of Ireland’s most inspiring performers in recent years, through country-wide tours and exhibitions.

10th October 2020 - Small Behaviours (Abbey arts- Songs from a Witness Statement is the second installment of Inishowen musician and composer Kate O’Callaghan’s musical response to her great grand aunt Catherine Rooney’s witness statements to the Irish government’s Bureau of Military History, detailing her involvement in the events of Easter 1916 in Dublin, and the subsequent War of Independence.

10th October 2020 - The Murray Brothers Quartet (Balor Arts Centre)- Growing up in Falcarragh, Micheal and Conor Murray found a passion for jazz in their early teens. Later they studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the direction Tommy Smith, performing in many of Scotland’s jazz clubs and with some of the country’s top musicians.

13th October - Ego The Jackal (Youtube) - Ego The Jackal is the creative alias of Derry born singer songwriter Connor McGowan. In 2014, he released Great Ocean Conveyor, a compelling self-produced work that enjoyed extensive airplay in the UK, Ireland and Canada, where he lived until 2019.

14th-17th October - ‘Spinning’; ‘The Story of The Widow’s Three Daughters’; and ‘Staying Alive’ (Balor Atrs Centre) - The Butt Drama Circle present 3 new one-act plays

17th October - Mirenda Rosenberg (Youtube) - Mirenda Rosenberg is a Donegal-based, American singer songwriter. Her dynamic, emotionally provocative performances channel love, loss, power and desire, providing an unparalleled soul, funk, jazz, blues experience.

18th October - Literary Event – In Conversation (Zoom) - Join two of Ireland’s most talked about new novelists, Elaine Feeney and Helen Cullen, in a live zoom conversation and reading, hosted by festival literary curator and much loved poet, Densie Blake.


Starts Friday 25 September 2020
Ends Sunday 18 October 2020
Type Festival and Events


Prices vary - to find out more please visit the Donegal Bay and blue Stacks Festival website - http://donegalbaybluestacks.com/


Various Locations & Online,

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