Indy Irish Fest returns for its 23rd year of volunteer-run festival magic at Military Park Sept. 14-16 for its annual celebration of Indiana’s Irish heritage.
As one of the largest cultural music festivals in the state, Indy Irish Fest is excited to welcome a variety of new international and national talent to Indy this year, spanning a mix of genres. Highlights include:
Aoife Scott, a Dublin folk singer songwriter, with an impeccable pedigree as a member of the legendary Black Family. Aoife is steadily rising to the top of the traditional and folk music scene, while garnering acclaim and recognition both in Ireland and abroad as she continues to be a force to be reckoned with.
Nova Scotian sisters, Cassie and Maggie, favorites of the 2017 Indy Irish Fest, will be back with their unique blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic instrumentals and vocals.
New this year to the fest are Connla and Billow Wood, two groups joining the fest directly from Ireland, highlighting traditional sounds with original music.
Celtic Rock fans will not be disappointed with the return of the Narrowbacks, hailing from New York, and Stone Clover, from Detroit. The Drowsy Lads, Pigeon Kings and The Colin Farrell Band round the list of excellent musical groups heading to Indy this fall and are not to be missed.
Indy’s Irish Fest ticket prices are:
- Adults: $12 day advance, $15 gate, $30 advance weekend pass (Fri-Sun)
- Students and Military $10/day
- Children (13 and under): $7/day
- Children under 5: Free
Festival Hours and $5 Early Admission Details
- Friday, September 16, 4:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ($5 Early Bird Admission: 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)
- Saturday, September 17, 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Sunday, September 18, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- (Early Bird Free Admission: 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. with five canned goods per person benefiting St. Vincent DePaul food bank)
Other Festival Highlights
In addition to the vibrant music scene, the festival includes an Irish Market with 25+ vendors selling Irish wares including Irish jewelry, wool sweaters and art. See cultural exhibits include information on the 1916 Easter Rising, Celtic Saints, the Irish of Indianapolis, celebrations and customs.
The whole family can enjoy sheep herding exhibitions and meet Irish dog breeds at the Celtic Canine tents, and learn from the Indianapolis Gaelic Athletic Association, who will be onsite presenting hurling demonstrations and introducing visitors to other Irish sports.
The Kilted Mile will take place on Sunday with tremendous fun promised whether you’re running or just watching! Sign up on-site Sunday morning to participate. Don’t miss the award ceremony for the runners with the best kilt, bonniest knees, best jig in a kilt and least likely to finish.
On Sunday, Celtic Mass will be held on the festival grounds at 10:30 a.m. Gates will open at 10 a.m.
We can’t forget about our young fans!
With a Wee Folks area that features a craft tent, storytelling, a coloring contest, face painting and more, there’s fun for the whole family. Returning this year after crowd-pleasing past years will be a presentation and hands-on activities by Silly Safari, bringing animals and animal education to the event Saturday and Sunday, as well as The Fae of the Norsey Woods, who bring fairy-fun magic. As always, entry to this area is free for all families in the Fest and the kids won’t want to leave!
Irish Fest celebrates local food and drink
For the 21+ crowd, Indy Irish Fest continues to have great options for the weekend. Local favorite New Day Meadery will be onsite and for those craft beer lovers, Sun King Brewery will be at the fest as the official craft beer provider. Pints of their Irish Stout, Ring of Dingle, brewed especially for the Fest, will be available for purchase. As always, the Irish line-up of Guinness, Harp, and Smithwick’s and more will also be available.
Hungry visitors can choose from tempting treats such as Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, a variety of sandwiches, Irish soda bread and bread pudding, provided by Claddagh Irish Pubs, Ruth Chris, Union Jacks, and more.