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Festival of Fire

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About Festival of Fire

Ireland's oldest festival will once again ignite the summer festival season when it is rekindled on the historic Hill of Uisneach in County Westmeath on Bealtaine, Saturday 5 May.

Festival of Fires will set the ancient seat of the High Kings alight with the very best in arts, culture, ceremony, history and heritage, crafts, debate, artisan food and drink, ancient Celtic sports, re-enactments, rituals and music.

Uisneach will be illuminated with pageantry and parades, with all festival goers participants in the Bealtaine event. New this year will be breath-taking fire displays featuring some of the best artists and performance groups direct from Burning Man and Glastonbury festivals. Donegal's award-winning LUXe performance group and others from Ireland and the UK are all returning.
Among the first wave of musical acts announced to play the four music stages are the current High Kings of Ireland's music scene Bressie and Ryan Sheridan as well as the legendary pairing of Hothouse Flowers and Kila. Lots more are to be announced right across the musical spectrum, with reggae, folk, funk, traditional, rock and pop and electronica coming together to celebrate Bealtaine.

With a history stretching back thousands of years, the one-of-a-kind event culminates with an unmissable night-time ceremonial parade which will lead all festival goers to the summit of Uisneach where signal Bealtaine fires will be lit. In turn, over 100 fires will be sparked nationwide, with the flame passed to all 21 counties visible from the summit.

The award-winning Uisneach Warriors are also returning - and in greater numbers. Hundreds of Celtic horsemen and women will patrol the site and join the parade. Spoken word and poetry stages, comedy and theatre space, heritage stage, clans area, arts trail, historical tours, food and drink villages, children's play areas, shamanic  workshops, drum circles, creative workshops and more make this a truly unique event.  Re-enactments, ceremonies, a holistic village, a medieval village, ancient Celtic sports and traditional craft workshops and more also hark back to the festival's ancient roots. Close your eyes for a minute and you'll be transported back to ancient times.

Located at the exact centre of Ireland close to Mullingar and Athlone it is an event for all the family, with free admission for children under 12, special discounts for OAPs, camping, and free campervan and car parking.

Festival of the Fires is proudly independent, sponsor-free and non-commercial. Brought back to life by Grouse Lodge Residential Recording Studios, the Bealtaine event was nominated seven times at the Irish Festival Awards 2011 and as Best Green Event at the Irish Event Industry Awards. The Irish Times called it "a source of hope" with TG4 describing it as "Ireland's answer to Burning Man".