Carlow County Council Festival & Event Fund 2024

Open20 Dec, 2023, 9:00am - 1 Mar, 2024, 5:00pm

Carlow County Council Festival & Event Fund aims to assist with the creation of community-based tourism events for County Carlow. The Fund is a combination of Carlow County Council’s own events, events in partnership with other bodies that have similar objectives, and events run by external organisers who receive direct funding contributions from Carlow County Council via an application process for the Festival & Events Fund.

The call for applications  for Festivals & Events which occur during the period May 2024 to October 2024 is open for applications from 20th December 2023 to 16th February 2024.  


The scheme is open to non-commercial groups or organisations that are organising Events and Festivals between May and October in 2024. Applications are only accepted online.

To be eligible for funding the event must:

  • Ensure all elements of the programme occur in County Carlow;
  • Take place between 1st May 2024 and 31st October 2024.
  • Be willing to acknowledge funding as per the guidelines, with Carlow County Council/Fáilte Ireland logos on all PR/marketing material.
  • Funding is limited and eligible applications will be evaluated on a competitive basis.
  • For free events all expenditure is eligible except for certain ineligible expenditure which is noted below
  • For paid ticketed events (including pay at entrance events), only pre-development costs are eligible, such as marketing and promotion of the event and will be granted on 50% basis.
  • Have a general audience appeal and be socially inclusive.
  • Clearly demonstrate potential to generate economic, social and/or cultural benefits.
  • Be focused on developing demonstrable, measurable tourism impacts in the County.
  • Compliment the County’s calendar of events in relation to attracting overseas’ visitors.
  • Animate public spaces in creative and innovative ways within the County.
  • Demonstrate financial sustainability and the capacity to further develop the event.
  • Have a clear PR and marketing plan including a social media strategy to actively promote the event.

To be eligible for funding the event must not:

  • be from commercial organisations that share out profits to members.
  • be for activities that have been or are being grant-aided by other sources of funding.
  • be Charity fundraisers.
  • be Festivals/Events with the sole purpose of celebrating a religious or political event/commemoration.
  • be sporting events, which cannot be classified under cultural heritage.
  • be proposals in which programmes are primarily focused on the delivery of a competitive process, workshop series, summer schools, or on-going classes.
  • be activities that duplicate what Carlow County Council is currently delivering in the culture, arts, and heritage field.

Applicants must also be able to confirm the following where applicable:

  • A bank account in its own name and can supply evidence of adequate insurance cover for all aspects of their activities
  • Be fully compliant with financial regulations including an up-to-date Tax Clearance Certificate.
  • Be fully aware of event management requirements and all relevant legislation, before grant payment Carlow County Council will request the event management plan for the festival/event to ensure event management procedures are in place.
  • Be able to provide a Child Safeguarding Statement in line with the Children First Act 2015.
  • Be fully compliant with GDPR and its requirements.
  • Submit details of any applications made, intend to be made or awards of funding given by other departments within the Council or any other body for the same festival.
  • Supply a projected estimated budget sheet for the full event.
  • Provide post event income and expenditure accounts for the festival.
  • Only one application per event will be considered.

Please note Cash Payments for grants are ineligible.

Statutory agencies are NOT eligible to apply.

The fund is designed in line with:

The scheme has been designed in line with Circular 13/2014 - Management of and Accountability for Grants, and has 2 fund elements:

Minor Festival &   Events – Family Focus Fund

Up to €1,500

The focus of the Minor Festival & Events – Family Focus Fund is to support visitor experiences based on single day events. The fund will provide up to €1,500 per application.

Regional Tourism Festival Funding  

Up to €7,000

This funding will be provided to festivals which have a direct economic impact by attracting visitors from outside of County Carlow. The max. funding provided will be up to €7,000 per festival.

The following Criteria Apply:

  • Festivals & Events which generate at least 30% of their operational costs from Ticket Sales & Sponsorship
  • Ticketed Visitor Numbers are a minimum of 400 individuals
  • Festivals which have a clear marketing plan which involves at least a 6-week period between the launch and the event being hosted. 

Evaluation Panel

Your application will be initially categorised and reviewed to ensure that it meets with the eligibility criteria of the grant scheme. Any applications that clearly fall outside the eligibility guidelines will be eliminated at this point. Applications will then be assessed by an Assessment Panel appointed by Carlow County Council. 

The Assessment Panel will meet to assess and make recommendations on all eligible applications. Their recommendations will be brought to Full Council for approval before any formal offers will be issued. Applicants will be contacted directly in writing and notified of the outcome of their application. The Assessment Panel, at their discretion, may redirect any applications to another appropriate Carlow County Council fund for recommendation, should it be deemed beneficial to the applicant to do so. Carlow County Council endeavours to assess applications as quickly as possible, but the volume of applications and the assessment and approval procedure require a minimum of 8 weeks from application deadline to decision. Those awarded funding will have their Festival/Organisation name along with the sum allocated published on

Priorities of the Scheme

  • Demonstrate an overarching impact socially, culturally, and economically.
  • Have a proven capacity to engage with diverse audiences through high quality programming.
  • Include Covid contingency planning and consider elements that may be digitised to help mitigate against the risk of complete cancellation of a festival/event.
  • Demonstrate consideration given to the COVID-19 national guidelines and restrictions and have clear risk assessment procedures and implementation of Health and Safety method statements, which account for COVID-19 risk management.
  • Extend the range or types of festivals/events offered to audiences in County Carlow.
  • Promote the Irish language.
  • Demonstrate and promote Green Festival delivery methodologies towards the preservation of our environment.
  • Reflect Carlow County Councils commitment to supporting fair and equitable remuneration of artists and culture professionals in our funding programmes and schemes and in our partnerships and working relationships.

Eligible Costs

  • Festivals and Events located in County Carlow only
  • The activities proposed must take place between 1st May 2024 and 31st October 2024
  • Cross County Boarder Events – only that portion of the project that takes place in County Carlow can be funded and general festival costs in other categories will be reduced pro-rata based on the percentage level of activities in County Carlow.

Council Property

  • In respect of a Council Property being the chosen location for an event the organiser must upload
    • Letter of Permission from Carlow County Council to host the event
    • Copy of Insurance
    • Draft Event Management Plan

Ineligible Costs

  • Insurance
  • Unpaid expenditure or loans
  • Cash expenditure
  • Prize Monies
  • Recoverable VAT
  • In-kind contributions
  • For paid ticketed events, day-to-day operational costs and overheads, specifically: salaries, rent, non-festival related phone, supplies, postage, photocopying and food for staff
  • Capital Costs - for example:
    • The cost of items for resale e.g., merchandise, except where it can be demonstrated that they will deliver significant benefits and where they have been expressly allowed in the Letter of Offer.
    • Building expenses including purchase, works and maintenance.
    • Purchase of equipment, which is not solely for the purpose of producing and delivering the Festival/Event.
  • Travel and related costs incurred by or on behalf of the event delivery teams/organisers unless expressly approved in writing in advance by Carlow County Council.
  • Expenditure paid for by a person other than the Grantee, unless and to the extent that such expenditure has been reimbursed by the Grantee.
  • Fines, penalty payments, legal costs, audit fees, financial consultancy fees, Trade association membership fee or equivalent.

Terms & Conditions of Funding

  • You must demonstrate in your application efforts to secure income from other sources.
  • Payment of a grant may not be in respect of payment of former debts.
  • Where a grant is awarded under this scheme, Carlow County Council will not be responsible for the insurance of that festival or event. Carlow County Council recommends that festival and event organisers ensure that adequate insurance is in place prior to the commencement of any festival or event.
  • Where a grant is awarded under this scheme, Carlow County Council will not be responsible for the Health & Safety arrangements of that festival or event. Carlow County Council recommends that festival and event organisers ensure that they follow all relevant Health & Safety legislation.
  • Where a grant is awarded under this scheme, Carlow County Council will not be responsible for the Public Health arrangements of that festival or event. Carlow County Council recommends that festival and event organisers ensure that they follow all relevant Public Health Advice in place at the time of the event, particularly in relation to COVID-19. Further information is available at
  • Applicants should please note that there are always more applications for funding than it is possible to support, and this is a competitive scheme. Carlow County Council reserves the right not to support festivals that may have received funding in the past.
  • Carlow County Council reserves the right to terminate grant aid if statutory or criminal negligence is involved.
  • All Carlow County Council Grant Funding must be identified as ‘Carlow County Council Grant Funding’ and shown separately on the income/receipts side of the accounts.  All Carlow County Council funding must be separately listed, with the purpose of that funding identified.
  • Any granted proposals for which it becomes necessary to re-schedule the activity to another date within the approved timeframe or require a significant change to the planned activity should contact Carlow County Council immediately with this proposal. Activities that cannot be rescheduled in the approved timeframe will not be entitled to draw down funding.
  • Please note the only method of payment of any grant will be by Electronic Funds transfer.
  • The recipients must follow the procedure as confirmed in writing to them regarding drawing down the grant and the Acknowledgement of Funding requirements. A grant may be withheld if the above is not adhered to.
  • Carlow County Council is proud to support and be associated with high quality work produced by creative practitioners based in Carlow. Our logos will be provided to successful applicants, and we ask that they be included on all print and online material, including websites, apps, videos, blogs, posters, brochures, invitations, and advertisements associated with the project being funded. Carlow County Council have a large following on our social media channels i.e., Facebook and twitter. Please forward or tag us in any posts you would like us to share on social media, remembering to include a photograph.
  • Carlow County Council may publicly share information about all funded festivals/events and include information about these projects in reports, publications, and publicity. All creative rights remain with the applicants.


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