20 Feb, 2014

St. Patrick’s Festival 2014: Let’s Make History… Colourful!

Minister Ring announces a diverse cultural programme and a three-year Parade Thematic for St. Patrick’s Festival

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Mr Michael Ring, TD was joined by vibrant Festival characters at the launch of St. Patrick’s Festival 2014 this morning, with the Festival’s cultural programme I Love My City taking centre stage. The Festival’s I Love My City cultural programme, now in its third year, is a series of inspiring, intimate, cultural events and happenings curated by the Festival.  This year an array of eclectic events and happenings featuring both established and emerging artists, from a variety of disciplines including literature, music, film, song, spoken-word, photography, visual art and more will be presented over the 4 days of the Festival.  The programme will be staged in the beautiful surroundings of some of the city’s prestigious cultural venues including The National Gallery, The National Concert Hall, The National Library, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, The Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), The Little Museum, Earlsfort Terrace, Marsh’s Library and The Chapel Royal Dublin Castle and many more site-specific and pop-up spaces throughout the City.

Speaking at the launch Minister Ring said: “The Festival is hugely important for Irish tourism. The support from the Government, Fáilte Ireland and others like Dublin City Council helps this world-class Festival to go from strength to strength. What’s more, St. Patrick’s Festival works. It’s one of our most important events for international visitors, whose numbers rocketed to 140,000 overseas people last year. That’s 37% higher than in 2010. It’s also a unique opportunity to showcase our talent to the world. I congratulate everyone involved in organising this Festival. It gives us a sense of national pride as Irish people, and gives visitors something extra special for their trip.”

Headline cultural programme events include:

Solo Space: Monday 17th March, The Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle: A very special musical & vocal performance featuring Iarla Ó Lionáird (voice), Seán Mac Erlaine (clarinet) & Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (hardanger d’amore fiddle). Three of this country’s top solo performers take their turn filling the vaulted ceilings of this unique space with their music.  Expect spacious, magical sounds that will bring your mind on a journey of unexpected beauty. Free Event.

Jape at the RHA: Friday 14th March, RHA. One of Ireland’s premier music acts, Jape is the main musical project of Irish musician and producer Richie Egan.  Richie also plays with The Redneck Manifesto and Visionair and played recently at Glastonbury, Electric Picnic, Lovebox and Castlepalooza. Performing in the contemporary yet intimate setting of the RHA Gallery, this St Patrick’s Festival show will be one to remember. Free Event.

The Enchanted Banquet: Saturday 15th March, Earlsfort Terrace: St Patrick’s Festival, in collaboration with Hunt & Gather, will host a special 5-course banquet celebrating inspired Irish food, dreamy music and whimsical performance.  Paid-ticketed event.

One City, Many Cultures: Friday 14th March, the National Gallery. Set up by a young arts collective, Milk and Cookie Stories is the last word in Dublin Story-telling, mixing home-baked treats with home-spun yarns. In Celebration of St Patrick’s Festival and the Middle Eastern New Year, for ‘One City, Many Cultures’ Milk & Cookies are looking for tales about how welcoming, inclusive and multicultural the wonderful city of Dublin has become.  Free Event.

Céilí House Live in Concert (in association with RTÉ Radio 1) on Saturday evening, 15th March in the National Concert Hall will be headlined by Irish music legend Frankie Gavin and one of Ireland’s most influential trad groups, De Dannan. The pair will join forces to deliver an electrifying evening of live music. The line-up on the night will also feature The Bonny Men, one of the most exciting young bands to emerge from the trad/folk scene in recent years. Tickets are available through the NCH box office.

There are many more cultural events planned: The One Book Bookshop, an event with One City One Book, Remembering Luke: A documentary and Q&A to remember the luminary Luke Kelly, Past Times: an immersive tour of Marsh’s Library, Dublin Then & Now exhibition located at City Assembly House, Dabledoo Music: A musical experience for children which will be hosted in The Little Museum to name but a few events. The I Love My City cultural programme is delivered with the support of The Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht. The festival is planning more programme announcements from the cultural programme in the lead up to the festival and registration for events will be published shortly.

In more exciting programme news, for the first time in its history and using this commemorative era as inspiration, St. Patrick’s Festival has created a three-year theme and narrative for the Festival Parade.  The thematic journey of ‘Past, Present and Future’ will be explored respectively in the period 2014, 2015 and 2016. The 2014 Festival Parade theme, ‘Let’s Make History’, draws on the ‘Past’ and is the first step on this exciting, creative journey.  In 2015 we will explore our present which leads us into 2016 where we look to the future and the Festival will pose the question, ‘who do we aspire to be in the next 100 years?’  The four-day 2014 programme is packed full of free events and will take place from 14th- 17th March, culminating at the awe-inspiring Festival Parade on March 17th.

Susan Kirby, CEO of St. Patrick’s Festival commented: “Our national Festival will collaborate with artists and groups of a variety of disciplines to host an array of creative, engaging and colourful events, of which the majority are free to attend, ensuring there’s something for everyone in the four-day line-up. St. Patrick’s Festival is a celebration of what it means to be Irish, not just here in Ireland but all over the world. The Festival continues to evolve and grow, last year adding €122million to the economy through spending by both locals and visitors.”

Well-known festival events will also be staged, and kick-starting this year’s festivities at 4.30pm on Friday, 14th March, join over 7,000 people from beginners to experts alike as they don their dancing shoes and join in the fun at the Festival Céilí at St. Stephens’s Green during this outdoor celebration of traditional Irish music and dance. If dancing is not your thing, the Festival Treasure Hunt, taking place on Saturday, 15th March is a free and novel trail through Dublin city’s landmark buildings and venues; a great way for all ages to discover Dublin city.

New to the Festival line-up this year, ‘Live on the Green’ will take place on Saturday evening, Meteor Music Award winner, Jerry Fish will headline this rousing free live music stage and is sure to get everyone into the Festival spirit. Live on the Green will also features Ireland’s first and only New Orleans style Brass Band, The Booka Brass Band, who have brought their individual flair to thousands of festival goers at Electric Picnic, Sea Sessions and Longitude.

Bright and early on Sunday morning 16th March a very special festival event will see running enthusiasts alongside fun-runners taking part in the St. Patricks Festival 5km Run through Georgian Dublin. Families can support the runners and then take in this year’s Festival Big Day Out. Set in Georgian Dublin the Festival Big Day Out is a family event bursting with colour, street performances and theatrics. Visitors of all ages can enjoy Irish language events, workshops, the SFI Discover Science zone, music and open air shows throughout the day.  Always popular with young reading enthusiasts, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Dublin City Libraries Citywide Reading project event will also be presented at this year’s Festival Big Day Out.
Other highlights of the St. Patrick’s Festival programme this year include Gaelspraoi: Clár Gaelach the festivals Irish language programme. Citywide animation including Greening the City commences on Friday, 14th March where some of Ireland’s key landmark buildings will be illuminated in green to celebrate our national holiday and creating a sense of a ‘city en fete’, festival funfairs also feature.

Last but far from least, the Festival’s main event, the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade, takes place on Monday, 17th March where Ireland’s leading pageant companies will bring this year’s theme, ‘Let’s Make History’, to life on the streets of Dublin City. The internationally celebrated Festival Parade, attended by hundreds of thousands of people and watched by millions more around the world, welcomes the music of international marching bands as it swirls through the heart of the city past some of Dublin’s most famous and historic landmarks. Pageant companies from all over Ireland performing in this year’s parade including: Spraoi (Waterford), Artastic (Kildare), Macnas (Galway), Buí Bolg (Wexford), City Fusion (Dublin), Dowtcha (Cork), Inishowen Carnival Group (Donegal) and Brighter Futures (Dublin).
St. Patrick’s Festival will take place this year from 14th – 17th March. 

For details on the four-day Festival programme log on to, download the app, or join the Festival’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.


For further information, please contact:
Maria McGrath, FleishmanHillard, on 01 6188420/ 0861653055 or
Kevin Moore, FleishmanHillard on 01 6188499/ 0868252611 or


St. Patrick’s Festival Principal Funders are: The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council and The Department of Arts, Heritage & The Gaeltacht.

The principal aim of St. Patrick’s Festival, since its inauguration, is to develop a major annual international festival around the national holiday over which the Irish people would stand proud. It sets out to reflect the talents and achievements of Irish people on many national and world stages, and it acts as an exciting showcase for the manifold skills of the people of Ireland, of every age and social background. As the one national holiday that is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other, St. Patrick’s Day is the day when everyone wants to be Irish.

Why was it started? 
• To offer a national festival that ranks as one of the greatest celebrations in the world
• To create energy and excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity and grassroots involvement, and marketing activity
• To provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations
• To project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal.

The first St Patrick’s Festival was held over one day, and night, on March 17th 1996. The live audience for the day was estimated to be 430,000.

Preparation for the first St Patrick’s Festival used to take only 5 months, but with the growth of the Festival, it now takes 18 months to plan for Ireland’s biggest annual celebration.

The 2013 St. Patrick’s Festival added €122 million to the Irish economy.

St. Patrick’s Festival Events 2014

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