It’s almost time! On March 17, Irish (and honorary Irish!) folk the world round will celebrate the feast of our patron saint, Patrick. However, here in Dublin, we’re planning on making a weekend of it! If you’re lucky enough to be in the city for the St. Patrick’s Festival (March 14 – 17), you’ll experience a vibrant slice of Dublin’s thriving cultural scene. And so - though we’re sure you’ll make it to the fantastic parade that winds its way through the city-centre on the big day each year - here’s a taster of some of the other art, food, music and film events set to take place over the weekend…
What better way to kick off proceedings than with a few tunes!? Dublin alt. electro act Jape, fronted by the very talented Richie Egan, is one of the most exciting live acts in Ireland at the moment. Formed in 2003, the band has scooped the Choice Prize (Ireland’s Mercury) not once, but twice – in 2008 for the excellent Ritual, and again in 2012 for Ocean of Frequency. On March 14, Jape will perform in the intimate surroundings of the RHA Gallery at 7.30pm. Attendees are invited to arrive early so they can browse the other galleries, or enjoy a coffee in the lovely Coppa Café.
That evening (7pm), ‘One City, Many Cultures’ takes place in the National Gallery. Run by a young arts collective called Milk & Cookies, the night will feature some good, old-fashioned Dublin storytelling, focusing on how inclusive and multi-cultural the city has become in recent years. So, whether you have a story to tell, or simply love listening to other people’s tales, be sure to head along. Oh, did we mention there’ll be some delicious home-baked treats on offer too?!
Milk & Cookies from Cian Brennan on Vimeo.
Which brings us to one of the most important components of any event; food! There’ll be tasty treats a-plenty on offer throughout the festival, one of which is Hunt & Gather, who’ll host a delicious 'Enchanted Banquet' in a unique Dublin space on March 15. Set up by food enthusiasts Miss Day and Miss Night, Hunt & Gather’s aim is to provide new sensory experiences for the diner. Intrigued? You should be! The Enchanted Banquet will take place in an atmospheric setting in the city centre – click the link above for details.
Having eaten your fill, we suggest you head along to one of the festival’s (many) highlights; the enchanting Floating Cinema! On Sunday, March 16 at 7.30pm, the Happenings crew will host a special outdoor screening of Irish comedy Waking Ned in the vibrant and colourful Grand Canal Dock area of the city. 400 film fans are invited to this free event, with blankets and cushions provided to ensure a very cosy experience! Be sure to arrive early to ensure you get a good spot.
And indeed, if film is your thing, you’ll want to check out the Dublin Doc Festival too. Taking inspiration from the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade theme, ‘Let’s Make History’, the fest will curate a diverse selection of documentaries, which will be showcased on Sunday, March 16 at the National Library of Ireland. Kicking off at 6pm, films will be shown from both established and up-and-coming filmmakers, including Sundance winner Folk Furniture by Tony Donoghue, and Mia Mularky’s Danger: Overhead Powerlines. Capacity for this engaging, intimate event is just 120 though, so once again, be sure to get there early!
We also recommend you check out Street Feelings; a lovely Dublin documentary which will be premiered during the St. Patrick’s Day Festival at the Hugh Lane Gallery. Narrated by esteemed broadcaster Donal Dineen, the doc is made up of a collection of poetic verses, imagery and personal memories from Dineen himself (who moved from Co. Kerry to Dublin in 1986).
Throughout the festival, if you then fancy sampling some of the delicious home-brewed beers Ireland has to offer, be sure to head along to Irish Craft Beer & Food Market, which will run daily in the CHQ building at the IFSC. Here, you’ll be able to sample craft beers, Irish whiskey, and delicious artisan foods. Entry is generally free, but a very reasonable €5 on Saturday, Sunday, and after 6pm on Thursday and Friday.
That’s just a taster of what’s planned for the weekend. Check out the full timetable of events at http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/