In many parts of Mayo the night sky is still experienced as pristine and unfiltered due to low levels of man-made lighting.  The Mayo Dark Sky Festival 2018 will take place  from November 2nd to 4th 2018. The towns of Newport, Mulranny and Ballycroy look forward to welcoming you back to Mayo for another great weekend of astronomy, science, culture, ecology and FUN!  Thanks to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), a FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE will run between the festival venues over the weekend of the festival. The bus timetable is available on the Festival website here.

Locations: Newport, Mulranny, Ballycroy

The festival’s eclectic programme celebrates the natural nightscapes of Mayo with stargazing and observing sessions, cultural workshops, educational talks and activities for all the family to enjoy. Many events are free of charge.

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Updated information on booking (on 31/10/2018)

Please note that online ticket sales will finish on the following dates:

– GALA DINNER ticket sales will finish at midnight on Wednesday 31st October (final booking date).

– ALL OTHER online ticket sales will finish at midnight on Thursday 1st November.

You may attend talks without pre-booking – simply pay at the door (€7.50 per talk).

There are many FREE events that do not require booking.

For the opening night performance by renowned group Coda, entry is €5 at the door (or Free for those with a Weekend ticket).

Speakers – Mayo Dark Sky Festival 2018

The Mayo Dark Sky Festival 2018 features a line-up of speakers from Ireland and abroad, who are highly regarded in their fields of expertise. Their words will help bring to life the magic of our natural dark skies and give an insight into how they are important from the point of view of science, culture and the environment.

The programme for this year’s festival includes talks by the following speakers: 

–  Environmentalist and broadcaster, Duncan Stewart has been added to the line-up of talks and will make an impassioned plea about the importance of our natural dark sky assets (Mulranny National School, Saturday afternoon 2pm).

–  Astronomer Royal for Scotland (and semi-professional conjurer!) John Brown from Scotland

– Renowned scientific illustrator Pierre Carril from France

 – Lána Salmon of University College Dublin, responsible for ground to space communications on Ireland’s first satellite, Eirsat-1

 – Brian Espey of Trinity College Dublin, Associate Professor of Astrophysics and specialist in light pollution

 – Bella Boulderstone of the University of Southampton, currently working on active galactic nuclei

 – Tom Davies of Exeter University, who is especially interested in how human activities alter the structure and functioning of ecosystems.

– The latest speaker to be added to the programme is Éanna Ní Lamhna, renowned botanist and broadcaster, who will give a talk on Nocturnal Animals

Children’s Workshop

The GREAT EGG-DROP CHALLENGE! (Children will work in teams to design and build a device that can keep a raw egg intact when dropped from a height)

KTEC TELESCOPES will have a selection of telescopes and accessories on display at the festival and will be on hand to answer your questions

Renowned acapella ensemble CODA will deliver a short performance in St. Patrick’s Church Newport (which is 100 years old this year!) to officially open the 2018 festival. If you have a WEEKEND PASS you can get in for free, alternatively you can purchase a ticket online or at the door for €5

Storyteller/Magician Dan O’Donoghue will delight us with ‘Stories of the Sky’ or ‘How the Night Sky captivated our imagination in story, piseóg and practice’. Dan is currently inviting all members of the community to contribute to a community heritage project by collecting folklore, poems or superstitions about the night sky.  Taking inspiration from the collected pieces, Dan will create a special performance for the Mayo Dark Sky Festival; weaving Stories and Magic into a spellbinding piece to celebrate the night. The performance will take place in “Teepee An Seanchaí” in the magical woodland setting of Princess Grace Park, only a few minutes’ walk from Hotel Newport.  We are collaborating with Mayo Art Squad to create an enchanting walk into the woods with an lantern art installation to complement the stories. This is a FREE event, perfect for families

Tickets are selling fast, so avoid disappointment by purchasing a weekend pass, Saturday pass, Sunday pass, gala dinner, rocket workshop or photography workshop ticket via our website now!



Booking and Tickets

You can now buy ONE DAY or WEEKEND passes for the Mayo Dark Sky Festival via Eventbrite:

€20 for a one day pass and €30 for a weekend pass offers great value for money!

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 Advance booking is highly recommended.

For more information email

CHILDREN UNDER 16 will be admitted FREE to all events.

About Mayo Dark Sky Park

Ireland’s first International Dark Sky Park is in Co. Mayo. It showcases some of the darkest, most pristine skies in the world. The Mayo Dark Sky Park is nestled between the Nephin Mountain Range and the Atlantic coastline and it extends across an area of 150km2. It encompasses both Ballycroy National Park and Wild Nephin Park.

On a clear night in Mayo, we can see over 4,500 stars, along with other planets in our solar system, The Milky Way and even meteor showers with the naked eye. The Mayo Dark Sky Park has committed to keeping the skies above its location naturally dark for present and future generations to enjoy these wonders of the night sky.

For more information about Mayo Dark Sky Park or Mayo Dark Sky Festival 2018 call 086 8595166 or email

Online:  –  –

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