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August City Events in Dublin

It’s festival heaven this month in and around Dublin. With big boys like Electric Picnic and Oxegen, as well as the small but perfectly formed CastlePalooza and Down With Jazz, you will not be stuck for anything to listen to.

Dublin Festival August

1. GAA Hurling All Ireland Championship Semi-Final at Croke Park – 18th August

If you didn’t know, hurling is one of the top sports in Ireland and this semi-final of the GAA Championship will be hard fought. A spot of background knowledge might be useful here. Hurling is a team game and a sort of cross between hockey and rugby but a lot more Irish. Players use their wooden stick, the “hurley”, to hit a small ball through the goal posts of the other team. So why not go along and support the local team?

2. Oxegen, Punchestown Racecourse- 2nd – 4th August

Arguably the greatest music festival in Europe, Oxegen returns this year. You won’t want to miss out on top headline act David Guetta. We love his new number “Play Hard” with Ne-Yo and Akon, so his set will be out of this world. If you are a fan of house and dance this is the festival of choice in Ireland. Other well known names include Calvin Harris, Chase & Status and Rizzle Kicks. Need we say more?

3. Down With Jazz at Meeting House Square – 24th – 26th August

Don’t be fooled by the name, this is one of Dublin’s foremost jazz festivals. Down With Jazz is irony. With a line-up that includes up and coming bands like OKO and Redivider, funky populists like Max Zazka and Mixtapes from The Underground, and established names like Michael Buckley and Christine Tobin, it promises to be a special weekend. And we forgot to mention it is completely free! We’ll see you there.

4. The Liffey Swim 2013 at Loop Line Bridge – 24th August

And now for something completely different. Why not watch some people braver than you do something that seems really, really silly and swim in the River Liffey – just for fun! To get a good view the Liffey Boardwalk is the best place, but get there early as everyone else in Dublin will be doing the same. Well, anyone who is not foolish enough to be jumping in anyway. The race was originally organised to highlight the pollution of the river in 1920 by Bernard Fagan and has become one of Ireland’s most famous, traditional sporting events.

5. National Heritage Week, city wide – 17th – 25th August

How about some culture? National Heritage Week in Dublin is jam packed with interesting and exciting events to suit everyone. From medieval fairs and historical re-enactments to traditional music and theatre you will not want for something to do or see. You will probably find it difficult not to get involved with stuff happening all over Dublin. We like the look of the free tours of St Patrick’s Church, ‘The War of the Two Kings’: A Musical Trip from the Battle of the Boyne to the Siege of Limerick (also free) and the traditional music sessions at the Horseshoe Inn. If you are looking to learn a bit more about Ireland and its history this is the perfect way to get started.

6. Electric Picnic at Stradbally Estate, Co Laois – 30th August – 1st September

OK so it’s summer, back to the festival schedule. The Electric Picnic is a relative newcomer to the festival circuit but this year it has come of age with a stellar line up. Headline acts include DJ God Fat Boy Slim, ice princess Bjork and self-made start-ups like the Artic Monkeys. It’s not just about the music though; there is also a comedy stage, a fun fair and a charity bike ride. Typical festival stuff. Don’t forget to bring your wellies and sunscreen!

7. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams at Gate Theatre – All Month

A Streetcar Named Desire is possibly the best known work of Tennessee Williams’ and at the time it was a shocker, dealing with difficult, unspoken and emotional issues in a family. Of course, one of the most famous adaptations was the 1951 film starring Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando. Don’t depend on the kindness of strangers, if you love a bit of drama then go and see this one, you will not be disappointed.

8. Castlepalooza at Charleville Castle, Tullamore – 2nd – 4th August

Apart from being excellently named, Castlepalooza offers some of the best music and visual art for your money this August! Historic Charleville Castle is the luscious setting for another of Ireland’s big festivals. Nominated for ‘Best Small Festival’ in the European Festival Awards 2009, 2010 and 2011, probably tells you what you need to know. It is a smaller and more relaxed affair but still attracts some big names, which is telling as it clashes this year with Oxegen. So if you feel like something a little more out of the way and less crowded this is the festival for you. Who’s on the line up? Benni Smiles, Bentley Riddims and Tiny Vinyls we else can we say?

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