A Festival of Delicious Thinking

10th – 12th June 2022 

Russborough House, Blessington, Co. Wicklow

If you love good food, thought-provoking conversation and all the wonderful trappings of a boutique festival that is exactly what is on the menu at The Great Gathering, a brand new three-day coming together of food and minds on the grounds of the historic Russborough House in Co. Wicklow 10th – 12th June 2022. Curated for those who delight in food and drink but who also have a keen desire to delve deeper, seeking new knowledge, experiences and discussion, The Great Gathering aims to inform and entertain those who are curious of mind and adventurous of palate. 

Get ready to gather together, gather food, gather information, gather opinions and gather your thoughts as The Great Gathering invites festival goers to forage for information, truth and tasty morsels! Hosting eight stages brimming with content that will satiate both your hunger for food and thirst for knowledge, guests of The Great Gathering can expect a weekend of delicacies, debates, panel discussions, workshops, demonstrations, culinary experiences, music, comedy, visual art, wellness and much, much more! 

Food for thought and thought for food: 

Welcoming such international culinary impressarios as chef, restaurateur and best-selling author Yotam Ottolenghi, the Observer restaurant critic and feature writer Jay Rayner, food writer and formerly of the LA Times Russ Parsons and cookbook author and food critic Tom Parker Bowles plus this food island’s wealth of incredible culinary voices including author, columnist and television star Rachel Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School, and food columnist Aoife McElwain, with many more to be announced, The Great Gathering festival in partnership with the Irish Food Writing Awards, offers an opportunity to sample epicurean genius while gaining the know-how to make better food decisions, from where we source it to how we consume it, and serves up to those who aspire to eat delicious food with a clearer conscience. There’ll also be the chance to learn the tricks of the trade and the best kitchen hacks from some of Ireland’s leading chefs over the weekend.

Chew on the news:

Whet your appetite for current affairs as The Great Gathering ponders the ever-changing geo-political landscape of our world, as well as infusing the festival flavour and excitement of live music and comedy from talented artists, performers, musicians and comedians. Join filmmaker, author and gonzo journalist Jon Ronson, author, academic and broadcaster Emma Dabiri, economist, journalist and podcast host David McWilliams, author and columnist Fintan O’Toole and many more as they sink their teeth into the most pressing and entertaining topics over the festival weekend. Experience podcaster and author Blindboy Boatclub and his blend of hot takes, social commentary, personal stories and absurdist riffs live while Europe Editor for RTÉ Tony Connelly and Europe Correspondent for Euronews Shona Murray take on the continent as they discuss the players and politics of Europe, with more compelling conversation, conceptualisation and creativity from journalist and consumer advocate Conor Pope, historical entertainer and actor Paddy Cullivan, entrepreneur, CEO and journalist Mark Little, podcaster and columnist Roisin Ingle, businessman and broadcaster Bobby Kerr, radio and TV broadcaster Anton Savage, broadcaster Kieran Cuddihy, writer Una Mullally, political editor Pat Leahy, human rights journalist and author Sorcha Pollak, features and opinion columnist Jennifer O’Connell, Irish Times Arts and Culture Editor Hugh Linehan, music journalist and Editor of RTÉ Brainstorm Jim Carroll, plus travel writer and television programme maker Manchán Magan, and more to be announced. 

Wine, dine and unwind at The Great Gathering:

When everything is said and done, it’s time to digest and delight in delectable dishes prepared on site showcasing the very best of Wicklow produce including lamb, seafood, cheese, summer vegetables and berries. Sample from a bespoke offering of small, independent food traders including plant based dishes with a focus on Irish ingredients and artisanal production. Maybe you BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) and supplement your spread with the local bread, Irish cheese, charcuterie, honey, chocolate, antipasti and smoked fish available or embrace your inner sommelier and beverage connoisseur with the most enjoyable drinking experiences; guests of The Great Gathering can sample the delightful flavours brought to the festival by Wicklow’s roster of finest craft producers, in partnership with Wicklow Naturally.

Then as day turns to night, it’s time to let the Twenties roar! All the long overdue festival fun re-commences with one of the very first boutique camping festivals of the summer. The Great Gathering sits poised to herald in the ‘Roaring Twenties’ with a festival experience like none that has gone before. In the expansive space of Russborough House and Parklands, ease into a new era of fun – it is time for epic socialising, for artistic and cultural dynamism, to eat, think and be merry! With Sing Along Social, DJ sets, The Great Vinyl Speakeasy, Swing and Charleston dance class, shebeen-style pubs, WILD – a forager’s gin and whiskey bar – and a programme of live musical performances yet to be announced, this will be a long-awaited opportunity to let your hair down and soak up the vibrant and free-spirited atmosphere that awaits you. 

If you want to take a more holistic approach to the boutique festival experience, nourish the soul with yoga and meditation sessions available every morning. Take a stroll around the grounds to enjoy the festival’s art installations, sculpture garden and the serenity of Lady Beit Island, or hop on the bike to take in the sights and sounds of the Blessington Greenway. Get right into out-of-office mode with the Woodland Spa, where you can take a sound bath or enjoy a luxurious massage. Finally, after a day of discourse and imbibing, unwind and get cosy with your friends and family around the campfire.

And at The Great Gathering no one is left behind! For busy parents in search of full family fun, The Great Gathering’s Beit Size programme offers onsite facilities to suit all ages – book a slot in the onsite creche service for 2 – 4 year olds, the food & nature camp for 5-11 year olds, or the Young Adults programme for 12-16 year olds where our young adults will learn the art of joining the conversation and having their voices heard. 

Accommodation options at The Great Gathering: 

“You do you” at The Great Gathering! Set amidst the idyllic surrounds of Russborough House and Parklands, the options for accommodation cater to all, making this the perfect alternative minibreak for couples, families, and friends, and with excellent value for group bookings, this is  the ideal opportunity to gather your employees and colleagues together for a team-building weekend. There are general camping and tents, a Quiet Campsite, Garden Campsite, campervan camping, and boutique glamping, with access to water, charging points, security, hot showers and more. There are also a number of local options in Blessington, where you can find hotels, B&Bs and self-catered accommodation too. Whether you love your creature comforts, or want to get closer to nature, you’ll find what you are looking for at The Great Gathering. 

Get your Early Bird Tickets while stocks last:

  • Friday Adult Day Ticket €35
  • Saturday Adult Day Ticket €55
  • Sunday Adult Day Ticket €55
  • Weekend Adult With Camping €180 
  • Weekend Adult Non Camping  €130
  • Child  Supplement Day Access 5-12 years €10
  • Child Supplement Day Access 13-17 years €15
  • Four and under go free

Tickets available at thegreatgathering.ie

Terms & Conditions apply.

Subject to licence.

Subject to public health guidelines.

Follow the Great Gathering on Instagram and Facebook.

Notes to editors: 

The Great Gathering is a three-day boutique festival spanning the themes of food, news and full festival fun. The Great Gathering would like to thank Leader for their support and for helping us bring this festival of the curious and hungry to fruition. The Great Gathering is in association with the Irish Times and Newstalk. 

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