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From 26th – 28th October, Dublin City will celebrate the life, work and legacy of Dublin horror novelist Bram Stoker and his gothic novel ‘Dracula’.

The three-day festival will peel back the layers of the city to reveal Stoker’s Dublin. The streets will come alive with free pop-up performances of spine-chilling street theatre and sinister sounds, a city-wide Vampire Hunt for families and friends, spooky movies in the open-air, blood curdling literary happenings, terrifying theatre, haunted walking tours and a very special event will take place in the spectacular surrounds of Dublin Castle.

Whether you’re a resident vampire or visiting from further afield, the Bram Stoker Festival 2013 has something for everyone in its spooktacular programme of events!

Check out the website for details:

Bray Summerfest was founded in 1981 and continues to be Ireland’s largest free summer festival. This year, Bray Summerfest is opening its arms to hundreds of thousands of visitors from home and abroad, calling them to to enjoy a jam packed programme running over five themed weekends. They have ever angle covered FREE Live Music performances, Family events, Food and Gardening along with our National Air Display.

There are new additions to the festival – a new Vintage FunFair, Retro Weekend with an outdoor cinema set alongside the Retro Zone, Wicklow Food and Garden Festival showcasing suppliers from the county and country. This season’s music highlights include Bressie, Sharon Shannon, Big September and two first class tribute acts – Friends in Low Places and Robbing Williams from the UK. They also welcome back the unstoppable Smash Hits with the Finale Fireworks.

This weekend is the Air Show Spectacular on the Sunday.

Click the link below to access the brochure:

As one guy said to me over the weekend “It’s good to let your hair down” and what better place to do it than Electric Picnic, a smorgasbord of music, dance, comedy, intellectual musings, crafting, among other things – something for every body and soul!!! For me though it’s all about the music and there was plenty of it to keep me happy. We made it down on Friday in time to see Little Green Cars who despite an early slot had quite a gathering and were a great start to the festival.

My highlight that day without a doubt were L.A. band Foster the People. The energy in the tent was electric and we all left the tent still singing. We ended the day with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros….having seen them the previous Wednesday in the Button Factory, I knew what to expect and I wasn’t disappointed although this time he didn’t get everyone to sit on the floor! The lowlight most definitely was Sinead O’Connor who was totally lost on the main stage and came across as boring! PJ Harvey, now a two-time Mercury Award-winner, wasn’t bad sporting a totally festival worthy crow-like hat!

Saturday’s highlights for me were Arcade Fire who were delighted to be back to the place where they felt the love in 2005 and the love was definitely still there in 2011. They played a cracking set concentrating on their stellar third album The Suburbs but for some reason I always feel the main stage lacks atmosphere. It definitely wouldn’t miss a few large screens and the sound always seems hit and miss. Another highlight was sunshine – we sat outside the spiegeltent which this year had been turned into Oktoberfest. We also checked out the Riptide Movement on the Salty Dog Stage which was excellent. The smaller stages are also the best fun. Lykke Li also impressed me earlier on the main stage with her powerful voice, she seemed at home up there. After catching most of The Chemical Brothers, we rounded off the night in the Silent Disco which was really good fun. With the battle of the D.J’s and with everything from the Spice Girls to Example to singing along to Wonderwall, we danced the night away.

Sunday started with heavy downpours so we decided to hold off until James Vincent McMorrow who was surprisingly disappointing with sound issues and a really bad crowd who wouldn’t shut up and listen. Thankfully we caught him on the Body and Soul main stage which suited him better and he redeemed himself. The Drums were excellent as were White Lies. We also got to check out the comedy tent for a while. We rounded off the festival with Pulp and some old favourites like Disco 2000 and Common People.

The best thing about Electric Picnic aside from the music has to be the alternative areas like Body and Soul with their chilled out vibe, hot tubs and wishing tree and Mindfield with something for every culture vulture. And oh yes favourable mention has to go to the posh loos courtesy of Kleenex Velvet – a world away from Portaloos!! And as for food, Wok’N’Roll do the best noodles and Hurly Burly Cafe the best chocolate cake.

And the downsides aside from timetable clashes and portaloos and the unpredictable Irish weather, has to be the early closing times of the bars- getting alcohol after 10pm proves difficult unless you like bloody marys or port!!!

And for me the Pick of the Picnic this year has to be Foster the People and the Silent Disco.

Eat to the Beat
Dublin Bay chefs prepared to ‘Eat to the Beat’ at the launch of the inaugural Dublin Bay Taste & Music Fest. This culinary and entertainment extravaganza is set to take place from Thursday 25th August to Sunday 28th August 2011 in the beautiful setting of The Peoples Park, Dun Laoghaire (12noon – 10pm daily).

This exciting new event will feature a boulevard of top Irish chefs who will ‘cook up a storm’ of culinary delights to tantalise your taste buds while you enjoy a full schedule of fabulous large stage live entertainment including must-see performances from Flash Harry, Bagatelle, Niamh Kavanagh and The Illegals and Otis and the Elevators.

Budding chefs will also be able to pick up some useful tips in the Flogas demonstration theatre where exclusive workshops and demonstrations will be delivered by Irish celebrity chefs including: Martin Shanahan (host of RTE’s Martin’s Mad About Fish); Kevin Dundon (Irish Independent food columnist and author of Recipes That Work and Full on Irish); and Derry Clarke (from RTE One reality television show Failte Towers and proprietor of the restaurant L’Ecrivain).

Saturday and Sunday are Family Fun Days at Dublin Bay Taste & Music Fest so treat your children to the best food in Ireland as they enjoy the festivities: bubbles through the air, Fruice Dilute cup stacking competitions and much more. Plus the first 50 children through the gates will also receive a ‘goodie bag’!

For further information or to book tickets visit

The Festival des Bateaux takes place between August 12th and 14th 2011 to welcome the world famous Solitaire du Figaro yacht race. Dun Laoghaire will be the only international stop on the world famous French Solitaire du Figaro yacht race. To celebrate the stopover of this iconic 3,390 km race, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and the National Yacht Club have joined forces to create Festival des Bateaux.

The festival features a wide variety of French themed events and attractions. The harbour will be a magnificent tapestry of colour as the boats arrive for this international event. Dun Laoghaire will be resplendent with fireworks, music and the sights, sounds, foods, and ‘joie de vivre’ of France.

Dun Laoghaire Festival Programme

Friday August 12th
2pm – 10pm: Festival Market at CarlislePier
10pm: Opening Ceremony Fireworks from East Pier

Saturday August 13th
10am – 8pm: Festival Market at CarlislePier
2pm – 6pm: Live Bands at Harbour PlazaStage
2pm – 6pm: Street Entertainment – Carlisle Pier, Harbour Plaza, Town Centre

Sunday August 14th
10am – 8pm: Festival Market at CarlislePier
11am: Boats Depart
2pm – 6pm: Live Bands at Harbour PlazaStage
2pm – 6pm: Street Entertainment – Carlisle Pier, Harbour Plaza, Town Centre

From July 15th – 24th, Temple Bar Cultural Trust is teaming up with more than 20 cultural neighbours, over 100 artists and performers and some of the most exciting creative companies in Ireland to celebrate 20 years of unique culture and regeneration in Dublin’s Cultural Quarter.

Over 70 events taking place in Temple Bar will include premieres of site specific theatre, outdoor movies, specially commissioned art installations, Grammy award winning artists and even a world famous high wire walker!

To kick off on their official birthday, tomorrow 15th July, the following celebrations are planned:

10am – Book & Magazine Fair at Filmbase, Curved Street for PhotoIreland Festival
11am – 1pm – ‘Culture Club for Kids’ Become a Robot or String-puppet through mime, The Culture Box
3pm – 4pm Mime & Puppetry Theatre Show ‘Buckets’ at The Culture Box
5pm – Launch of ‘master of the universe’. Installation will be on the roof of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, launch will take place on Temple Bar Square with a performance from Aidan Walsh and the Hooligan Eagles
5pm – Get in the festival spirit with MaSamba and their sounds of Brazil at Temple Bar Square.
5pm – PhotoIreland Festival launch of Martin Parr’s ‘Best books of the Decade’ at the National Photographic Archive.
6pm – Launch of ‘Temple Bar Revisited’ at Monster Truck Gallery & Studios.
6pm – ‘Made in Temple Bar’ Filmmaking competition with Filmbase; films go live from 6pm, we will be encouraging you to share your favourite one as the one with the most hits wins!
6.15pm – High Wire Solo by Didier Pasquette, at Temple Bar Square.
6.45pm – Dublin Gospel Choir performance live at Temple Bar Square.
7.30pm – RTÉ Radio 1 presents Nighthawks @ Made in Temple Bar, at Project Arts Centre.
11pm – Cut Chemist plus live visuals at The Button Factory, Temple Bar.

For more details check out their website

Wondering what to do this July….well look no further than “10 Days in Dublin”, a unique independent arts festival in Dublin, which draws together the best of music, comedy, and the performing arts, while maintaining an open and inclusive programme.

We are hurtling towards mid-July amidst an explosion of rainbow bright entertainment. From cracking comedy to intercultural collaborations to wacked out cinemas; we are getting ready to throw it all at you! Forget buying wellies for Irish slop-fests, get yourself some full body protection and get down to The Workman’s Club for some ferocious fun this July!

Come down and offset that start-of-week fear with a night of sketch comedy courtesy of Foil, Arms and Hog on Monday July 11th. The Irish comedy troupe will be coming to our gaff as part of the 10 Days in Dublin Festival. Their observational, dark, surreal comedy sketch ‘Comedy Doesn’t Pay’ could revive even the most jaded of fringe goers. This performance is one to catch. Doors 8.30pm and tickets at only €5.00.

On Tuesday July 12th, 10 Days in Dublin presents Little Green Cars. These Irish indie newcomers have caused a quite a stir on the home circuit and all at the tender age of 18! Having now completed their first single with David Kosten (Bat for Lashes/Everything Everything), they are set to have a very exciting year. Catch them before the lions take their share! Doors 8.30pm and tickets at €5.00.

On Wednesday July 13th get ready for Betrayal of Penguins courtesy of the 10 Days in Dublin Festival. Regular crowd-pleasers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with two sold –out, highly acclaimed runs, the sketch comedy group are in the big smoke to give you a taste of their magic! Doors are 8.30pm and tickets at €8.

Continuing the 10 Days in Dublin festivities, The Pandora Music Agency presents ‘Excuse My French’ on Thursday July 14th. Come down and celebrate Bastille Day with an intercultural music show featuring musicians from both Ireland and France and spanning musical genres and experiences. The show will feature the talented pianist Rivkah, the dark soul vibe of Tiger Cooke, electro-melodic adventures of Robotnik and electro-pop tunes of Kim. Join us in our very own Hiberno-French musical Revolution! Doors are 8.30pm and tickets at €8.

On Friday July 15th, 10 Days in Dublin provides us with a fantastic audio-visual experience as they invite the crew from the popular website for a performance at The Workman’s Club. ‘Bang Bang’s Forty Coats’ is a very special fundraiser night, which celebrates the unveiling of their 50th Dublin story. The event is set to feature storytelling from Dublin’s finest tellers, some quality top notch comedy and some very bouncy music. Tickets are €5.00 and doors are at 8.30pm.

On Saturday July 16th 10 Days in Dublin Festival will sadly be drawing to a close, but not without a banging party to send it off! Yes, come down to The Workman’s Club and enjoy a surprise line up of some of the best music and comedy these shores have to offer! Doors will be 8.30pm and tickets €5, with all proceeds going to Dublin’s Simon Community! DJ Ed Smith (Pet Sounds) will be taking over our First Floor Bar from 10.30pm on Saturday July 16th, banging out ferocious sounds all night, all for FREE!

Wall of Death and Wacked Out Cinema returns to for its July installation on Sunday July 17th. The perfect way to wind down after a weekend of madness, we open our doors at 5.30pm for the screening of two celluloid classics, followed by an evening of eclectic, soul-soothing beats. This month’s movies are ‘The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue’ and ‘Forklift Driver Klaus’ Mass continues at The Workman’s Club every Sunday night. Come down and repent with Sister Lisa Marie, as she lashes out all manner of guilty pleasures from 10pm and for FREE!

For more information & to book tickets, check out their website:

The Oktoberfest started on Thursday the 30th of September and runs until the 10th of October in George’s Dock in the IFSC.

Experience traditional German fun, food and entertainment with over 30 German barmaids dressed in traditional Dirndl’s!

In order to comply with Irish licensing laws, every person who is present at the Oktoberfest after 10pm is required to purchase a food voucher to the value of €5. The €5 voucher is redeemable against a selection of a substantial meal which is worth 10€ . This voucher can be purchased at the entrance or in a special signed pagoda on the platform, you will easily find it!

There will be over 30 German food stalls at the Oktoberfest with typical Bavarian fare like crepes, German sausages from a charcoal barbeque, some Bretzel’s & Pastries. Select from the range of Black Forrest specialities, including smoked ham, potato pancakes,cheese, mushrooms and delicious dumplings.

Monday to Saturday – Lunchtime (12am-2pm)
When would you get the chance to sing and dance along to an authentic Bavarian Brass Band on your lunch break? Well now you can from Thursday the 30th of September to the 10th of October. Come on down to the Oktoberfest in George’s Dock and listen to the traditional Bavarian band Mostland Stürmer followed by a Bavarian DJ playing traditional music from the region.

Monday to Saturday – Evening (6pm to 12pm)
Wind down after a busy day with the Bavarian band Mostland Stürmer and enjoy some excellent Erdinger Weiss Beer and some German sausages from the charcoal barbecue. Enjoy some lively Bavarian music played by a DJ to keep you dancing and enjoying yourself.

For more information, go to the Oktoberfest website.


100 Bands/ 3 Days/ 7 Venues/ 1 Ticket
Hard Working Class Heroes
(sometimes shortened to HWCH) is an Irish music festival for emerging bands and musicians and with 2010 its 8th year in operation, this is one well-established music event. Organised by Angela Dorgan, The Irish Times has referred to it as “an essential must-see/do on Ireland’s music calendar”.

The line up and venues for Hard Working Class Heroes 2010 has been announced.

The line up includes;

At Last An Atlas / Autumn Owls / Awake Young Soldiers / Axis Of / Bantum / Biggles Flys Again / Bitches With Wolves / Blasterbra / Bouts / Cast Of Cheers / Cfit / Cloud Castle Lake / Colenso Parade / Conor Mason / Conor Walsh / Creatures / Dark Room Notes / Datadrip / Deaf Joe / Electric Penguins / EleventyFour / Enemies /Escape Act / Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters / Friend / Funeral Suits / Funzo / Futures Apart / GMC / Goatboy / Grand Pocket Orcherstra / Hal / Hellfire Cub / HERM / Hired Hands / Holy Innocents / House of Dolls / Ivan St John / Jefl & Hyde / Jennifer Evans / Jogging/ John Shelly and the Creatures / Junior 85 / Keith Mullins / Kid Karate / Kill Krinkle Club/ LaFaro / Le Galaxie / Leaflog / Liz Is Evil / Lost Chord / Miracle Bell / MO-T/Mrs Healy’s First Class Choir / New Amusement / Norabelle / Nouveaunoise / Our Little Secrets / Pearse McGloughlin / Pio / Percolator / Planet Parade / RSAG / Scared Animals / Sleep Thieves / Slumberjet / Sounds of System Breakdown / Squarehead / Strait Laces / Super Extra Bonus Party / Sweet Jane / Talulah Does The Hula / The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra / The Capitals / The Crayon Set / The Dead Flags / The Depravations / The Dirty 9s / The Eulogys / The Evening Watch / The Gorgeous Colours / The Holy Roman Army / The Loafing Heroes / The Lost Brothers / The Minutes / The obcd / The Q / Tiny Magnetic Pets / Toy Soldier / Trophy Boyfriend / Valerie Francis / Verona Riots /Vickers Vimy / We Are Losers / We Cut Corners / We Should Be Dead/ Windings / Yeh Deadlies / Yes Cadets / Zealots

The gigs will be spread across Andrews Lane Theatre, The Button Factory, The Mercantile, The Grand Social, Sweeney’s, Twisted Pepper and The Workmans Club. Tickets are available now from starting from €20 plus fees for a nightly ticket and €45 plus fees for a weekend ticket.

So finally made it to Electric Picnic and I now realise what all the fuss is about! What a unique boutique festival filled to the brim with a variety of fun things to do! It is definitely more than the music – it’s a festival for everyman and woman. There is something for everyone – the main stage and various tents for the music afficiandos, body and soul offering up a hippies paradise, the mindfield for the intellectuals among us and even something for the kids. It is a real community atmosphere. It’s like an Oxegen for the grown-ups and boy did we party.

I loved the various art installations dotted around the grounds [the huge tulips, the giant statues, the wooden structures] and how there was always something going on – we attended a wedding in the inflatable church, saw a performance of Alice in Wonderland, danced in the village hall, went to a pop ceile and attended a poetry reading among other things. Every space held something novel and interesting going on just waiting to be discovered. On the downside, the only thing I was disappointed in was the food – to me it was the standard festival fare and not the gourmet food I had been promised but maybe we just choose wrong. There also wasn’t enough seating in the food area and the queues at the bars did get a bit mental at times but aside from that I loved every single minute.

We made it down in time for Joe Echo who with penning the soundtrack for the upcoming Killing Bono movie is on the verge of something big. Friday also had the best weather – the sun shone all day – something of a novelty for Ireland. For once the sun gods smiled down on us. I felt the festival truly kicked off when we saw Hurts whose album was out the next day – filled with happiness and with an opera singer to boot. I was very disappointed in Laura Marling’s performance but then again she wasn’t well and seemed to be having technical difficulties with the sound. Another highlight on Friday was most definitely Foals, an act that needs to be seen live to experience the intensity of their performance. I rounded off the night watching Duke Special who had a guest appearance from Phil Jupiter playing guitar and singing ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll’. One of my favourite places was dancing in the Spiegeltent. And another favourite was the Salty Dog stage shaped like a boat.

On Saturday we got to explore a little bit more dipping into the Mindfield, soaking up the laid-back vibe in the Body and Soul Area and even stopping by the Comedy tent to see Ed Byrne. The weather had taken a turn for the worst but thankfully only grey sky and clouds but no rain on our parade. Highlights from Saturday music wise included an energetic afternoon set from Robyn, a jam-packed tent for Villagers that even made Conor O’Brien say ‘Wow’, a bit of rockabilly from Imelda May rounded off by LCD Soundsystem where the tent was so full we didn’t even make it inside and instead had to watch the crowd bounce from the back.

Sunday was the best day music-wise with all my favourites including James Vincent McMorrow who got us up early but it was worth it, Stornoway who stole away the afternoon, and an exhilarating set from Two Door Cinema Club. We even got to catch most of Friendly Fires on the main stage. I was slightly disappointed with Mumford & Sons – I think they work better in an indoors setting. The National were a great end to a great weekend. Thankfully we decided to hit the road straight after as the torrential rain started just in time for Massive Attack.

Check out this review by Nadine O’Regan in the Sunday Business Post who awarded it five stars and have to say I’m in total agreement. Same place, same time, next year – see ya there!







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