Dublin: The city’s best outdoor summer concerts


Electric Picnic music festival
Taking in a concert at the Electric Picnic music festival. Photo: Darren Webb

By Jessica Colley—

Just like storytelling or making pints disappear down the hatch, the Irish have a tradition of music deep down in their bones. This tradition can be experienced not only in dark pubs, but also outdoors through summer concerts, festivals and music series.

If you’re traveling to Dublin or Ireland this summer, be prepared with one item: rubber boots. Just because the calendar says it’s summer, that doesn’t mean the Irish weather is going to cooperate. Rain or shine, locals won’t let a few rain clouds get in the way of their precious summer concerts.

Here are a few concert options for Cheapos to check out during a summer jaunt to the Emerald Isle.

Electric Picnic
Stradbally Hall, County Laois (50 minutes from Dublin)
September 2-4, 2011
Web site

Electric Picnic is arguably the best music festival of the summer in Ireland. This annual festival takes place on the first weekend of September and brings together fans of music, art, comedy, food and theater to one 600-acre estate located just 50 minutes north of Dublin in County Laois.

This summer festival offers an incredible line-up of musicians that includes Arcade Fire, The Chemical Brothers, Interpol and many more. For a full line up of musicians at the 2011 Electric Picnic, click here.

@ The Park – Marlay Park
Marlay Park, Dublin 16.
Through August 6, 2011
Web site

One beautiful park in Dublin that doesn’t attract a lot of travelers is Marlay Park. This green space is a little off the beaten path, but that shouldn’t stop Cheapos from checking out the @ The Park series this summer. There are a number of acts taking to this outdoor stage, including the acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela on Sunday, July 31.

Other musicians in this concert series include Bell X1 (August 6), The Coronas (July 22) and 2ManyDJs (July 29). This new venue holds only 5,000 people and promises an intimate show.

Lunchtime Concerts – St. Stephens Green
St. Stephens Green, Dublin 2
Concerts throughout the summer
Web site

Not all summer concerts in Dublin must include crowds of people and mud-covered rubber boots. During the summer months, lunchtime concerts are given in St. Stephens Green, the park that is considered by many to be the heart of Dublin. If you’re looking for some lunchtime entertainment, gathering at the center of the park around 1 p.m. will provide free music to accompany a picnic.

A range of local musicians perform at this series, but one of the best I’ve seen was a youth orchestra. Watching these kids master their instruments made a simple summer lunch in the park really memorable.

Indoor music

Of course, not all Dublin concerts will be held outside this summer. If you’re looking for even more ways to enjoy music in Dublin, check out the local listings at places like Whelan’s, The Sugar Club and The Twisted Pepper.

Seeking out music during a trip to Dublin this summer will provide a little insight into the success of Irish music worldwide.

Your favorite concerts in Dublin?

Have you attended an outdoor concert in Dublin? Have any concerts to add to our list? Share with us in the comments section.

About the author

Jessica Colley is a freelance travel writer and poet. She blogs about Dublin and more at www.thegreatamericantraveldream.com.

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