Donegal County Council Logo


Home > Culture > Arts Office > Donegal Bay & Bluestacks Festival

Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival

Over the past 21 years, the Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival has supported artists and engaged communities throughout South and South West Donegal with the best of theatre, music of all kinds, arts for young folk, visual arts, crafts, spectacle and literary events. 


22nd Annual Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2022 

September 30th to October 16th 2022


View and download this year's list of events here: Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival Brochure 2022‌ 


The annual Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival -  now in its 22nd. year - is presented by Donegal County Council Culture Division in partnership with a range of arts organizations, cultural venues and community groups, in the South and South West of the county. The Festival opens on Friday, September 30 with The Bluestack Chorale’s ever-popular Songs for An Autumn Evening at St. Patrick’s Parish Centre, Donegal Town, and continues until Sunday, October 16.


Festival events will also take place in Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Glenties, Baile na Finne and Cill Chartha.


Among the highlights will Scéal Loch Finne - a walk, bus tour and concert performance ( at Edeninfagh Hall ) following the trail of the Fianna legend of the Black Pig, from which many placenames in the area of the Glen of Glenties, Baile na Finne and Edeninfagh are derived.


Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival is delighted to partner with two other festival initiatives – the Frances Browne Literary Festival in Stranorlar and Ballybofey and the Douzelage Festival of Europe in Bundoran – to co-present a number of ambitious events. Chief among these is a special adaptation of a childrens’ story by Frances Browne, The Tale of Fairyfoot, which will be presented as a promenade performance along the Drumboe Woods walking trail at Stranorlar, by Aislingí Dance Academy and Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company.


Festival audiences will be looking forward with anticipation to the return of the wonderful Donegal Voices ensemble who will perform Elgar’s glorious song cycle, From the Bavarian Highlands, at St. Patrick’s Church, Ballyshannon, and at St. Connell’s Church, Glenties


Also featured will be Dark Daughter Productions Ballytour ( ‘Ghosts of Ballyshannon’s Past’), New York cabbie John McDonagh’s Off The Meter,  Kate O’Callaghan’s War of Independence-themed Small Behaviours, with the Donegal Cameratas String Quartet,  the Donegal Fiddlers Glenties Gathering Concert ( with Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, Megan Nic Fhionnghaile, Aidan O’Donnell and Melanie Houton among others ), conversations with surfer Easkey Britton, comedian Deirdre O’Kane and singer songwriter Charlie McGettigan and much more – Full Details of which are now available on the Festival website

Presented by Donegal County Council Culture Division.‌





Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2021


The 21st annual Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival took place from                Friday 1st October - Sunday 17th October 2021

Last year the Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival had a tentative return to live theatre and music performances, for the first time in over eighteen months. While 2020's Festival was a totally online affair, 2021's programme of new and revived theatre works, music performance and literary events, were enjoyed live, in person and safely, in venues in Ballyshannon, Donegal Town and Ballybofey, from Friday, October 1st. to Sunday, October 17th


Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2020


The 20th annual Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival took place from                Friday 25th September - Saturday 18th October 2020.


Highlights included Dark Daughter Productions 'Drumshee Days', and wonderful musical performances by Mirenda Rosenburg, Alan Finan, Reevah, and Ego the Jackal.

Our partner artists and venues have come together to create a blend of live and online events that will showcase newly created work, give fresh platforms to old favourites and provide new ways for our communities to access and enjoy the best of arts and entertainment, as the evenings draw in.


Preparations are continuing for the Festival which will include a combination of both live and online events, due to current Covid19 restrictions. 

Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2019


The 19th Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival, which took place 26th September – 6th October, coincided with the inaugural Donegal Connect diaspora festival.



Highlights included the return of RTÉ Radio 1’s iconic Sunday Miscellany to the Abbey Arts Centre. Two programmes were recorded with a live audience who enjoyed readings and performances by Olive Travers, Brian Leyden, Denise Blake, Conor and Michael Murray and Sarah E. Cullen.


Other highlights included Donegal Voices’ beautifully evocative Nelson Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, Ballyshannon and St. Mary’s Church, Stranorlar and a wonderful evening of music, song and storytelling at Halla an Pharóiste, Chill Chartha with Tara Connaghan, Ellie Ní Fhionnghaile, Eithne Nic Ghallchobhair, Mick Brown and Steve Cooney.  


Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival 2018 - photo1



‌‌Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival 2018 - photo2