Music in Wexford

Wexford is noted for both Classical and Traditional music

Wexford Opera Festival is world renowned but there is also a treasure trove of traditional ballads in Wexford and a vital modern music scene.

Classical Music

Wexford Opera FestivalWexford Opera Festival

Wexford Opera Festival is considered one of the best small festivals in the world, began as the courageous idea of a handful of Wexford people with a passion for music. The origins of the opera Festival lie in a visit to Ireland in November 1950 by Sir Compton Mackenzie, the founder of the magazine The Gramophone, and an erudite writer on music, who gave a lecture to the Wexford Opera Study Circle. Mackenzie suggested the group should stage an opera in their own theatre, the Theatre Royal (subsequently the Festival’s permanent venue until 2005), a theatre which he felt was eminently suited to the production of certain operas.

With great vision and drive the group brought little known and rarely performed operas to Wexford. In the process famed singers arrived in Wexford including Janet Baker and exotic producers and musicians sprinkled the small sea port with magic each October and November. During the Opera Festival the town is alive with music. Jazz, modern, traditional, choral recitals and the delightful ‘Scenes from the Opera’ add to the rich musical feast. There are dozens of art, sculpture and craft exhibitions throughout the town. The colour, the sounds, the exotic visitors all mingle in the narrow streets and with the salt smell of the sea and the call of the gulls create a heady mix.

A magnificent fireworks display reflected in the water of the harbour opens the festival and creates the expectation of something very unique and special.

Our Festival Package

At Wexford Beach Homes we can provide early supper for our guests before travelling to the Festival or have supper waiting when they arrive home. We are glad to arrange transport to Wexford and we have the programme and a CD of the operas as well as a programme of the fringe events in the cottage when our guests arrive.

Even if you are not going to the opera a visit to Wexford is a unique experience during the Festival. The fireworks display on opening night is awesome for children and the excitement about the town is palpable.

Music for Wexford

Music for Wexford brings musicians of the highest calibre to Wexford. Performers and programmes are varied and include chamber groups, orchestras, oratorio and light classical music as well as a very popular Christmas Carol service in
Saint Iberius Church on Christmas Eve that is a traditional part of Christmas for many Wexfordians.
Their concerts are typically held in the Church on the Main Street in Wexford, often at lunchtime. The concerts last about an hour. The church also has a very fine Georgian interior which provides an elegant setting for the music. The combination of the music and the setting itself offers a lovely interlude during the day which is easily accessible. Phone O53-9123672 for bookings.


Traditional MusicThe tradition of folk music in Wexford is strong and vibrant. Spontaneous ‘sesuns’ while perhaps not as common as a decade ago can be chanced on in local pubs and Irish people love to sing!!

The Rebellion of 1798 which is closely associated with Wexford County gives birth to some moving ballads like The Croppy Boy. The United Irish Men were called “Croppies” because they cut their hair as way of identifying each other.  More rousing ballads such as Boolavogue and the marches, Kelly the Boy from Killane and of course The Boys of Wexford are heard throughout the county.

Sean Og’s Pub in Kilmuckridge Village 5 minutes from your cottage has a traditional music session every Tuesday night all year around with plenty of singing. Visitors are welcomed and be warned are often asked to contribute.

Among other local pubs which have traditional music are Pooles in Gorey on Sunday nights, Frenchs in Gorey on Friday nights and The Centenary Stores in Wexford at Sunday lunchtime.

The Phil Murphy Festival in Carrig on Bannow commemorates one of the finest musicians in the Wexford and a large number of musicians including the Wexford Traditional Orchestra group together to honour him each July.

Flead Cheoil or traditional musical festivals and competitions are held annually on county, provincial and national levels. They attract over 20000 of the best Irish Musicians each year and music spills out from the competitions into the pubs and into the streets. The Venue changes from year to year but if one is being held close to Wexford Beach Home in any year we will included it in the catalogue of events in your Guest Log In.

Modern Music

Ireland has quite a reputation for modern Music. Few from Somerset to Samarkand have not heard of U2, Van Morrison, The Frames and others are well known internationally and music is very much part of Irish Life.

Dublin is just over an our drive from your cottage and it is possible to visit the big music venues for a concert and drive home with ease after the event.

The Opera House in Wexford also hosts many modern shows and concerts during the year during the year and going to a show is a way of experiencing this exciting  modern theatre.

Local Village

Many Irish Pubs have live music at weekends especially in the summer months.
In Kilmuckridge the three village pubs all have live music at the weekends and often during the week. Sing Songs are usual and everyone is welcome and encouraged to sing or perform.

Unusual events

The Wexford Arts Centre’s concerts are wonderful and eclectic. Artists come from all over the world and the center provides the stage for cutting edge solo and band performances. Please see the website for schedule:

Special Events

A most unusual event takes place in Oulart at the Tulach an sSolais monument each September Solstice. Traditional musicians come from all over the country and play through the twilight into the night on the hill beside the sculpture. The atmosphere at this Sesun can be quite moving as the often plaintive music echos over the hill.

Many of the other Festivals which take place in Wexford during the Summer Months are associated with Music. The increasingly popular New Ross Piano Festival brings international pianists from around the world to play in the atmospheric setting of St.Marys Church .

Festivals such as the Strawberry Fair, the Jump Festival and the Dance Festival in Enniscorthy and a host of smaller festivals in the local towns and villages during the Spring Summer and Autumn bring an air of a carnival and excitement to the county and add to the choice of musical of events .All of these events are accessible with ease from your house.

In our Guest Log In section the dates and times of these events and other musical events are detailed. You can also find additional information about up coming events at both:

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