Event of the week
Saturday, June 10th, Slane Castle, Co Meath; 2pm; €97.10/€124/€163 (sold out); ticketmaster.ie
Harry’s House is what Slane Castle will be for one day, and why ever not – Harry Styles is the male pop star du jour, a contemporary blend of sex on legs, political/gender advocate, altruist, philanthropist, tabloid commodity and all-round nice guy. He is also, of course, a multi-gazillion-selling, musically fluid artist and one of the few acts to sell out Slane with fewer than four albums to their name. In other words, with a mere three albums (all of which have been hugely successful in terms of physical copies sold and online streams), Styles is nowhere close to being what this venue usually delivers: a heritage act. As if to emphasise this even further, the lean support line-up features Wet Leg and Inhaler.
Beyond the Pale
Friday, June 16th-Sunday, June 18th, Glendalough Estate, Co Wicklow; 1pm; €245/€215/€195 (sold out); €99.50 (Sunday only); itsbeyondthepale.ie
Coming up behind Body & Soul in the multi-stranded arts/music category is newbie Beyond the Pale, which is in surely one of the most beautiful areas of Ireland. Factor in a great music line-up (including Grace Jones, Jon Hopkins, Hot Chip, and Irish acts such as Pillow Queens, For Those I Love, Saint Sister, Le Boom, Bricknasty and Tolu Makay) and equally good arts, culture, food, and family-friendly events, and you have a blast ahead of you.
Body & Soul
Friday, June 16th-Sunday, June 18th, Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath; 1pm; €239 (weekend); ticketmaster.ie/bodyandsoul.ie
Once again, the creative minds that curate distinct experiences that engage with music, culture, wellbeing, community and the arts pull those metaphorical rabbits out of the hat. The outcome is a weekend of multi-stranded events that include workshops, therapies, gastronomy, spoken word, interviews, comedy, cabaret and music, music, music. That last gathering is impressive, including Moderat, Alison Goldfrapp, Beth Orton and Gwenno. Irish music is very well represented, with The Murder Capital, Kneecap, Denise Chaila, Kojaque, Gemma Dunleavy and Aoife Nessa Francis (and loads more). Anything else? Keep an ear out for the Hennessy Hip-Hop House, which celebrates 50 years of the art form with a bespoke line-up brought together by Arveene Juthan and Stevie G.
Galway Folk Festival
Tuesday, June 13th-Sunday, June 18th, Monroe’s, Galway city; various venues/times/prices; galwayfolkfestival.com
Last year’s inaugural Galway Folk Festival was so successful that it has returned bigger, better and more assured. The lead-up shows to its weekend offerings are top drawer and include Steve Earle (Tuesday, June 13th, Black Box Theatre), Teenage Fanclub (Wednesday, June 14th, Monroe’s), and Inhaler (Thursday, June 15th, Monroe’s). Next weekend’s gigs include The Whileaways (Friday, June 16th, Monroe’s), Kíla (Saturday, June 17th, Monroe’s) and Séan Keane (Sunday, June 18th, Monroe’s). The In Conversation strand includes Culture Vultures (Saturday/Sunday, 4pm-6pm), which will feature music from and interviews with a selection of the weekend’s artists.
Dalkey Book Festival
Thursday, June 15th-Sunday, June 18th, Dalkey, Co Dublin; various venues/prices/times; dalkeybookfestival.org
Ah, c’mon – Richard Ford, Tom Hanks, half of U2 (Bono, The Edge), Brian Cox (the scientist, not the actor), Masha Gessen, Ruby Wax, David Brooks, John Banville, Liz Nugent, Roddy Doyle and more besides? The Dalkey Book Festival is one of a kind and how on earth they get marquee names for such an intimate festival is a welcome puzzle, but get them they do. Highlights include Tom Hanks (Dalkey Church, Friday, June 16th), Bono and Fintan O’Toole in conversation (Dalkey Church, Sunday, June 18th), Brian Cox and The Edge in conversation (Seafront Marquee, Sunday, June 18th), and Richard Ford in conversation (Town Hall, Sunday, June 18th).
Cork Midsummer Festival
Wednesday, June 14th-Sunday, June 25th; various venues/prices/times; corkmidsummer.com
Cork’s multidisciplinary festival features a broad range of arts events for all ages, be it Siobhán McSweeney in a production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, neoclassical (London’s 12 Ensemble performing Max Richter’s recalibration of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons), visual art (Tamsin Snow’s installation piece, Relic) and performance (A Handful of Dreams, an outdoor aerial/circus event with live traditional music).
The Asylum Workshop
From Wednesday, June 14th-Saturday, June 24th, Black Box Theatre, East Quad, TU Dublin, Grangegorman, Dublin; 7.30pm (Saturday matinees, 2pm); €20/€15; eventbrite.ie
This documentary drama by playwright Colin Murphy (written in union with the final-year students of the BA in drama performance at TU Dublin) draws on the archives of the former Grangegorman asylum institution, which for almost 200 years was removed from public scrutiny. This 11-performance revival of the play features TU Dublin Conservatoire former students making their debuts as professional actors.
Jonathan Van Ness
Saturday, June 10th, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin; 7.30pm; €59.80/€49/€39; ticketmaster.ie
If comedy with a side order of confession, pathos and hairstyle tips is your thing, then Jonathan Van Ness is the destination. Ness’s backstory is amazing: bullied at school for his natural, none-more-gay glitziness, he subsequently experienced drug addiction and sex work, before going on to forge a multi-hyphenate career: hairstylist, creator of web series Gay of Thrones, a key component of Netflix’s Queer Eye, author and essayist (his latest book is Love that Story: Observations from a Gorgeously Queer Life). It’s all here – relish it.
Louth Contemporary Music Society’s Midsummer Festival
Friday, June 16th/Saturday, June 17th; Dundalk, Co Louth; various venues/prices; louthcms.org
With an established track record from its conception in 2006, the LCMS has excelled. This year’s festival continues in a similar vein, with the Irish debut of US composer Caroline Shaw, and a feast of traditional music featuring Zoë Conway, Dónal Lunny and Paddy Glackin.