Looking for something to do in Dublin? If music is your thing then have a read of what gigs are upcoming.

Ireland has worldwide recognition for producing top class musicians and the vibrancy of its live music scene. In the 1970’s Dubliner Phil Lynott’s Thin Lizzy became international rock icons whilst Belfast’s Van Morrison was also in his prime. At the beginning of the following decade, another set of Dublin musicians were about to take over the world, U2. The Cranberries, Ash, The Corrs and Snow Patrol all followed and made their mark globally in the 1990’s.
Whilst quality has never been a problem, quantity has. In the beginning the Irish live music scene was a sparse collection of a small number of great bands and musicians, propped up by resident cover acts and traditional Irish music groups hired by pubs and venues to entertain their guests. This was mainly due to the cost associated with producing physical copies of their music and studio time. With the advent of the internet and digital streaming platforms, these costs were reduced significantly, allowing a far wider range of musicians to produce, record and share their music with a far greater audience.

Indie-rock band Orchid Collective play The Workman's Club on the 19th of August
Photo: Tremaine Gregg Photography

At some point in the current decade everything changed. From roughly 2010 onwards there was a dramatic shift... the music scene in Ireland, with its focal point in the capital Dublin, was about to explode. Many music journalists/bloggers/musicians/venue owners acknowledge the fact that we are currently living in a Golden Era for Irish music, there is now a myriad of bands and solo acts playing a wide variety of genres from indie rock, electronica, hip-hop, folk, funk and too many more to name here. Venues and pubs across the country are now filled seven nights a week, and despite having to bear most of the cost themselves, musicians are tirelessly travelling across Ireland to play in the most remote locations, all of which has helped the music community flourish and grow at a rapid pace.
Not only do we now have a large number of bands and solo musicians to choose from - the quality of the music is consistently excellent and has an instant impact on live audiences. Having attended live music gigs since the late-1990’s, I can say with great ease that there has never been a better time to go and see some live music in Ireland than right now, and it’s getting better every year.
With your arrival at GENERATOR DUBLIN in the heart of the city, you will find yourself right at the apex of the live music scene, with almost all of the capital city’s most iconic music venues within a short walk from your accommodation. Venues such as Sin É, The Workman’s Club, The Sound House, The Grand Social to name but a few, all straddle the banks of the River Liffey. Another small distance will take you to Dublin’s most famous and well-loved venue of all, Whelan’s (Upstairs) on Wexford Street. In a regular feature for Parallel, I’ll be providing a guide to the best acts to catch during your stay, and don’t forget, if you don’t feel like wandering far, there is plenty of high quality music to be caught at Generator Hostel too. For short stays, convenience is everything!

First off, for those of you arriving to Generator Dublin in the middle of August you’ve struck gold, as the inaugural Dublin Quays Festival is on for 4 nights from Thursday 17th - Sunday 20th of August. The best thing is that entry to all venues involved is FREE! The festival will see the best of Irish talent located in one easily navigable part of the city, all within a short walk from Generator. The festival will feature popular hard-rock / punk acts Sub Motion and Vulpynes on the opening night at Sin É, the alternative and contemporary folk of Me & My Dog and Maria Kelly on the Friday night at The Sound House, and rising act, the critically acclaimed Orchid Collective on the Saturday night at The Workman’s Club. All three shows come highly recommended.
If you prefer to stay in the environs of the Hostel itself, there are numerous acts performing over the coming weeks, and one of particular interest is Niall Fahey, a very gifted vocalist and song-writer who will be performing at Generator on the 20th of August. If you’re looking for some really fresh sounds, and a visit to Dublin’s most iconic music venue Whelan’s, then brand new Dublin indie band Future Stops’ debut single release is the place to be. If electronic music is more your thing then check out Dreaming of Jupiter’s headline show on the 29th August at The Workman’s Club, or Alex Smyth in The Grand Social on the 8th of September. Finally, on Sat. 9th September, we recommend a great line-up of alt-pop five-piece Hatchlings and alternative folk act LemonCello, both from Co. Kildare at The Button Factory in Temple Bar (which is also free admission).

Alternative folk act LemonCello play The Button Factory, Temple Bar, on the 9th of September 

Dublin Quays Festival:
17th August - Sin É, 15 Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 1 - Sub Motion & Vulpynes (Free)
18th August - The Sound House, 28 Eden Quay, Dublin 1 - Me & My Dog & Maria Kelly (Free)
19th August - The Workman’s Club, 10 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 - Orchid Collective & Little One (Free) 
20th August - GENERATOR DUBLIN - Niall Fahey (Free)
24th August - Whelan’s (Upstairs), 25 Wexford Street, Dublin 2 - Future Stops - Admission > €6
29th August - The Workman’s Club, 10 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 - Dreaming of Jupiter, Not Monsters & Soltree - Admission > €10 
8th September - The Grand Social, 35 Liffey Street Lower, Dublin 1 - Alex Smyth (with SYLK and VLLNS) - Admission > €7 
9th September - The Button Factory, Curved St., Temple Bar, Dublin 2 - Hatchlings & LemonCello - Admission > Free
Want to listen to some of the acts before you decide who to go and see? We’ve made a handy Spotify Playlist for your convenience below.

  1. Generator Hostel  (You are here)
  2. The Workman’s Club (14 minute walk from Generator)
  3. The Sound House (22 minute walk from Generator)
  4. Whelan’s (26 minute walk from Generator)
  5. The Grand Social (16 minute walk from Generator)
  6. Sin É (10 minute walk from Generator)
  7. The Button Factory (16 minute walk from Generator)
Remy Connolly has been covering the Irish music scene since 2013 on his blog REMY and is also a partner and presenter at Irish Music video website The Sound Feed with whom he has interviewed countless established and up-and-coming Irish bands and acts.

Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.