A week of real, live events: Gigs in Kilmainham, walkabout theatre and lots more

And online, you can watch Chris O'Dowd, Mary Lou McDonald and the McCartneys

Summer Nights festival
Monday, June 28th, to Thursday, July 1st, €25-€50, irishtimes.com
On these long, hopefully hot summer nights, chat and craic will be high on the agenda, and what better way to while away the next few evenings than with The Irish Times' own Summer Nights festival. You know the formula by now: our finest journalists sit down for a chinwag with some of the world's most interesting people, and you get the full benefit of the insights, ideas and observations which will surely emerge.

Tonight, Jennifer O’Connell chats with Cahirsiveen CNN correspondent Donie O’Sullivan, whose coverage of the Capitol Hill riots made him a media star (6.30pm). Jennifer Bray and economist David McWilliams will discuss how to fix that pesky housing crisis (7.30pm), and Patrick Freyne will chat with (Ros)common man Chris O’Dowd about being a Hollywood star, a dad and part of the IT Crowd. The rest of the week is equally star-studded, with Elif Shafak, Chris De Burgh, Linda Djougang, Maureen Dowd, Gordon Brown, Mona Eltahawy, Mary Lou McDonald, Jo Spain and Roddy Doyle all lined up to make your summer evenings sparkle with wit and wisdom.

Caimin Gilmore and Kate Ellis: We Used to Play Here
Doonmore Hotel, Inisbofin, Co Galway, Monday, June 28th, various times from 2pm, €12, tickettailor.com; Thursday July 1st, Round Tower Church, Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, various times from 3pm, €12; Carrickmacross Civic Offices, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, Friday, July 2nd, various times from 3pm, €12, patrickkavanaghcentre.com
When you can't bring the audience to the venue, then you just have to bring the venue to the audience. Double-bassist Gilmore and cellist Ellis are on a tour of the country, and they're bringing an architecturally designed pop-up venue along with them. The space is specially built for a safe, socially distance concert experience for up to six people, and the tireless duo will be playing a number of gigs throughout each day to maximise the musical joy.

In Conversation with Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney
Tuesday, June 29th, 6.30pm, £15-£32, fane.co.uk
As he approaches his 80th birthday, Macca is not showing any signs of stopping. Maybe it's his healthy diet, inspired by his late wife Linda McCartney. In this exclusive live-streamed event, the ex-Beatle is joined by his daughters, film-maker and food writer Mary, and fashion designer Stella, to celebrate the launch of Linda McCartney's Family Kitchen, a collection of reimagined classic plant-based recipes that have kept the McCartney household hale and hearty.


Dogs of War
St Stephen's Green Yeats Memorial Arena, Dublin, Wednesday, June 30th, to Saturday, July 3rd, and Wednesday, July 7th, to Saturday, July 10th, 1pm and 3pm, €15 (seated performance), bewleyscafetheatre.com
We can't sit in Bewley's sipping tea while watching lunchtime theatre, so the clattery cafe is taking the drama outside with its new Walkabout series of outdoor performances for a select hardy audience. The second in the series, Dogs of War takes place at the Yeats Memorial in Stephen's Green, and tells the story of Judy (Clodagh Mooney-Duggan), who sets up an elite dog-walking agency after being ousted from her big corporate job. But it's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and she's going to need dogged determination etc…

Gavin James at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham
RHK, Dublin, Saturday July 3rd, 3pm, ticketmaster.ie
We all love a good musical feud – Blur v Oasis, Biggie v Tupac, Kanye West v reality – but this could shape up to be a famous Irish barney: Gavin James v James Vincent McMorrow. Earlier this month, McMorrow performed a pilot live gig at the Iveagh Gardens in front of a socially distanced audience of 500. Now, fellow Dub James is headlining this pilot music festival at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, with an expected audience of 3,500. Take that, McMorrow! James will be joined by an array of Irish talent – Lyra, Denise Chaila, Wild Youth, Sharon Shannon and Wyvern Lingo – for Ireland's first music fest since the pandemic. Tickets will be sold in pods of six to maintain social distancing and there will be all sorts of safety protocols in place at the RHK – so just enjoy yourself.

Clonmel Junction Arts Festival
July 3rd to July 11th, junctionfestival.com
The pandemic has spurred much navel-gazing, but also a lot of reflection as people look at their lives from a very different perspective. This year's CJAF is in a similarly reflective mode, as it explores the musical identity of Clonmel, beginning with a livestreamed concert from the Junction Dome by local heroes Royseven, fronted by charismatic Clonmel native Paul Walsh (Saturday July 3rd, 8.30pm, free). Pat Kinevane will perform his acclaimed play Before, set in Clerys department store on the day before it shuts for good (Sunday July 4th, 8pm, €15). CJAF is not restricted to online, however, there are plenty of outdoor audio, visual and interactive events, including People, an audio play that takes you on a nostalgic tour around Clonmel – even if you're not from here, you'll feel like you've lived here all your life.

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival
July 3rd to July 11th, cairdefestival.com
As we begin to emerge blinking from this bloody pandemic, organisers of cultural events will be focusing on getting the live/online blend just right. Cairde Sligo Arts Festival's 2021 programme neatly balances virtual events with carefully curated live events designed to be enjoyed safely by an audience that is actually there. On the first day, the festival features the heavenly voices of Landless, performing traditional songs from Irish, Scottish, English and American folklore (Saturday, 8pm, €5/€10). There's also a weird trip to the shops via Far In Far Out, in which local artists take over empty shop units in Sligo and create visual portals into our imagined future (July 3rd to July 17th, Sligo town, free). And Blue Raincoat Theatre Company present an online performance of JM Synge's macabre comedy In the Shadow of the Glen (Sunday, 8pm, €10).