HomeIrish NewsSt Patrick's Festival 2023 Focusing on Diversity and Inclusivity as Themes

St Patrick’s Festival 2023 Focusing on Diversity and Inclusivity as Themes

This year’s much-anticipated St Patrick’s Festival in Dublin – which runs from March 16-19 – is being touted as the biggest and most ambitious ever with community, diversity, youth and sustainability as its central values.

The theme for this year’s extravaganza is ‘ONE’, as the Festival issues an open invite to people from all over the world to come to Dublin, Ireland to share, to connect, to participate and to celebrate together as one.

A major new opening pageant has been commissioned featuring a collaboration with St. Patrick’s Festival Community Arts pageant with Macnas, Junk KoutureDiscovery Gospel Choir, and a whole host of community groups, while the Festival continues to work with Ireland’s foremost creative pageant companies including Dublin PrideSpraoiArtasticInishowen Carnival.

This year, Bui Bolg and Kia are collaborating on an exciting new pageant entitled ‘The Future That Moves Us’ featuring an interactive AR element in the parade for the very first time. With half a million spectators expected to line this year’s route, the Parade will feature 7 creative pageants, 10 transitional showpiece performances, 15 marching bands from across Ireland, North America and Canada, and over 4,000 participants in what is shaping up to be the largest ever National St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

As part of a curated programme of events in collaboration with cultural partners around the city, there will be many St. Patrick’s Festival-supported live events and club nights throughout Dublin over the period of the Festival. Enjoy everything from art exhibitions to yoga classes, orchestral performances to brand new theatre pieces, walking tours to skiff racing.New for 2023 is the Festival After Dark, a series of events in Nightclubs post 11pm.

A brand-new strand for the 2023 Parade is Suntas! (take notice!). Suntas! will feature giant creative interventions on iconic buildings around Dublin, adding layers of storytelling and intrigue and animating the city in the run up to the Festival. As the city turns Green in preparation for the St. Patrick’s festivities, city-dwellers will begin to notice the arrival of Ollphéist (giant monsters), as they take over some of the city’s best-known buildings. They will be visible by day and illuminated by night as tourists and locals wander the city. On Parade Day, audiences will look on in wonder as the pageant participants will interact with these monsters, locked in an epic battle between good and evil, between Goddesses and Monsters, along with a surprise performance from aerial artists Fidget Feet in a spectacular high-flying display.

The Festival Quarter event centre also returns for its second year.

On opening night, Thursday 16th March Cultúr Club will see St. Patrick’s Festival and LGBTQ+ Club promoters, Mother collaborate once again on the eve of the world’s largest celebration of Irish culture for one big party. On the Mainstage, Cultúr Club will host the first ever LGBTQ+ ‘Géilí’ with the fabulous PJ Kirby, followed by the Queen of Ireland herself, Panti Bliss and her dance partner, Denys Salmon hot off RTÉ’s Dancing with the Stars. RTÉ Choice Music Prize-nominated Queer Irish artist Elaine Mai with MayKay and Sinéad White come together for a special, one-time-only performance of club classics. Joining them are some of the most exciting artists on the Irish music scene including Bobbi Arlo, Lewwab, Pastiche, and Tim Chadwick. Mother DJspresent an all-night queer dance party in Tent Mór accompanied by the gorgeous OINK dancers and the drag fabulousity of Pixie Woo, Anziety, Shaqira Knightly and Viola Gayvis. The brilliant SEANCHOÍCHE (pronounced Shanna-Key-Huh), a storytelling night founded in Dublin will take over the Tent Beag stage featuring tales to enthral and entrance with Una Mullally, and for those who don’t want to leave the dancefloor, the Bandstand stage will feature a range of incredible DJs with drag, dancing and divilment on display throughout.

On Friday 17th March, as St. Patrick’s Day turns into St. Patrick’s Night, live music will echo across the legendary grounds of the NMI as we celebrate our incredible traditional Irish music artists including Kíla + Brass Band, The Bonny MenJiggySaltaire, Polca 4, Paahto & the Bull, Cairde Ceoil, Choice Music Prize nominee Junior Brother, and The Latchikos.Dance the night away in Celtic style with the Trad Rave DJ on the Clarke Square Bandstand & lots more!

On Saturday 18th March, in a unique collaboration,St. Patrick’s Festival has invited the critically acclaimed and internationally successful act Pillow Queens to curate an evening that celebrates the best of new Irish music across four stages on the Festival Quarter site, before they take to the main stage and bring it home with a set that is sure to thrill audiences in a true celebration of Irish culture. They’ll be joined on the night with music from some of the best homegrown talent the country has to offer including Melts, Sprints, Gurrier, Girlfriend, Basht, Katie Kim, PCRO, Megan O’Neil, Cat Dowling, Really Good Time & 2FM Rising bands plus HOMEBEAT DJs.

Of the Programme announcement, Richard Tierney, CEO, St. Patrick’s Festival said: “I am especially looking forward to St. Patrick’s Festival 2023, my first at the helm of this fantastic festival celebrating the best of Irish culture today. It takes a huge amount of artists, arts workers, makers, creators, live events teams and community organisations, drawn from across the nation, as well as the core Festival team to bring the magical national festival to life each year. There is so much to enjoy from the 16th to the 19th, from song, story and performance, to film, theatre, tours, food and so much more. I’m especially looking forward to our new Suntas programme. We are incredibly thankful to all our funders, partners and sponsors who have made this year’s Festival possible and can’t wait to welcome everyone from near and far to Dublin this March.”

Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland said: “St. Patrick’s Festival returns to Dublin this year, with a spectacular parade and an amazing line up of music, arts and entertainment that celebrates our culture, our people and our places. This year’s festival will be the largest ever St. Patrick’s Day celebration and will give visitors from at home and abroad the opportunity to experience the very best of our capital city, while kick-starting the tourist season by showcasing Ireland as a fantastic tourist destination to people around the world. In particular, we welcome the many marching bands that have travelled to join the festival and really add to the atmosphere of celebration. Festivals and events play a key role in delivering brilliant visitor experiences, providing a unique reason for visitors to choose a destination and increasing footfall for local businesses, supporting jobs and revenue generation.”

Catherine Martin T.D, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media commented: “It is said that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day and we welcome that inclusion warmly. It is a day to celebrate our heritage and our history and we invite the world to join in the 2023 celebrations. The festival has grown and flourished through the years and is full of the best of Irish culture, creativity and heritage of which we are all very proud. I have approved support of €600,000 from my Department for this great festival and I look forward to the full and eventful line up which has been organised for this year’s festival.”

Allie Sheehan
Allie Sheehan
I have worked in the travel industry for seven years, from working in American Holidays and The Travel Corporation I have a wealth of knowledge of all aspects of travel. Before joining ITTN I worked for Facebook which gave me the inside knowledge of the wonderful world of social media. I have a BSc in Event Management and am also a qualified beauty therapist (which definitely comes in handy in this business). Recently I joined the AWTE Ireland committee and I am enjoying working with and connecting with the network of women in travel.

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