Bruce Springsteen performs on stage during The River Tour at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain this week. Photo:  EPA/JP Gandul

From chance encounters in speedos and chats about Stillorgan bowling to playing support to the E Street Band, some of the Boss’s (...)

RCSI president Declan Magee (right) , takes a close look at the sculpture “Random Access Memory V” by Remco de Fouw (centre) winner of the 2016 RCSI Art Award, with RHA president Mick O’Dea, at the presentation in the Royal Hibernian Academy. Photograph: Eric Luke

Remco de Fouw wins €5,000 and €10,000 commission for ‘Random Access Memory V’

Award winning artist Katie Paterson: Previous projects include mapping all the Universe’s dead stars, compiling a slide archive of the history of darkness across the ages and sending a re-cast meteorite back into space. (Photo by David M Benett/Getty Images)

An intriguing literary project by visual artist Katie Paterson called Future Library is putting novelists’ work in storage for a c(...)

Game Of Thrones: Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. Photograph:  HBO Enterprises

In this compelling and superlative drama, the audience watches a ghastly truth emerge

The artist Hugh O’Donoghue  in front of an epic new painting The Wasteland (8ft x 24ft), which features in a major new exhibition of work commissioned by the Galway International Arts Festival. Photograph: Colin Crisford

Suede, a new work inspired by Eileen Gray and US model Cameron Russell are also on the July arts festival bill

Simon Fujiwara’s  The Humanizer, which is at the Irish Museum of Modern Art until August 28th.  Photograph: Ruth Medjber/Ruthless Imagery

We discuss Simon Fujiwara’s Imma installation The Humanizer, here about perhaps the biggest game-to-film adaptation to date, and d(...)

Heather Humphreys at the Dáil in April.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Move comes after changes to the department viewed as a demotion by the sector

Inisheer is one of several islands hosting cultural happenings this summer. Photograph: Chris Hill

The Drop Everything cultural biennial will soon take over Inisheer with art, music, and a specially built sauna

Nicky Byrne signs for Ireland with Sunlight during the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Patrick Freyne argues we have only ourselves to blame for Nicky Byrne’s early bath in Stockholm

 Minister for Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht: Heather Humphreys  with President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny after receiving her seal of office. Photograph:  Colin Keegan, Collins

More than 5,000 sign online petition protesting new ministerial brief

Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans from Yacht

This week’s faking of an act of revenge porn by the Portland band ranks as one of the most ill-conceived music PR stunts ever

 Thom Yorke of Radiohead performs at the Barclays Center in New York, the US. File photograph: Chad Batka/The New York Times

The Oxford band’s first album in five years is out now. Here’s our initial impressions

Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Varys (Conleth Hill) go on a wander round Braavos

Opener failed to live up to hype but was busy laying foundations for season to come

Struck blind: Will Arya (Maisie Williams)  still be able to read that death list? Photograph: HBO

The wildly popular fantasy series returns on Monday. Here’s the story so far

Laurence Mackin after completing his Swim for a Mile challenge: ‘Fitness is all well and good (and my word will you feel good after that mile is done). But it’s technique more than anything that will have you flying over that finish line in fine time. Photograph: Courtesy of Swim Ireland

They took on the challenge and they swam for a mile. Find out how two of The Irish Times team got on . . .

A design by Tado studio, inspired by London

Retain creative control and don’t be afraid of the dark: these were among the nuggets of wisdom at the annual design conference

‘You build up a visual language that people can use’: The  design fonts and features that accompany David Bowie's final album Blackstar

“We talked about black stars as a force that drives you out and drags you back in” - Designer Jonathan Barnbrook on the mysteries(...)

Jack Garratt: part of the new breed of musicians willing to go it alone live, with technology as their bandmate

Even big name acts are replacing musicians with technology and players with samples and software. Where is there left for live mus(...)

Coach Peter Conway  reckons once you find your perfect pace, you can swim all day. Photograph: Getty Images

It’s almost race day for our ‘Swim for a Mile’ challengers . . . and they are feeling a little nervous, but ready

Lisa Dwan on stage at the NCH. Photograph: Frances Marshall

The NCH’s centenary celebrations continue with a night of high calibre one-off performances

A screengrab of the video demonstrating Microsoft’s holoportation technology. The girl and toys in the centre are holographic projections

Microsoft’s has released details of its new Holoportation tech which aims to capture the 3D home music market

Soft-Kin  by Richard Gorman, which has been shortlisted for the inaugural RCSI Art Award. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Five artworks selected from 186th Annual Exhibition for new award

Orna Mulcahy: talks too much to avoid swimming too much. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Pretend there’s an eye in each hip and it wants look up’. I do. It works . . . a bit’

Missing home? Not feeling your Irishness? Here come Luke Kelly, Christy Moore and The Blades to the rescue

Singer Grimes aka Claire Boucher performing in Germany last month. Photograph: Stefan Hoederath/Redferns

The Canadian singer’s set crackled with energy and invention, until technical faults brought the show down

The winners at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 2015 in The National Concert Hall, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The event also featured video tributes to Waking the Feminists and the year in theatre

Returning champions: James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem

This year’s line-up reveals a strong mix of old-school and new

Interskalatic members Tim Higgins, Shane Clear, Kevin Foran, Alison Reynolds and Mason McMinnville at the Electric Picnic launch in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Other acts include LCD Soundsystem, New Order and The Chemical Brothers

Musician James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem performs at   Coachella in 2010. He’s coming back to Stradbally and this time he’s bringing the band with him. Photograph: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Lana Del Rey, New Order, Haim, Jack Garratt and Super Furry Animals also make the September bill

Preparations continue in the red carpet arrivals area for the 88th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Here are the Oscar basics: when is it on; where can I see it; and what are our Irish odds

Anything but Sky News: big screens in public spaces are the perfect opportunity to promote cultural offerings

We need to replace rolling Sky News in public places with magical, unexpected moments

Irish Times swimmer Laurence Mackin is (slowly) getting closer to the one-mile goal.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘The trick is to note the lack of air without getting into a blind panic’

Aspiring authors with a book burning a hole in their desk drawer might want to take note of this latest literary event

Yannis Philippakis of Foals at the  3Arena in  Dublin. Photograph: Ruth Medjber

The Oxford band’s latest development sees them turning into heavyweight musical contenders

 Lynn Ruane, president of Trinity College Students’ Union. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Lynn Ruane joins the show to discuss Trinity’s consent workshops, and we look at RTÉ’s hunt for a new boss

RHA president Mick O’Dea, Prof Cathal Kelly, chief executive/registrar RCSI, Kevin O’Sullivan, editor of The Irish Times and Declan Magee, president of the RCSI announcing details of the new award. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Prize funded by Royal College of Surgeons, Royal Hibernian Academy and ‘Irish Times’

Massive Attack have released Ritual Spirit, ahead of two further planned releases of new music this year

The Bristol trip hop kings have played to their musical strengths and released a stunning EP in Ritual Spirit, with fans at the Ol(...)

Gaz Coombes at Other Voices in December 2015. Photograph: Rich Gilligan

The live music series recorded in deepest Dingle returns to RTE on Saturday

Anne Clarke on the set of Once the Musical in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin in 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Landmark founder recognised for her outstanding contribution to the industry

 Irish Times swimmer Laurence Mackin’s tip: Head down and look down your front at your swimming togs. This will immediately streamline your body and you will instantly feel the movement easier in the water. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Trying to teach a 35-year-old (stroppy) dog a new trick is never going to be easy

From left, Caitríona O’Reilly, Medbh McGuckian, John F Deane, Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Four women and one man will vie for this year’s €2,000 best Irish collection prize

The Gloaming (Iarla Ó Lionáird, Martin Hayes, Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh and Dennis Cahill) were last year’s winners of the Choice Music Prize

Girl Band, Villagers and Róisín Murphy among the shortlist for the Irish album of the year prize

Arts Council chair Sheila Pratschke says its latest strategy will focus “on the artist and public engagement”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Arts organisations see funding mostly held steady, with an increase for writing bursaries and a new scheme for local authorities (...)

Rebellion: Ruth Bradley as Frances who plays the part of a teacher at St Enda’s

Dramatic impetus character driven while Rising’s familiar protagonists on sidelines

So long Don Draper, and thanks for all the fibs

We take a look back at the best audio bits from our podcast this year, from the strange to the sublime

Partying with your friends is all well and good but some prefer the simple comforts of a giant sofa and the embrace of a warm scre(...)

Panti Bliss. The Queen of Ireland. Rory O'Neill. Directed by Conor Horgan

Despite complaints about collaborative art, there have been great examples this year

Tanya Sweeney meets a villager in Malawi. So far about 10,000 women have started saving-and-loan schemes in the country, which work in the same way as credit unions. Photograph: Concern

The Stem subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – are meant to drive our economy into the future. But as Other Voic(...)

You have until midnight on Sunday to pick the best bits, and we’ll print the results in order of merit in next week’s The Ticket

Mahalia performing at the Other Voices music festival in Dingle in Co Kerry

Star turn comes from 17-year-old Mahalia who turns in an “astonishing” set

Eamonn Sinnott, head of Intel Ireland, is taking part in Ireland’s Edge, a new conference about arts and business at this year’s Other Voices festival.  Photograph:  Julien Behal/Maxwells

Ireland’s Edge will bring business, political and creative leaders to Dingle as part of the annual music festival

The Abbey Theatre enjoyed its best profit since 2007 last year. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Play featuring ‘Love/Hate’ star Vaughan Lawlor described as ‘sell-out sensation’

All you need are two bats, one ball and a net, to unleash all that pent-up cabin fever that winter brings to family dynamics

It’s getting colder, darker, wintrier. Whether you favour active or stationary pursuits, these suggestions will get you through th(...)

Headphones in, hoody up: people’s behaviour is influenced by the way cities are designed. Photograph: E+/Getty

They’re doing nothing more sinister than trying to feel a bit more relaxed and safer in a place that feels built up against them (...)

 Lea Seydoux,   Daniel Craig and  Monica Bellucci pose on arrival for the world premiere of  ‘Spectre’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London on October 26th, 2015.  Photograph: LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

The marketing juggernaut that is the 007 franchise has swept all before it in the nation’s cinemas this weekend

What would  William Shakespeare have made of modern pop? Erik Didriksen has a few suggestions. Photograph:  Getty Images

A new book recasts some of our favourite modern music in the style of Shakespeare: can you name these tracks or are you a flap-ear(...)

Department of Arts gets hike of 12%, but Arts Council is not happy with modest rise

“I want to ensure that the characters will seem to be singing in Dublin,” says Roddy Doyle of his new version of Don Giovanni. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Dublin Theatre Festival announces one of next year’s highlights as it takes a bow for 2015

Mark Palmer and Thisispopbaby create a rock and roll journey through Matthew’s passion

Laurence Kinlan, Kate Stanley-Brennan and Adrian Dunbar in The Night Alive by Conor McPherson. Photograph: Chris Heaney

Among this year's highlights is the Irish premiere of ‘The Night Alive’ by Conor McPherson in the Gaiety

Don’t play, Misty, for me: Lou Reed attending his photo exhibition at Frank Landau Gallery on November 3, 2012 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images)

First, Ryan Adams reinterprets Taylor Swift’s 1989. Then Fr John Misty reinterprets Adams. Then Lou Reed weighs in from beyond th(...)

Festival clubs: When budgets are tight it’s understandable to be reluctant to spend money on what some might   see as little more than  another drinking den

The festival club is ‘where everyone wants to be and wants to talk about their shows and their dreams for next year’

Culture Night comes to over 1,500 venues around the country on Friday - pictured are Jenni Barkley, Communications and Corporate Responsibility Manager, and Soup Dejour in Belfast. Photograph: Press Eye

3,000 free events taking place across the country in more than 1,500 venues

Scotch and Soda, by Australia’s Company 2

A blend of physical prowess, humour, trapeze and tease in the Spiegeltent

The Walls Have Ears

Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger gives the most virtuosic performance

‘A female dancer crawls out, creature-like, from the shadows’

An ambitious achievement from new dance collective Loosysmokes

Into the music: Van Morrison on stage  in 1973.  Photograph: Ed Caraeff/Getty Images

Influenial, inscrutible Van Morrison gives his most comprehensive interview ever

RM Hubbert: his other main asset – and here X Factor wannabes will break down in jealous tears – is his lacerating wit

RM Hubbert’s music comes from the sort of tragedy that would have an ‘X Factor’ contestant slack-jawed with envy

Artist Mick O’Dea paints a portrait of the American poet Robert Pinsky in his temporary studio in James Stephens Barracks Kilkenny as part of Kilkenny Arts Festival. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

List of speakers included a mixture of locals and walk-ins, festival artists and crew

The Beatyard festival in Dún Laoghaire, August 1st. Photograph:

Dún Laoghaire’s former ferry terminal transformed into excellent small festival

Electric performance: Olwen Fouéré makes Samuel Beckett’s piece open up like a well-cracked nut. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

TheEmergencyRoom’s production is about the Turing test . . . isn’t it?

Philip King at the launch of Other Voices Stage at Electric Picnic 2014. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Staves, East India Youth and Stornoway are all heading to Stradbally

Emily Aoibheann from  aerial performance company Dying Breeds rehearsing in St Anthony’s Hall Church in Clontarf for  their new show Object Piggy. Emily helped launch the 21st edition of Tiger Dublin Fringe which runs  from September 7th -20th. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

Comedy, aerial acrobatics and theatre part of festival which runs from September 7th-20th

Conor McPherson, director and playwright  in New York in 2013. Photograph: Sara Krulwich/New York Times

The festival has shunned an obvious theme in favour of reaching a wider audience

The Abbey Theatre in Dublin has appointed Neil Murray and Graham McLaren as directors of the theatre. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Pair to take over from Fiach MacConghail in joint capacity in 2016

Festivalgoers  at  Longitude in Marlay Park, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Hometown heroes Le Galaxie impress while Alt-J are a bit too chilled out for a headliner

Lee Flynn and Leah Erwin from Clare enjoying the Longitude Music festival at Marlay Park. Photograph: Alan Betson

Young Fathers put in a shout for best set of the festival so far, while Hozier gets the live firepower he needs. Plus, highlights (...)

Hozier playing Longitude Festival in Marlay Park, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Main stage shifts to west, making arena feel bigger and letting crowd soak up setting sun

Bill Laurance (centre)

The Becks Rhythm Series kicks off tonight in Dublin’s Sugar Club band brings together some cutting-edge jazz players. Here, keyboa(...)

Taylor Swift: a  master at making her fans feel involved

There are few chinks in the live armour of pop’s most potent superpower, and this is a glittery, glorious riot of a show

Zoe Readmond and Claire Lynch from Dublin enjoying the Body & Soul festival in Co Westmeath.  Photograph: Allen Kiely.

Brand Brauer Frick’s electro-jazz set is a highlight of boutique festival

Adam King from Terenure Dublin  at the Body and Soul festival, which takes place in Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath this weekend. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Flight Facilities, Clark, Sohn, Goat, Austra and Asgeir just a few of the highlights as the event flies into form

The perfect stopping-off point en route to climb the lighthouse over Clare’s spectacular cliffs

The Dublin Dance Festival is pirouetting its way around Dublin so here are some restaurants with menus that are healthy enough to (...)

 Bryce Dessner has curated  a new festival for Cork. Photograph:  Rob Ball/Redferns via Getty Images

Sounds from a Safe Harbour, which Dessner has curated, takes place in September

 Flying Lotus performing inside his cultish cube of music. Photograph: Karl Walter/Getty Images

Steven Ellison set out new musical territory with his new album, and he’s got a live show that’s every bit as ambitious

Melisandre adds a much needed dose of religious fanaticism to a plot already boiling over with  frothing blood lust.

Political powerplays, slick swordplay, plenty of sex and one mean dragon lady

Art and politics: Sean Scully. Photograph courtsey of Sean Scully Studio, New York

The Irish-born artist doesn’t do creative block. Nor, as Beijing hosts a retrospective of his work, does he have time for westerne(...)

In 1985, Paul Simon broke the cultural boycott of Apartheid-era South Africa to make Gracelands, much to the anger of many, including Steve Van Zandt.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

600 artists are boycotting Israel; Sean Scully is showing in China - is art ever apolitical?

 Stephen Rea  and Sean McGinley  take a  bow after performing in Ages of the Moon in New York in 2010. Photograph: Ben Hider/Getty Images

Award is part of the celebrations at this year’s Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards

Halpin hand: Katy Perry at Super Bowl XLIX. Photograph: Christopher Polk/Getty

Baz Halpin is the creative director behind some of the world’s biggest tours, and his last job was on Katy Perry’s Super Bowl spec(...)

Bands were to be given slots on Killarney Festival of Food & Music’s Actbacker stage according to how many tickets each act sold

The promoters said they had created a ‘platform to promote new acts’. As the bands had to sell most of the tickets personally, it’(...)

Anne Enright has been named the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction.  She was awarded the honour by the Arts Council at a ceremony in Dublin and will begin her three-year term this month.

Booker prizewinner was ‘unanimous choice’ of the international panel for the €50,000 per year position

Sinead Cambell-Wallace in Alcina by the Opera Theatre Company which got a rise in funds from €640,000 to €680,000 for 2015. Photograph: Kip Carroll

Abbey Theatre allocated €6.2 million, a decrease of €300,000 on last year

'Hamlet' grabbed its audience by the throat and refused to let go

Ian Rankin is asking the questions; Marty Whelan is declaiming poetry; so what happens when Van eventually gets round to some musi(...)

Minister for the Arts Heather Humphreys: “The arts must benefit as the economy continues to improve.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/Irish Times

Heather Humphreys says the money will be used by cultural groups countrywide next year

Floating Points: ‘I open Spotify just to make sure my new stuff isn’t on there’

When he’s not studying pain in the brain, music obsessive Sam Shepherd is making and discovering exciting, disparate sounds

Tokyo skyline during the Red Bull Music Academy 2014 event

At this year’s Red Bull Music Academy, music’s cutting edge was honed by the best in the business in a glittering mix of recording(...)

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