Today marks the first live St. Patrick’s Day events on the island of Ireland for two years. In Dublin, thousands witnessed the joyful return of the much-loved St Patrick’s Festival as a colourful parade animated the city streets to celebrate Ireland’s national day.

Joining as the St. Patrick’s Festival International Guest of Honour was American actor, John C. Reilly. The Step Brothersstar was in Dublin taking in the sights, including a special visit to the Home of Guinness, the Guinness Storehouse, before attending the first St Patrick’s Day parade since 2019.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world by the 80 million who claim links to Ireland. Irish music and dance have become synonymous with celebrations to mark the day. This year, Tourism Ireland is extending an invitation to celebrate Irish heritage in Milan, London, New York and Sydney on St. Patrick’s Day with the Green Button Festival.

The Green Button Festival is lighting up digital billboards today in these four cities, connecting passers-by with some of Ireland’s best-loved and up-and-coming musicians. City-dwellers can interact with the billboards to trigger sound and vision recordings of some of Ireland’s top talent performing at various locations around the island.

The festival is brought to life when passers-by use their smartphone to scan giant QR codes and press the green button to activate a performance. 

In addition to the big city billboards, the performances can be viewed by anyone anywhere via, so wherever you are around the globe today, an Irish music festival can be on hand.

The event and the technology behind it is the first music billboard festival to happen across cities and time zones controlled by individuals’ mobile phones.

Festival acts include Clannad and Denise Chaila in County Donegal, Ryan McMullan from the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast, which was named a UNESCO City of Music late last year. And also available on screen are acts such as contemporary folk band Kíla, DJ and vocalist Gemma Bradley, and Riverdance, performing at the Giant’s Causeway and Cliffs of Moher.

The Green Button Festival is shining a light on the Irish music scene’s established names and rising stars, revealing a whole new side to Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day.

[Top photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland / Castlerock Golf Club]