Dublin to dazzle with New Year Festival frolics

Three-day festival of cultural events to take over city’s streets

A scene from Dublin’s  Countdown Concert at College Green last New Year’s Eve. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

A scene from Dublin’s Countdown Concert at College Green last New Year’s Eve. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times


There mightn’t be any fireworks, but plenty of other dazzling events are due to light up Dublin this New Year’s in place of pyrotechnics.

Tuesday, December 30th, marks the launch of New Year Festival (NYF) Dublin, a three-day series of events for those intent on squeezing as much fun as possible out of the remnants of 2014 before ringing in the new year.

Dubliners’ continual lamentations over a lack of festive revelry have finally been allayed within the last few years, and although it’ll be a while before we can rival Edinburgh’s lauded Hogmanay celebrations, the capital certainly seems to be heading in the right direction with its latest events line-up.

The Countdown Concert on New Year’s Eve featuring Kodaline and James Vincent McMorrow may be sold out, but the showpiece is preceded by an array of other activities perfect for families and foodies, as well as those who enjoy a good feast for the eyes.

The Love Dublin series will see a number of cultural sessions across the city from Wednesday, including guided tours, talks and pop-up performances as well as the dedicated NYF Spoken Word Festival.

It coincides with the start of the NYF Music Trail, which will feature bands, DJs and choirs at venues across the city centre, including a live show with electronic fourpiece Le Galaxie in Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square.

Both events run until the evening of December 31st.

Gastronomic pursuits

If gastronomic pursuits are more your thing, the NYF Food Village on Dame Street (renamed Barnardos Square for the duration of the festival in recognition of the children’s charity) offers a range of artisan food stalls.

There’ll be psychedelic scenes on College Green as the Luminosity light show illuminates the facades of some of Dublin’s most identifiable landmarks with 3D projections. A “procession of light” will also depart Stephen’s Green at 7pm on the 31st, making its way down towards Temple Bar and Dublin Castle in advance of the main show kicking off at 8pm.

For those looking to test their New Year’s resolve right from the off, January 1st will mark the introduction of Resolution Day, which will include a fun run from the CHQ Building near the IFSC and a fitness workshop with celebrity trainer Paul Byrne.

The day’s activities will come to an inspirational conclusion at Christ Church Cathedral with the Trailblazery show, which according to organisers is set to offer “creative exploration of life from people who have met adversity and challenge with courage and compassion”.