This blog was written by Ashley Smith, a guest at Ashfield Hostel in Nov ’14, avid writer and music fan.
Dublin is an amazing hub for live music in Europe. The vibrant local scene is full of traditional music, and an array of touring bands make stops here on their European tours. Any night of the week you’re bound to find a number of clubs with a live band playing, whether it’s a cover band, a local or a touring one. You can easily take your chances and walk through Temple Bar and let your ears lead you in the direction of something to tap your toes to while you knock back a few pints, but here are some venues to check out if you’re hoping to catch an act while you’re in the city.
Located on Thomas Street, it is a concert hall and performing arts centre that has a 1500 standing capacity. Take a look at their calender of events and you’ll see that they have something going on almost every single night. Local acts such as The Hot Sprockets from Dublin, and international acts such as Sweden’s Milky Chance are slated to play within the next couple of months, but Vicar Street has housed acts like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and more recently Lana Del Rey. Not just limited to live music, they also host comedy and drama shows. Large enough to bring in big-name acts, but intimate enough to make you feel cozy with the band, Vicar Street is a great venue to get you your music fix.
Previously the O2, 3Arena is a large scale, state of the art music venue located in Dublin’s docklands. 3Arena brings out the biggest acts to tour Ireland, however that comes with a higher price tag. But if you are looking to see James Blunt, Elton John, The Who or Neil Diamond in the near future, this is the place to be. Fitted with a private members club as well as alcohol and food vendors, 3Arena is perfect for a big night out.
The Workman’s Club
Nestled in Temple Bar district, beside the world famous Clarence Hotel, is The Workman’s Club. With its edgy and artsy cafe-meets-rock-and-roll-club feel, this venue is dripping with personality. Priding itself as a space for “musicians and independent thinkers,” Workman’s hosts everything from rock and roll gigs to book readings. The ultimate haven for the artist and the music lover to mingle and discover a new favourite act.
The rich history and unique design of Whelan’s makes it a must-see for tourists and locals who want to see a great show. Located in the city centre, Whelan’s has housed the likes of Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave and the Arctic Monkeys, as well as numerous local and Irish ensembles. The design of the bar is quite interesting, as it has three different parts that allow for multiple shows to operate at the same time. Any P.S. I Love You Fans will recognize Whelan’s, as it was used for many scenes in the 2007 Gerard Butler flick.
Another unique design, The Academy, also located in the city centre, has four floors with varying set ups and sizes that has something for everyone! They house everything from small comedy acts and DJs, to bigger acts such as The Killers, Lily Allen and The Futureheads who have all graced their stages. Just starting November 1st, they launched a circus happening every Saturday night with four DJs and circus performances, which is a must see if you happen to be in the city on the weekend!
The beautiful thing about this list is that this doesn’t even scratch the surface. You won’t find a night where there isn’t music somewhere in Dublin. So go! Wander and let your ears guide the way.