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Travel Blog

  1. Dublin City: Gathering excitement and festival fever

    posted by Guest Blogger - Tourism Ireland | 0 Comments

    Sep172013

    Dublin isn't just about St Patrick's Day as a whole host of festivals are taking place over the coming weeks meaning now is the perfect time to pay a visit to Ireland's capital. For more on Dublin Festival Season and for a few tips on how to cope with so much fun all at once, we turned to the people in the know: Tourism Ireland. For more information on the Festival Season, plus loads more, visit their website. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

    In case you hadn’t heard, 2013 is the year of The Gathering Ireland. Think of it as an island-wide, year-long party that’s choc-a-bloc with local festivals ranging from whacky beard gatherings to film fests and toe-tapping traditional music sessions. And wouldn’t you know it, Dublin City has gone and caught festival fever. The cause?

    Dublin Festival Season, a two-month marvel of eccentric events, live music, daring drama and literary legends. The culture vultures are circling and this UNESCO City of Literature couldn’t be happier.


    What is it?

    Oktoberfest

    When is it?

    19th September-6th October

    Why can’t we miss it?

    If you thought Oktoberfest was confined to Germany’s borders, think again. Perched prettily on Dublin’s tenderly restored Docklands, Oktoberfest Dublin is a celebration of sausages, pretzels and, of course, beer. Food and beer traders will be travelling from Germany for the beer love-in where toes tap to live Polka’s parties in the big tent. And if you’ve always wanted to yodel with the best of them, experts will be on hand to show you how. Cheers!


    What is it?

    Arthur’s Day

    When is it?

    26th September

    Why can’t we miss it?

    When Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on the Liffey-side at St James’ Gate, he could hardly have imagined that his drink would be remembered by pop and rock’s finest performers 254 years later. The clandestine nature of the day (no-one knows exactly which act will play in what pub until they arrive on stage) makes for double the excitement come gig time, and the staging of the concerts in such a broad spectrum of pubs is a cracking idea. Previous acts to have rocked Arthur’s Day include The Script, The Stereophonics and Tinie Tempah.


    What is it?

    Bram Stoker Festival

    When is it?

    25th-27th October

    Why can’t we miss it?

    Has anyone made more of an impact on the horror genre than this former castle clerk? We think not. Stoker’s life is etched all over Dublin, from the seaside town of Clontarf where he was born, to the church where he got married (St Anne’s on Dawson Street) and onto Dublin Castle where he worked. The Bram Stoker Festival takes a chilling look at Dublin with scary walking tours, vampire discussions and a live drama set to take place in the murky dark of Dublin Castle’s shadow. Fans of vampire fan fiction (both teens and adults) are taken care of, too, with literary workshops led by award-winning authors.


    What is it?

    Hard Working Class Heroes

    When is it?

    3rd-5th October

    Why can’t we miss it?

    Wouldn’t it be nice, just for once, to know about the next big thing in music before everyone else? Hard Working Class Heroes is your chance. From Mum & Dad’s garage, basements and bedrooms, the bands playing at HWCH are here because they’ve earned it. Three days and six venues in Dublin City sees 100 bands rock the city with the energy and gusto that you associate with new music. These ‘box-fresh bands’, as festival organisers have dubbed them, are an essential journey out of the iPod and back into live music. Trust us: your ears, and your soul, will thank you.


    What is it?

    Dublin Fringe Festival

    When is it?

    5th-22nd September

    Why can’t we miss it?

    Theatre. Dance. Comedy. Music. In venues above coffee shops, libraries, pubs and even in nightclubs – you’d be hard pressed to find something that doesn’t excite you at the quirky Dublin Fringe Festival. After their successful run at last year’s Fringe, circus drag act Briefs are back this year with a brand new and unmissable show – just ask someone who was there last year. Other treats this year include Break, a play about teachers, and the intriguing Mice Will Play, investigating the life of, well, mice. We did say it was quirky, didn’t we?


    What is it?

    Dublin Theatre Festival

    When is it?

    26th September-13th October

    Why can’t we miss it?

    Dublin definitely digs drama. Over 18 days, the Dublin Theatre Festival hosts an eclectic ensemble of local and international drama in the best venues the city has to offer: from the famous Abbey Theatre to the beautifully aged and intimate Smock Alley. Highlight-wise, The Threepenny Opera will bring magical musical theatre, while the heart-wrenching I’ve to Mind Her will surely bring on a few tears. Watch out, too, for ‘the most important play of the 20th century’ (New York Times) – Dubliner Samuel Beckett’s first play, Waiting for Godot.


    What is it?

    Dublin Culture Night

    When is it?

    20th September

    Why can’t we miss it?

    In what can be easily described as one of the culture capitals of Europe, Dublin’s art galleries, theatres and other culture venues and buildings stay open until late one night a year to celebrate this culturally rich city. Dublin Culture Night condenses hundreds of free events (tours, talks and performances) into one night and stages them in venues citywide. Don’t miss the chance to eat a painting or a sculpture in the Edible Art Gallery and expect to find street performers, circus acts and spectacle performers scattered around the city.


    What is it?

    Open House Dublin

    When is it?

    4th-6th October

    Why can’t we miss it?

    From sports venues to houses of prayer, government buildings to domestic homes and all over one weekend, Open House Dublin sees 100 buildings, old and new, open their doors for free for another gorgeous Gathering. Glimpse the future in ‘Google Docks’, part of Google’s EU HQ campus at Grand Canal Dock, or discover the past in the General Post Office on O’Connell Street. If heights are your thing, you’ll love the Etihad Skyline Tour of Croke Park Stadium, while the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland and the overseers of Ireland’s lighthouses, The Commissioner for Irish Lights, will be opening their educational doors too.

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