Investing €3.5m in 246 festivals in 2016

National Festivals and Participative Events Programme 2017
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    Download a template for an International Sales Plan

    Use and amend this International Sales Plan as required.

    2016 National Grant Claim

    To draw down a grant that has been offered in the National Programme, please download the claim instructions document and follow the steps outlined.

    All completed claims should be emailed to Festival Claims. Hard copies of any documentation will not be accepted.

    Download claim instructions & templates

    2016 Regional Grant Claim

    Queries regarding regional festival claims should be sent to the relevant programme area contact.


    Ireland’s Ancient East:

    Wild Atlantic Way:

    Converting website traffic to festival visitors

    Watch our webinar on ‘The most important element of a festival website for converting visitors’.

    Watch the webinar

    Using social media to promote your festival

    Watch our webinar on ‘Top tips for using social media to promote your festival’.

    Watch the webinar
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    Contact us

    If you require more advice on funding, please contact the festivals team at:

    National Festivals and Participative Events Programme 2017

    Festivals and events have been identified as being an important component of the Irish tourism product offering. Festivals provide opportunities to showcase culture, people and places, thereby greatly improving the visitor experience of Ireland. They also help improve the distribution of tourism revenue around the country. Consequently, Fáilte Ireland provides considerable support to festivals, investing €3.5m in 246 festivals in 2016.

    About the 2017 Programme

    Recent performance of overseas markets has been encouraging. As we look towards the future it's important that we build on recent momentum to drive growth internationally. A key objective is to build sustainable international sales, driving accelerated growth from key overseas markets. A new approach to identifying and defining best prospects for growth has been put in place, focusing on:
    • Consumer segmentation (culturally curious, social energisers, great escapers);
    • Focus on visitor experiences (vibe of the city, living historical stories, connecting with people of Ireland, awakening the senses, getting active in nature);
    • Clearly defined programme areas (Dublin, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland's Ancient East).

    Changes to the 2017 Programme

    Changes have been made to the minimum eligibility thresholds to reflect the National Tourism Development Authority’s response to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Tourism Action Plan 2016-2018 which requires Fáilte Ireland to review ‘structures and procedures that are used to target significant visiting international events, with a particular focus upon offsetting seasonality’.

    Fáilte Ireland will increasingly focus its supports on festivals and participative events that take place outside of the peak and shoulder season i.e. outside of the months of June to September. To achieve this, the minimum bednights threshold for the programme has been revised, and this is outlined in the box below.

    (a) Revised Minimum Bednights: Festivals and participative events must demonstrate that they achieve the revised minimum bednights of which a significant proportion must be overseas visitor bednights. Applicants are advised that the bednights thresholds will be subject to further adjustment in future years. In the absence of valid accommodation or audience surveys, the number of bednights arising will be estimated by Fáilte Ireland based, in part, on data provided by the applicant.

    (b) Revised Thresholds for Private Sector Funding: All festivals and participative events must also note the revised thresholds for private sector funding required through channels such as ticket sales, sponsorship, merchandise, etc.

    Table showing data

    (c) Aiding Regional Spread: In addition to the minimum eligibility thresholds outlined above, applicants are advised that festivals/participative events, or elements of them, that take place outside of the traditional tourist ‘hotspots’ and which disperse tourists to alternative locations will now be considered within the ‘Tourism Impact’ evaluation criteria.

    (d) The following events are ineligible for this programme: domestic (regional) festivals, spectator based sporting events, agricultural/country shows, purely commercial events with limited tourism appeal.

    Download the Application Guidelines 2017 [pdf, 4.9mb]

    Applicants should read the guidelines carefully before making an application. In particular, applicants should take note of the changes to the minimum eligibility thresholds and also the details of the evaluation criteria.

    Application process for 2017

    Applications must be made through the online form.

    2017 applicants can access their form here

    Opening and closing dates for 2017

    The 2017 application process closed at 12pm on 5 October 2016.

    Regional Festivals and Participative Events Programme 2017

    Details of the regional programme for 2017 have yet to be confirmed. Applicants should check this page for updates.

    For all queries

    Queries can be emailed to