Dublin doesn’t do downtime, not even in January. Nights of glowing pub doorways and amber-lit cobbles are the perfect host for the country’s biggest indie Irish music festival.
Dublin’s cultural quarter, creative hub, and nightlife hotspot is undisputedly Temple Bar. The cobbled streets lined with galleries, indie theatres and throbbing pubs are always thronged with visitors and lunching locals.
What better place to kick-start Ireland’s legendary festival calendar on 28 January. Let the TradFest 2015 begin!
“A Window For Irish Culture”
Combining cosy pub sessions with outdoor concerts, street performers with pipe bands, and film screenings with storytelling, the Temple Bar TradFest (28/01/15 – 01/02/15) promises an Irish music and culture extravaganza. Two-time winner of the Best Traditional Music Festival award, Clannad’s Moya Brennan, describes TradFest as “a window for Irish culture”.
Now in its 10th year, the festival keeps on getting bigger and bigger: the five-day schedule promises countless free events and performances by some of the best-known faces (and voices) in traditional music.
We trust TradFest to provide the kind of festival line-up that sends shivers down the spine, but even they have outdone themselves this year.
Music ensemble, Beoga courtesy of TradFest
On the musical menu are The High Kings (stunning live performers), the mystical melodies of Danú and the beautifully delicate and soulful sounds of The Hard Ground.
Backed by her band, Cara Dillon will be showcasing her soaring voice and Ireland’s finest ballads while Beoga and Big Band play the kind of energetic trad tunes that have made the Irish stomp their feet shouting ‘Yeeeooow!’ for centuries.
Music, of course, needs a venue. TradFest has gone one better by including some of Dublin’s oldest and prettiest landmarks in this year’s festival.
IIn keeping with Dublin’s aged atmosphere, gigs will be held in the likes of St Patrick's Cathedral (founded in 1191) and the intimate surrounds of St Werburgh's Church (founded in 1178). If those two weren’t quirky enough for you, try rocking up to a show at arguably Dublin’s most beautiful Georgian building, City Hall.
St Michan's Church, and the Button Factory will also serve as venues.
While Temple Bar has a rock-solid and rocking reputation for its nightlife, TradFest has struck a perfect balance with a selection of family events. Expect spots like The Ark, a custom-built cultural centre for children, to keep the kids engaged and entertained with their own musical events. Outside you’ll find face painters, street performers, Irish dancers and two outdoor stages.
In between all those jigs and reels, remember you’re still in Temple Bar. Dublin’s culture den is a playground year-round and even if TradFest isn’t in town, a good time is never far away.