Ireland

My favourite music venues around Ireland

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I have teamed up with chill.ie to tell you about my favourite music venues around Ireland, to coincide with the launch of Chill’s new eBook, Discover Ireland’s Musical Drives.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will see from my Instastories that I go to a lot of concerts and gigs around Ireland. Regardless of your musical tastes, Ireland offers a plethora of music venues for you to enjoy.

Living in a country that is renowned for its impressive array of successful artists across a range of genres, I have been so fortunate to live in a place where there is a real passion for music and culture more generally.

From statues dedicated to legends such as Rory Gallagher to great music festivals like Indiependence, I am really am spoilt for choice.

The past year has been a particularly busy one for me, having attended gigs from intimate venues in West Cork and Dublin to much larger arenas such as Croke Park and the famous Slane Castle, which host over 80,000 passionate music lovers.

There is something magical about seeing musical artists play live and in this post, you will find a list of my favourite music venues so you too can experience the magic that these incredible venues offer.

The BIG venues

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I photo I took at Ed Sheeran’s 2015 gig in Croke Park, Dublin. 22% of people surveyed on chill’s new eBook, said they wanted to see Ed Sheeran perform live. No wonder he has sold out all his gigs in Ireland next year, across venues in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Belfast.

INEC – Killarney

The INEC Killarney is the largest dedicated music venue outside of Dublin. The first concert I went to was at the INEC and because of this, it holds a special place in my heart. Musicians such as the Coronas, Walking on Cars, Nathan Carter, Sharon Shannon, Christy Moore and Daniel O’Donnell have all played here on many occasions.

Croke Park – Dublin

I love this place for concerts during the summer. There is something so amazing about seeing a performer along with 80,000 other revellers. As the largest venue in Ireland, many famous bands have played here including U2, Coldplay, Westlife, the Script, and Ed Sheeran to name but a few.

Other than Croke Park, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and RDS also offer stadium concerts whilst Marlay Park, Iveagh Gardens and Phoenix Park all occasionally host gigs.

Look out for Pairc Ui Chaoimh, a recently redeveloped stadium in Cork, which will also be hosting big concerts over coming years and has previously hosted the legend that is The Boss and the E Street Band.

U2 live in the 3Arena. I’m not a big fan of U2 but I must say their concert was excellent.

3 Arena – Dublin

This is the place where all the major acts perform throughout the year. I have been to lots of concerts here including U2, Chris Brown, Bruno Mars, Whitney Houston, Lady GaGa and Ireland’s own The Corrs. It is a great place to see a gig and it is a brilliant venue to dance around to your favourite artist. Its capacity can be changed to suit the artist, so as well as offering big stage shows, it offers a cosy feel when it needs to.

The intimate gigs

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I loved going to see Paddy Casey in Whelan’s, Dublin. Always a great gig.

Whelan’s – Dublin

This is probably the most famous music venue in the country. It has a great atmosphere and brilliant acoustics for listening to music. The venue has played host to legends like Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave and Mike Mills from REM. Even Ed Sheeran credits it as the place that inspired him to play music. I love going to gigs there as you feel like you are almost part of the band. If you are in Dublin, buy a ticket and go to a gig there. I promise you will not be disappointed. Vicar Street, another leading Dublin venue, also plays host to larger gigs.

Roisin Dubh – Galway 

Rosin Dubh is a great pub and an amazing music venue. I love this place during the summer when it comes alive with music. During festivals like the Galway Races, they erect an external stage where you can sing and dance the night away while listening to great bands like Two Door Cinema Club, Villagers, Le Galaxie and Delorentos.

Cyprus Avenue – Cork 

This is Cork’s answer to Whelan’s. There is something classic about this place. It is like you have gone back in time and with an old-school stage and red velvet curtains, every artist that plays here sounds beautiful. Some upcoming performances include Le Galaxie and Hudson Taylor.

De Barras often has some really great gigs in a local pub atmosphere

De Barras – Clonakilty 

This is an institution set in the heart of bustling West Cork.  With people coming from far and wide to listen to artists at this very special venue. This place has a great reputation for good music. Artists such as Noel Redding, Paddy Keenan, and Mundy being fan favourites of this venue. It’s no wonder it has been going for over 30 years.

I love the local intimate atmosphere this place brings. It is a place I always go to every time I’m in Clonakilty. There are also some other local offerings including Shanley’s (Clonakilty) and Connolly’s (Leap).

If you want to find out more about musical venues and create your own musical journey around Ireland you can download Chill Insurances Discover Irelands Musical Drives eBook for free.

*Huge thank you to chill.ie for collaborating on this post. I am delighted to be working with them and reminiscing about my favourite music venues.

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