Everything you need to know about May the 4th Be With You Festival 2019
Brought to you by Discover Ireland
From Portmagee to Malin Head, May the 4th Be With You Festival 2019 is set to be an epic weekend for Star Wars fans.
If there is a movie saga that is as loved by as many generations as Star Wars, we're yet to hear about it. For well over 40 years, that galaxy far, far away has felt pretty damn close at times.
There aren't many movies that have their own international day of celebration, but it's no more than what Star Wars deserves. Running across the bank holiday weekend, events will begin on Friday, 3 May and run until Sunday, 5 May, people from both sides of the force are invited to take part in May the 4th Be With You Festival.
The festival will be taking place along the Wild Atlantic Way, in both Kerry and Donegal. There is even a Festival Dome in Kerry which will house various events and exhibitions across the weekend; alongside multiple outdoors events.
No matter which of those two counties is handier for you to reach, you're in for an unforgettable weekend.
A lot of the action in County Kerry is in Portmagee/Valentia, which is only a few minutes off the N70. While you're in the area, we recommend trying out The Point Seafood Bar in Cahersiveen, as you'd really have to visit another galaxy to find fish half as tasty.
The other main spot in Kerry is north of Valentia island in Ballyferriter, just a few minutes outside Dingle. You won't be short of great places to eat there either, with Louis Mulcahy Pottery Cafe serving the very best of local fare.
Up in Donegal, Malin Head is the place to be, about an hour's drive off the N13. Rumour has it that the excellent Ballyliffin Hotel is going to be the strategically-placed HQ for the Rebel Alliance over the weekend as well, seeing as it's on the town's main street in the heart of the action.
Five of the coolest things happening at the festival
From Yoda Yoga and outdoor movie screenings to a parade of storm troopers and a 300-strong lightsaber battle, there's something for just about everyone. It hasn't been confirmed whether or not there will be X-Wing parking facilities though so plan accordingly!
Star Wars parade - Valentia
As ominous a sight an army of storm troopers looks on-screen, the Imperial March is a great way to kick off the festival. Fans are being encouraged to don their favourite costume and get involved in the parade in Valentia, which kicks off at 8.30pm.
There will be more than 300 lightsabers making their way through the parade route, which will make for quite the sight! The parade is free for all to attend.
Skellig VR - Valentia
The movies might've made you feel as if you were standing on Ahch-To with Luke and Rey, but this will make it feel even more real. From the comfort of the VR room in the Festival Dome in Valentia, you can be whisked away to the rugged landscape of Skellig Michael in a matter of seconds.
It's absolutely free to test this out, and there is no booking required. It'll be running from 11am until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, but make sure to get there as early as you can!
Yoda Yoga - Malin Head and Valentia
If ever there was a movie character tailor-made to be a yoga instructor, it is the legendary Yoda. We reckon he missed a beat by not setting up a company under that name, it would have been the most popular spot in Dagobah.
There will be yoga classes on both day one and two in Valentia, as well as on day three for those up in Malin Head. To check out times and prices download the full festival programme here
We're sure you'll be doing handstands like Luke by the end of it...
Full of Sith live show - Ballyferriter
The Full of Sith podcast is the most-listened to Star Wars podcast in the world and as part of the festival there will be a live show taking place in Ballyferriter!
The show will be hosted by Bryan Young , Holly Frey, and Mike Pilot with special guest James Floyd (writer for Star Wars Insider and Star Wars.com) joining the panel.
The show is free and kicks off at 3pm in the Ceann Sibéal Hotel, where they'll be talking about the latest in the world of Star Wars, and bringing the force of Ireland’s filming sites to a global audience.
Half-day kayaking - Malin Head
It might not be quite as flashy as an X-Fighter, but there is no better way to appreciate the dramatic film locations from The Last Jedi than from the water. Going at your own pace on a kayak, you can have a look at some of the key filming locations, with local guides from Inish Adventures on hand to guide you through every step (well, row).
This epic adventure lasts from 9.30am until 1.30pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
With two of Star Wars’ most recent instalments having been filmed along the Wild Atlantic Way, where better to celebrate the Star Wars legacy than at the out-of-this-world May the 4th Be With You Festival? It’s time to hop in your X-Wing and head for the coast.
Brought to you by Discover Ireland