The ‘Irish Times’ guide to summer
There’s huge variety and energy in the events and activites you can enjoy around the country. Just don’t forget your culottes
March in summer: participating in the 2013 Gay Pride Parade in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson
Literary authenticity: Paul Kennedy dressed as James Joyce with over 150 Participants in the 20th annual Bloomsday bike rally. Photograph: Alan Betson
Rap party: Kanye West performs at the Point Theatre in 2006 in Dublin. Photograph: ShowBizIreland/Getty Images
The alfresco meal
BIZARRE BLOOMSDAY BRUNCH
Happenings, the organiser of pop-up events in Dublin and Limerick, is putting on a tea party – “more Mad Hatter than high society” – on North Great George’s Street in Dublin on Sunday, June 15th, from 1pm to 3pm. Cream buns, juices from the “apothecary”, music from the Gramophone Disco and a potato-themed sports day will all feature. See happenings.ie. For other Bloomsday capers, try the James Joyce Centre, also on North Great George’s Street, which has walks, talks and theatre from June 10th. See jamesjoyce.ie/bloomsday.
For one Sunday a month from June to October, parts of Dublin city centre will be pedestrianised for food, fashion and bric-a-brac markets. South William Street and its environs between Grafton Street and South Great George’s Street are set to be pedestrianised, and another market will be held at Wolfe Tone Park, on Jervis Street.
The TV show
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
One of the summer’s most anticipated small-screen events starts on Friday, when the second series of Orange Is the New Black arrives on Netflix. Built for binge watching, the entire season of the quirky prison comedy-drama will land at once – so if it’s raining outside, you know what to do.
The alternative nightlife
WALKING IN THE DARK
On August 16th a night-time walk of Northern Ireland’s highest peak, Slieve Donard, will take place in aid of the UK Multiple Sclerosis Society. The six-hour walk is led by qualified instructors. The registration fee is £10 for adults and £20 for families. Register at iti.ms/1wqvhfH. June 21st is the date of Walk the Line (walktheline.ie), another late-night outing, this time in the Wicklow Mountains, with funds going to the Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team.
For a challenging way to see the Ring of Kerry, try the Inner Ring 200, on August 3rd, which starts at Muckross Bridge and goes around the Iveragh Peninsula. See iti.ms/1tmhXEH. For a longer break, head north to Cycle Inishowen, which runs a selection of three-, five- and seven-night tours around the Donegal peninsula. See cycleinishowen.com.
A CERTAIN FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
There’s no point wringing our hands about Ireland not making it to the World Cup, in Brazil, as there are far better teams to watch than ours. On June 12th the tournament kicks off with a bit of a cracker as the home side take on Croatia. At least we can still collect the stickers.
The funny movie
THEY CAME TOGETHER
If you’re still pining after Bridesmaids in the quality-romantic-comedy stakes, then this romcom parody should fill some of that gap. Paul Rudd and the hilarious Amy Poehler star. It opens in late June in the US, with a European release to follow.
The serious movie
Even the trailer of Ken Loach’s latest film is a tear jerker, so get ready for another melancholic Irish epic. Set in Leitrim, it tells the story of Jimmy Gralton, who returns to 1930s Ireland from the US to take over a dance hall, the popularity of which leads to a schism in the community.
There is no escape from the fashion trend of the summer, as the naff elements of 1980s style continue to get a makeover.
KANYE WEST AND PHARRELL WILLIAMS
Biggest gig of the summer? Probably. On July 2nd, Marlay Park in Dublin will host two of the biggest stars in music. Both of them are on top form: Kanye West released a surprising experimental industrial rap record, Yeezus, last year, and Pharrell Williams has re-emerged as a chart behemoth. This should be awesome.
The alternative gig
THE NATIONAL AT IVEAGH GARDENS
The National will hit up the Dublin gardens – one of the nicest spots for a gig – for shows on July 18th and 19th. Choice support acts, too: the excellent Phosphorescent and Owen Pallett.
The high-brow gig
PROMS IN THE PARK
The full details of this July 24th open-air night in Limerick haven’t been confirmed yet, so check limerickcityofculture.ie for updates.
BIG GAY SING
Does what it says on the tin. On June 15th the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre hosts Gloria, Dublin’s lesbian and gay choir, and New York City Gay Men’s Chorus for a singalong evening of classic tunes from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and now. Warm your vocal cords for hollering along to Abba, Daft Punk and everything between, all in aid of marriage equality. Book at iti.ms/1nAmuUl.
GOING OFFLINE FOR HOLIDAYS
Expect Facebook silence from anyone wise enough to log off when they’re out of the country. A real holiday means a digital holiday too. We’re praying for this one to take off, if only so we don’t have to deal with constant beach-photo updates clogging our feeds.
Bored by overcomplicated twists on the classics? There are few cocktail bars you can trust to improve on originals, so it’s back to basics for summer tipples: Pimm’s, gin fizz, Long Island iced teas for sundowners, whiskey sours for later.
Lucius’s 1960s-style girl-band referencing sound is the perfect musical accompaniment to summertime activities. If in doubt, whack on the Haim album again.
Bored with anonymous (and expensive) hotels, poky bed and breakfasts, or thin-walled holiday apartments? You rarely hear bad reports from people who opt for an Air BnB (airbnb.com) peer-to-peer rental at home or abroad. Take the leap.
GET THE BOAT
There’s arguably no better way to experience Ireland than on water, be it a cruise down the Shannon, a trip out on a fishing boat or kayaking off the west coast. Leave the surfers to their arduous activity and float along instead.
The outdoor pursuit
Check out the Wakedock (wakedock.ie), at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin, for some strenuous boarding, head to Donegal for the Sea Sessions beach party (more from seasessions.com), or spend a weekend learning to surf in Lahinch, in Co Clare. You won’t regret it.
HIT THE ROOF
The Marker Hotel (above), on Grand Canal Square in Dublin, has set a new standard for rooftop tipples, but a new restaurant in the former Woollen Mills building, by the Hapenny Bridge, also has lofty plans: keep an eye out.
D-Light Studios, on North Great Clarence Street in Dublin, has launched Deflect, a monthly party for its members. You can sign up at d-lightstudios.com.
The urban event
NEW STREET GARDENS PROJECT
A disused site in Waterford city is being turned into an urban garden with more than 100 free events scheduled over the summer. Get involved by helping to fund the project at iti.ms/1nAqV1w.
Expect tens of thousands of people to flood the capital for Dublin Pride, which is on June 28th. The real action is at the street parties that spill out from Pantibar, on Capel Street, the Front Lounge, on Parliament Street, and Mother, on Copper Alley.
The pagan event
SUMMER SOLSTICE IN DONEGAL
Ring in the dawn at the Grianán of Aileach fort (above) in Burt, Inishowen. Apart from a beautiful sunrise – dependent on the weather, of course – there will be basket-making, falconry and demonstrations by blacksmiths. See feilegriananailigh.com for more details.
Get out to the art exhibition spread across Limerick City Gallery of Art, the Milk Plant, the Hunt Museum and Bourn Vincent Gallery, which runs until July 6th and is curated by Bassam El Baroni. See eva.ie.
The other exhibition
JACK B YEATS: THE MUSIC HAS COME
The Model, in Sligo, focuses on the influence of music in Yeats’s work, with pieces taken from Imma and the National Gallery of Ireland, along with work from private collections. This runs until the end of September and coincides with the Fleadh Cheoil coming to Sligo in August. See themodel.ie.
The chats of the summer will be about regretting not buying when things were rock bottom, two or three years ago, speculating on the urban bubble, raging about rising rents, bemoaning negative equity and, for anxious students, wondering where on earth they’re going to live come September.
Who’d have thought that a softly spoken guy called Andrew from Wicklow would end up being one of the hottest musical properties on the planet? But that’d only be if you hadn’t heard his music. After selling out a US tour and appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Hozier is much more than the man of the moment. Catch him live at Longitude in Dublin or Indiependence in Cork.
The news story
The Scottish referendum on independence comes at the end of the summer, in mid September, so expect lots of soul-searching debates from our neighbours.