As 2023’s summer outdoor festival calendar fills up with choices for all tastes and ages, Wild Roots Festival returns for it’s second year in Sligo. We were there last year, and we couldn’t be more excited to return, so what’s the hype with Wild Roots?
The festival takes place from the 2nd to 4th of June beside Hazelwood forest, 4KM on the outskirts of Sligo town under the imposing majesty of Ben Bulben mountain by the wild Atlantic coast. Your journey to Sligo (if coming from Dublin or the midlands) is simple and comfortable, you can take the train from Connolly station or the 23 bus from Busáras straight to Sligo town centre, where you can indulge in the lively local vibes, before taking a shuttle bus out to the festival. There’s also plenty of field parking, but we found the transport options more convenient. Bus Éireann buses run hourly back down the N4 to Dublin all night from the train station. so you won’t be left stranded if you’re not camping or staying locally. The area boasts some of Ireland’s most celebrated natural scenery (just ask W.B Yeats), as well as world renowned surf up at Strandhill and Streedagh strands nearby, so there’s plenty to see and do nearby when you’re taking a break from the festival.
Wild Roots has created a number of themed areas and stages, large and small, from 2 large field stages playing rock and indie acts, 2 enclosed spaces playing electronic, house, techno and dnb music. There’s a wild west style shack playing bluegrass, country & western, blues music & a smaller stage featuring up and coming local acts (Sligo has a thriving music scene of it’s own). The festival also features acrobatics performances, various wandering performers and acts, a comedy/speech tent, and a fabulous selection of merchants, themed bars & food sellers. Around the fringes and into the forest, hot tubs, a sauna and massage area are available, as well as a number of workshops and craft activities over the course of the weekend. More than the itinerary, there was a sense of calm, mutual good times and a well managed event. Gardaí were ever present without being overzealous or intrusive, the festival security and staff kept the place clean and well kept throughout, Medical aid were also quick on hand for anyone in need – things certain larger, more established festivals have neglected in recent years. We didn”t camp in 2022, staying down the road in Boyle, however the camping and glamping options looked good, and the site seemed to be quiet and trouble-free (another point not to take for granted at any good festival).
And finally, The lineup
So far, Rudimental, Jenny Green, Mauro Picotto and Daithí with many more to suit all moods and tastes, and plenty more still to be announced. Take our word for it, Wild Roots 2023 is not to be missed!