The annual Waterloo music festival returns for its 17th year!

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One of the biggest and most exciting events in Waterloo takes place in the first full weekend in August. Iowa Irish Fest is a celebration of all different types of Irish culture. From the food to the drinks and even to the musical acts, the Cedar Valley Irish Culture Association knows how to organize a big, green party!

Iowa Irish Fest is located in the Lincoln Park area of Downtown Waterloo.

We are less than six months out from the event, so we are slowly starting to get a few details about the event that usually draws in about 50,000 people annually. Iowa Irish Fest officials have announced some of the musical acts that will take to the stage that weekend.

One of the big events will be a Battle of the Irish Bands contest. Organizers are looking for Iowa-based musicians that perform Irish music. Submissions are currently open and will close up at midnight on St. Patrick's Day.

Submissions are accepted digitally via video which you can send to or you can mail your submission on a flash drive to:

Cedar Valley Irish Cultural Association

315 E. 5th Street

Waterloo, IA 50703

The big news though, is that the headliners for the weekend have been announced.

Friday August 4th, 2023


Iowa Irish Fest
Iowa Irish Fest

The band is made up of a bunch of college friends who discovered their shared love of Celtic music more than a decade ago. Scythian headlines various music festivals throughout the nation year round.

They are a festival favorite every year (and one of my favorite acts at Iowa Irish Fest).

Saturday August 5th, 2023

Special Mystery Performance

In an official press release from Iowa Irish Fest officials, the Saturday evening headliner spot will be filled by a "special performance."

"In order to build anticipation for Saturday night, there will be a special performance during the headlining nighttime slot."

Sunday August 6th, 2023

Gaelic Storm

Gaelic Storm
Gaelic Storm

Yet another festival favorite!

Gaelic Storm, described as "a multi-national, Celtic juggernaut" is always a crowd pleaser when they perform in Waterloo. The group is on the road 200 days a year, and they have a wide ranging appeal to fans of all genres of music.

Tickets for the event are on sale now for $30! These passes will cover full weekend admission. More details about the event will be made available very soon.

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