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(...)

Jah Shaka performing in Spiegeltent Antwerp in  2010. Photograph: Anviss/Flickr  Photograph: Anviss/Flickr

How the message of peace, love and reggae transformed the London cultural landscape

. . . although occasionally you do have the excuse of meeting a writer to tempt you out of the building’ - Laurence Mackin, arts (...)

Greg Wilson (left) at a previous RBMA event

Music nerd alert: ahead of Belfast’s RBMA Weekender, which starts today, we asked two of its stars about their favourite tracks, s(...)

John Doran wants you to join a cult: what have you got to lose?

Don’t forget to take a breath before plunging into Phelim Drew’s Orwell adaptation

Bono and  U2 perform during an Apple event yesterday, during which the company announced it  was giving the band’s new album free to iTunes users. Photograph: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

An album with typically sumptuous production, shot through with sounds that could only come from one band; but initially this one (...)

Review: Advocacy

This documentary-style piece sets itself the formidable task of exploring disability service provision in Ireland

The spectacular opening show of the Tiger Dublin Fringe reimagined Dublin’s newest bridge as an ancient instrument

Electric Picnic 2014: see you up the front. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Expect that FKA twigs tent to be packed on Saturday evening, while White Denim should offer good value for money

A construction worker putting together the stages for this weekend’s Electric  Picnic 2014 in Stradbally, Co Laois. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Le Galaxie headline Saturday night, with The Minutes and Kelis top of the Sunday bill

Cathy Davey performing on the media day for Electric Picnic 2014.Picture: Alf Harvey/

Line-up includes Beck, Portishead, Outkast, Chic and Pet Shop Boys, with weather set to improve as weekend progresses

SBTRKT on stage at the Electric Picnic.  Photograph: Dave Meehan

James Murphy gets a two-hour solo run on Friday, while SBTRKT and Mogwai lead the Electric Arena charge

The Electric Picnic is starting to take shape.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Pet Shop Boys headline Friday, Chic pip Portishead to the top Saturday night spot, and you’ll have to stick around to the bitter e(...)

 Martina Topley-Bird performs with Massive Attacks. Photograph:  EPA/Jean-Christophe Bott

James Vincent McMorrow makes a welcome return home, but no one is overshadowing Massive Attack

Haim perform on the Main Stage at Longitude Fesitval at Marley Park. Photograph: Allen Kiely.

Haim electrify Marlay main stage and Disclosure easily live up to headline billing

George Ezra was among the highlights at the first day of the Longitude Festival in Marlay Park, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

Elliphant, I Am The Cosmos, John Talabot and Parquet Courts among day one performers

Alistair Spalding: ‘I hardly ever go to America to see work; we take work there but there isn’t a flourishing of dance.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Alistair Spalding talks turning Sadler’s Wells theatre into a powerhouse of contemporary dance

Heather Humphreys (right) has been named as Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht during her first term in the Dáil. Photograph: Merrion Street/Government Information Service.

Fact department avoided elimination a saving grace as piano-playing Humphreys takes role

Cillian and  Aisling Crosson (both from Louth); Chloe Commins (from Dublin) and Siobhan McGuire (from Galway) at the Body & Soul festival at at Ballinalough Castle, Co Westmeath. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Rejuvenating power of Shabazz Palaces, East India Youth and Caribou felt by festival goers

 Slow Magic performs at the Body and Soul festival at Ballinlough Castle, Clonmellon, Co Westmeath. Photograph: Allen Kiely

John Grant, Gary Numan, Goldfrapp and Jon Hopkins delight festival crowd

 Gary Numan: one of the headline acts appearing on the summer solstice.  Photograph:   Simone Joyner/Getty Images

Weekend tickets now sold out but some tickets still left for Sunday

Shara Worden, aka My Brightest Diamond, who will be taking part in this year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival, which begins on August 8th

The Gloaming one of many artists in residence in Marble City

Despacio soundsystem: it’s got Dolby noise reduction and everything

James Murphy is bringing his Despacio to Glasto: what’s the best sound you’ve ever heard at a festival?

Date night: Alison Goldfrapp called, she said she’d see you at the Body and Soul stage at 11pm. Photograph: Alan Betson

Goldfrapp, Caribou and Darkside among names on summer solstice festival schedule

‘No one had wanted to give the book a chance.’ Eimear McBride at Malahide Castle. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Eimear McBride’s debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, took 10 years to get published, in which time she felt she had failed(...)

Icelandic musician Silla

The beauty of the biennial Drop Everything is its location on an Aran Island that hums with possibility

Street spectacle show “Dragonus” by Compagnie Malabar from France will take to the streets of Galway with a monumental moving dragon   during Galway International Arts Festival

Galway International Arts Festival announces programme for July event

Pascal Fellonneau is a French photographer, born in 1969. Since the beginning of the French presidential campaign in 2012, he has been documenting election posters in Paris, capturing the aftermath of what happens to these symbols of power and achievement. torn, covered in graffiti, peeling away from the elements and humorously defaced.

Blow magazine celebrates the best in international photography - here’s a sample of what it has to offer

A beautiful and bewildering set of music, from an artist whose voice is in startling form

Paul Simon in concert at the O2 in Dublin in 2012. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Singer joins the stellar line-up at One City, One Book concert

As the music series returns to our screens this weekend, here are a few highlights from Hozier and The Gloaming


Learn from your family, don’t be precious, live in a world of your own, and doughnuts are good for keeping contacts sweet: just so(...)

Booming and colourful downtown LA. Photographs: Getty Images and Laurence Mackin

Los Angeles, formerly lacking soul, has reinvented itself as a city with a heart

A fine showcase show from a band that’s still finding its feet

'Those Happy Years', a turbulent tale from 1970s Italy directed by Daniele Luchetti, shows at Cineworld on Wednesday at 6pm

Fancy full immersion in the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival? We have your lunch ticket

Get the cake in the IFI. Grab a snooze between screenings. And don’t try to pronounce fancy foreign film directors’ names

An Interior Ministry member detains a gay rights activist attempting to hold a protest rally in Red Square near the Kremlin in central Moscow on Friday, shortly before Vladimir Putin opened the Sochi Winter Olympics. Photograph: Yevgeny Feldman/Russia

Occupy Your Mind is inspired by Sochi’s only gay club

The Screen’s   distinctive neon sign, which was a  familiar part of the city’s landscape before its removal.  Photograph: Frank Miller

Dublin City Council to investigate why landmark neon sign removed without notice

Pat Moylan, outgoing chair of the Arts Council, in the council’s offices on Dublin’s Merrion Square. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Having finished as chair of the Arts Council after five years, Moylan answers criticism of the funding process, says the council h(...)

‘We delivered’: Karl Wallace at Siama Tire in Tralee, of which he was director from 2008 to 2013. Photograph:  Eamonn Keogh/MacMonagle

The artistic director whose resignation sparked the Limerick City of Culture controversy explains his reasons for leaving the tro(...)

Minister for the Arts Jimmy Deenihan was keen to emphasise his role in awarding Limerick its City of Culture status, yet admitted that his knowledge of what was happening was essentially limited to what he “read in the paper”. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Limerick debacle will be used as a stick to beat the culture sector

A new documentary celebrates trad supergroup the Gloaming – here’s an exclusive first look

Choice voices: Hozier at an acoustic session. Photograph: Rich Gilligan

On paper Other Voices is a music festival, but when its series of concerts in a tiny Dingle church mixes with the buzz and banter (...)

Agnes Obel: the kind of performer Other Voices was built for

The Dingle festival saved its best till last, when John Grant broke the whole church’s hearts

Hozier performing in Dingle .  Photograph: Rich Gilligan

Lulu James whips out powerful soul grooves while Wilis Earl Beal is in opaque form at Dingle music event

Prepare to get up close and personal with John Grant

We’ve got a pair of tickets to Sunday’s concert, and a video selection from the festival’s archives

Anna Calvi on stage in St James’s Church, Dingle, Co Kerry for Other Voices 2010

Ahead of Other Voices 2013, here’s a few snapshots from the Dingle church’s archive, featuring The National, José González , Anna (...)

Niamh Boyce, ‘The Herbalist’. Winner of The Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

Winners at Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards include Niamh Boyce, Paul Howard, Louise Phillips and Michael Harding

Jón Birgisson’s ringing, unearthly vocal soars into the ether
Sigur Rós

Iceland’s unlikely stadium heroes build slowly towards a show of strength

John Grant at Airwaves: does full dramatic justice to his talents as a songwriter and performer. Photograph: Thyrza Ging

Explosive sets by John Hopkins and Villagers stand out at Iceland’s Airwaves

Montagues and Capulets: the Perm production of Romeo and Juliet

At the prestigious Tchaikovsky Perm State Ballet, a two-hour flight east of Moscow, in Russia, dancers are preparing to bring ‘Rom(...)

The engineer from Dundalk solved the problem of how to build the Sydney Opera House

 Multicultural Irish dancing troupe from the Bronx, New York preparing to perform at Áras an Uachtaráin. Culture Ireland, the agency responsible for promoting Irish arts abroad has had its budget cut by 20 per cent to €2.5 million. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Budget for Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht drops to €246 million

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has seen its overall budget cut by 7 per cent for 2014.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Improvements in film and TV tax relief are one of the few fiscal concessions

‘This Is Not My Voice Speaking’: There is plenty of joy to be had in the simple tactility of the process (whirr, click, thunk)

In this clever and diverting show, the only immediate tangible human input comes from the audience

Germinal: It is only in the frenetic final 20 minutes that the production’s intelligence fully reveals itself. Photograph: Alain Rico

Germinal sets out to build up a world in a black-box space in this razor-sharp production

‘Taramandal’ by Delhi’s Tadpole Repertory

Seven shows, seven restaurants, and seven options; here’s a week’s worth of suggestions and great nights out for this year’s festi(...)

The feeling you get from Circa is not of a group of performers going through a fixed set of routines. Instead, they are drawing on an enormous back catalogue of abilities, riffing through their complex choreography

Australian company Circa’s athletic theatre is humorous and dangerous

Waiting for Godot. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien

60 years on and we're still crazy about Waiting for Godot, Beckett’s most famous play

The 2013 Dublin Fringe Festival closed yesterday, with the announcement of this year’s award winners. And the winners are . . . (...)

As the Dublin Fringe Festival draws to a close here are 10 shows worth catching this weekend with tickets still available

Karen Greene dressed as the Earl of Bellamont from a painting by Joshua Reynolds (left) as paintings come to life in advance of tomorrow’s  Culture Night at the National Gallery of Ireland. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tomorrow, Culture Night will take over towns and cities across the country with a huge range of free events, so here’s a small sel(...)

The music and dance are the real charm at the heart of these small, tall tales

 Sinead O’Brien (left) dressed as a convent girl from a painting by William Leech (background) for “Paintings Come to Life” in advance of Culture Night tomorrow at the National Gallery of Ireland. The gallery, one of many cultural institutions involved,  will be free to enter and  open until 9.30pm. Photograph: Alan Betson

Hundreds of thousands expected to attend events around country

Clowning around America

A slapstick roadtrip in search of the American dream

Neil Watkins serves up a deliciously dark night of decadence and dinner

Christopher Marlowe’s death is pulled apart in this perplexing performance

David O’Doherty might be growing wearier of the world, but his comedy just keeps improving

What lies beneath

Genevieve Hulme-Beaman delivers a stand-out performance as a terrifying lady-in-waiting

Collapsing Horse present a pulp-fictive version of the future in this ambitious show

Camp crusaders

It’s raucous and chaotic, but this Second Coming falls short of its predecessor

This is old-school musical theatricality, performed with impeccable professionalism and control - but most enjoyable of all is witnessing the sublime, boundless joy that David Byrne and Annie Clark take from music-making. Photograph: Getty

For anyone who asks, this is the moment of the festival - the pinnacle of Electric Picnic 2013

Chill out time at Electric Picnic Festival, Stradbally Co.Laois.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Music with soul delviered with style and crafted passion

Björk on the main stage at Electric Picnic,  Stradbally Co Laois.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The

Cosmonaut tsarina dress did not overshadow icelandic singer

Ellie Goulding on the Main Stage at Electric Picnic. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES.

Even after a long summer, singer produces a quality set showing she’s at the top of her game

Fatboy Slim on the main stage at the Electric Picnic on Friday night. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

Norman Cook brought an Ibiza pool party feel to proceedings in Stradbally

Daithi at Body and Soul during the Electric Picnic Festival at Stadbally. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

It’s not long before the crowd is rolling to Irish music’s most exciting rising star

A Maser mural beside the Bernard Shaw pub on Dublin’s Richmond Street

A soon-to-be-published ‘Irish Times’ series will take a look at the most creative people in Ireland. We need your input

Harry Clifton, James Harpur, Dennis O’Driscoll, Catherine Phil MacCarthy and Mark Roper are all up for €2,500 prize

German electronic band Kraftwerk unleash their 3D show. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

The big guns came out to play on the last day of the festival, but there were a few gems to be discovered away from the headline s(...)

Villagers: A world-class act with a superb festival set

Local Natives delivered a superb set, after an instrumental dig out from Villagers who also gave them a run for their money in t(...)

Jessie Ware

Ireland’s newest festival got off to a scorcher

Bobby Womack performing at the Olympia in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Rumours of the singer’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

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