September 27, 2023

Well are we all set? It’s St Patrick’s weekend and our vibrant city of Galway is set to come alive this March 17th with a host of exciting events planned. An incredible 2,800 participants will take to the streets for the highly anticipated parade, joined by Macnas and Galway Community Circus, promising an array of colorful displays and theatrical performances. 

The parade will start at the University of Galway and will be followed afterwards by the Eyre Square Music Festival, featuring a variety of local musicians and artists, including the award-winning trad ensemble BackWest. With a screening of short films, the lighting up of Galway Hookers, and live entertainment across the city, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here, we give you a rundown of just some of the highlights taking place this Friday

St Patrick’s Day Parade

11:30am Galway City

A community carnival of colour and spectacle will see 2,800 participants take to the streets of Galway for the highly anticipated St. Patrick’s Day parade.  And they will be joined by the vibrant theatrical displays of Macnas and Galway Community Circus.

It’s set to be an exciting celebration as the streets of Galway come alive to the sound of marching bands, the magic of Macnas, the theatrics of the Galway Community Circus and so much more. Crowds will gather, with up to 40,000 expected, as the 2023 parade route starts at 11:30am from the University of Galway, travelling across the Salmon Weir Bridge, down Eglinton Street and onto Eyre Square. This years’ open top bus will provide the transport for two grand marshals – Connacht Rugby director Andy Friend and 11-year-old Late Late Toy Show star, Saoirse Ruane

Free Eyre Square Music Festival

2:30pm onwards:

The Eyre Square Music Festival will come to life with an array of local musicians and artists. It’s all part of the three-day St Patrick’s Festival capturing the vibe of Galway’s musical heritage over the weekend in the dedicated festival village.

2:30pm: Kildare Irish Figure Dancers

The Kildare Irish Figure Dancers are an exhibition group with over 50 members aged between 12 and 24.  They are proud of their all-inclusive ethos and passion for keeping the tradition of Irish figure dancing alive.

15:10: Colm Seoighe and na hEasógaí

With their own brand of fast paced and lyrical original folk as gaeilge, Colm Seoighe and na hEasógaí re one of the most exciting young acts in the west of Ireland.  Performing as part of the Music Generation Galway City

4pm: Drumadore

Come alive to the rhythm of Galway’s very own drumming troupe Drumadore.  Drumadore drum school started in Headford in 2016 and is run by Éibhín Cradock, formerly of the Saw Doctors and currently the director of Macnas drummers. Drumadore blends movement and exercise into drumming and can be found in several locations around Galway and Mayo.  

“That is Drumadore’s big goal,” says director Éibhín Cradock “to help as many people as possible experience drumming. We want people to experience drumming in a relaxed, fun and accessible way.” Catch the vibrant drum beat at the Eyre Square Music Festival.

4:30pm: MacDara

MacDara O’Dwyer hails from Inverin Connemara. Influenced by the traditional music of his surroundings, the threads of folk and blues radiate through his music.  Passing from light to dark, his music features complex thoughts through the medium of lyrics accompanied by melody and powerful chorus. 

5:45pm: BackWest

Hailing from the heart of Galway city, trad ensemble BackWest are award winning musicians. BackWest formed in late 2016 and in March 2017 the band released their debut album entitled The Long Walk which was praised for their diversity in performance and synergy of style. This exciting band brings together the old and the new. 

Featuring Galway’s well-known brother and sister duo, Maureen and Brendan Browne, this four-piece brings together three realms within both live and recorded performances: music, song, and dance. Ultimately, BackWest bring their audience on a euphoric journey. Steeped in tradition, their vast repertoire celebrates the essence of traditional Irish music, song and dance. Recognised worldwide, they have represented Ireland as cultural ambassadors, performing for Presidents and at prestigious international festivals. 

UNESCO City of Film

2pm: Outdoor Film Screening

Ardán will host an outdoor film screening of short films in the Fishmarket at the Spanish Arch from 2-4pm. Not only that, but The Cinephile Paradiso will host a two-day walk-in exhibition of the early silent films of Ireland in the Pálás cinema bar and the Silent Cinema on Dominick Street.  This will include the O’Kalem company films that were made in the 1920s, as well as a short documentary on the importance of these films, produced by the Irish Film Institute.

Bádóirí an Chladaigh will once again light up their Galway Hookers with its annual stunning greening at the Claddagh Basin.


The Kings Head

1-3pm and 5-7pm: Kick The Wall band

One of Galway’s best known landmark pubs, The Kings Head will bring the best of live entertainment this St. Patrick’s Day.  With stomping covers and lively anthems, the Kick The Wall band will have you on your feet dancing from day to night. Owned and run by the Grealish Family since the late 80s, this 800-year-old Pub is located in the heart of Galway City’s Latin Quarter and comprises a pub, bistro, and live venue over three floors. 

At the bar at The Kings Head, you will find signature whiskeys, local gins, craft beers, cocktails, mocktails and creamy pints of stout. And they now have their very own craft beer appropriately named Blood Red Ale, which is brewed locally by Galway Hooker in Oranmore. It’s a preservative free, small batch, traditional red ale. With free live music every single night, late bars every weekend and a solid commitment to authentic local food and drinks, this historic family-run Galway pub, will bring the best craic this Friday, March 17th.

The Skeff Bar

1pm: Tobi Kaye

The Galway based singer and composer brings a fresh twist to the pop genre thanks to his strong gospel, blues, and rock influences.  His original works unleash a dark romanticised social commentary on life, love and war. Baring his heart on his sleeve and his soul through his lyrics, Tobi Kaye is a rare talent who is on the rise.

4pm: The Tribesmen

This traditional Irish music band from Galway is a five-piece trad and folk powerhouse. With a dynamic combination of lively traditional music and well-known ballads, it’s set to be a lively and high octane set from these talented musicians.

7pm Evoke

Formed in 2019, Evoke comprises four talented musicians who bring a fresh and innovative approach to their music. The band’s fusion of sound has won them a growing fan base and critical acclaim, earning them a reputation as one of Galway’s hottest emerging acts. As such, the Loughrea four-piece continue their rise to prominence. And it’s testament to their hard work, dedication, and undeniable talent. Alongside their folk roots, they also incorporate Motown style rhythm and soul.  With a strong banjo lead layered with vocals and guitar, Evoke will entertain at the Skeff this St Patrick’s Day. Followed by DJ Dave from 9pm, it will be a hopping night at Eyre Square’s vibrant venue.

Róisín Dubh

8pm: St. Patrick’s Day with Ol’ Times and more

Hailing from Galway City, Ol’ Times is a classic rock outfit on a mission to bring rock n’roll back to the forefront of music. The band draws inspiration from legendary acts like Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and The Rolling Stones while putting their own spin on the genre to create a sound that’s fresh and exciting. Comprised of Gabriele, Manuel, Kai, Colm, and Finn, Ol’ Times is a multinational band that has been developing their unique sound and energetic live performances since their chance meeting in 2019. 

With a mix of acoustic and electric guitars, percussion, keyboards, and driving ambition, they deliver a sound that seamlessly blends the old and new. Since forming, Ol’ Times has played their way through Europe, leaving their mark on cities like London, Lisbon, Madrid, Florence, Bologna, and Edinburgh. They’ve gathered a dedicated global following on social media and amassed fans from around the world, thanks to their exciting and unforgettable performances. Catch them at the Róisín Dubh in the heart of Galway’s Westend this St Patrick’s Day. 

Monroe’s Live

9pm: St Patrick’s Day Celebrations with Corner Boy, The Rosecaps and DJ Will Softly at Monroe’s Live

Monroe’s Live is proud to present a St. Patrick’s Day celebration featuring two of Ireland’s best bands and one of Galway’s most respected DJs. On Friday, March 17th, music lovers can look forward to a night of electrifying performances from Corner Boy, The Rosecaps, and DJ Will Softy. Corner Boy explores folk, rock, traditional, bluegrass, and alternative music, accompanied by heartfelt lyrics that are as earnest as they are resonant. 

Their unique sound and musical prowess have earned them a place as one of Wexford’s finest. Their rolling rhythms and harmonies with a pumping bass ensure this is folk rock at its very best. On St Patrick’s night, they will be joined by The Rosecaps on the Monroe’s Live stage. This independent rock band are recognised as one of the most promising up-and-coming artists of 2023. With a rapidly growing fan base and a discography filled with a refreshing new sound, their live shows are packed with energetic riffs that leave crowds wanting more. 

Not only that, but this special evening of original music will be capped by Galway’s treasured DJ, Will Softly. A festival veteran, his talent and energy will provide the soundtrack late into the night. Join Corner Boy, The Rosecaps and DJ Will Softly from 9pm until late on Friday, March 17th. Tickets for the event cost €10 and are available from

The Western Hotel

1:30pm: OGMA Trad Band

Nestled in the heart of Galway city centre at 33 Prospect Hill, The Western Hotel is the home of delicious food, vibrant trad sessions and a warm welcome to locals and visitors alike.  This family run hotel, bar and restaurant is renowned for their excellent service and hospitality.  And it comes alive to the toe-tapping beat of trad music with their resident band OGMA. From 1:30pm this St Patrick’s Day, the comfortable surrounds of this inviting place is the perfect setting for a rousing celebration of Irish music and song. With a vast array of beverages, it’s the ideal place to socialise with family and friends this St Patrick’s Day.

The Cellar Bar

Live Music with Sum Craic and Guerrilla Radio

The Cellar Bar on Eglinton Street will be alive to the sound of Sum Craic and Guerrilla Radio this St Patrick’s Day.  Known for free live music every weekend, The Cellar gastropub at 12 Eglington Street is the home of delicious dishes, fine cocktails, and the best of home-grown talent. As a result, The Cellar is the place to be for food, fun and festivities. In addition, this cosy pub is located just off Eyre Square, ensuring it is always bustling. Offering a warm welcome every time, The Cellar continues to delight with high end service, cuisine, and craic. Now, this Friday, March 17th it’s time to be entertained by Sum Craic, a high energy band bringing the best tunes to you with their own style and flair and Guerrilla Radio playing downstairs.

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