Spring is the time when County Cork comes alive with a whole manner of cultural festivals, but the only way to get around them all is by hiring a car. This gives you the flexibility to travel as you please and fill the boot with lots of books and other merchandise.
Whether it is literature, films or choral music that you are into, Cork has it all this April and May, so there is no excuse for not being abreast of the latest cultural developments.
Cork World Book Festival
With leading writers from Ireland and much further afield giving readings, this is a must-attend event for all bookworms everywhere. The festival aims to be inclusive of all those who love books and people who would not normally attend such events.
There are more than just the readings, with book stalls, a street fair and plenty of entertainment all in honour of the written word. Members of local book groups get very involved in the proceedings and are proud that Cork should hold such an occasion.
It begins on UNESCO World Book Day (April 23rd) and runs until April 27th, giving you plenty of time to indulge in the offerings. Expect to go home with plenty of reading material and inspiration for what to read next.
Cork International Choral Festival
Over the course of five days, 85 performances of choral music will be undertaken in 50 different venues across Cork as this spectacular festival gets underway. What is even more astonishing is that 4,500 voices will take part in these concerts, which will both delight and enchant you.
As well as formal venues, the Choral Trail allows visitors to hear voices mingling with the city and spilling out of every doorway and window. This musical journey will take you to bars, galleries and restaurants all filled with the joy of choral singing.
Choirs from both Ireland and across the world also compete in a series of competitions over the course of the festival. The most prestigious of these is for the Fleischmann International Trophy, which is awarded right at the end of proceedings.
Corona Film Festival
A five-day festival dedicated to the art of short films is the perfect showground for both new and well established filmmakers. It is also great for those who love movies, but not quite enough to watch feature-length films non-stop for five days.
This event allows you to enjoy the creative genius of those who produce these brilliant morsels of storytelling during the last weekend in May. More than 200 films are screened during the festival with the venues just as small as the product.
The village of Schull sees every possible public space, building and institution used for viewing the shorts, which are also available on the local Wi-Fi network. This allows for maximum flexibility for those visiting the festival and wanting to catch as many films as possible.
Expect to see all disciplines represented with narrative, documentary, animation, experimental and dance all on offer, each lasting no longer than 15 minutes. There is a prize of €8,000 (£6,785) on offer for the one which is deemed the best.
A number of fringe events are also held including parties, workshops, puppet shows and barbecues, making it fun for all the family.