St. Patrick’s Festival 2021 unveiled this year’s theme and programme

The theme and programme for the National St. Patrick’s Festival which will take place from March 12 – 17, 2021 has been unveiled.

Dúisigh Éire! Awaken Ireland! is the theme of St. Patrick’s Festival 2021 which invites you to throw off the long, dark months and rise to embrace the brighter days ahead.

Speaking of the Festival programme announcement, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu said: “It’s been a difficult year for so many so it’s great to see that St. Patrick’s Festival returns next month, bringing with it so many fantastic events for us here at home in Ireland and for those across the world to enjoy. I congratulate the St. Patrick’s Festival Board and team for creating such a wonderful celebration of our contemporary culture.”

The festival promises to be a positive and uplifting celebration of incredible people, beautiful island of Ireland, community bonds, young people, artists, creators and makers, and Irish diaspora across the world.

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 organisations across Ireland. These events will run on St. Patrick’s Festival TV (SPF TV), a dedicated online TV channel at StPatricksFestival.ie, which launches on March 12 and runs over six great virtual days and nights, and will be accessible globally.

The Festival will tell the stories of dynamic, modern, diverse Irish culture, and uplift and celebrate their 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
  • 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, and 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.

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, Fontaines DC’s 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.

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.

In a year when our arts, culture, live events, and tourism communities have been amongst those hardest hit by the pandemic, St. Patrick’s Festival has channelled more than 85% of its programme funding directly back into these communities all across Ireland, enabling the creation of events and experiences to fill our hearts with joy, hope, and positivity, a truly national festival.