Imelda May, Glen Hansard and Colm Meaney in town for MusicTown

Festival celebrates the capital’s music scene including choruses from Handel’s ‘Messiah’

The diversity of Dublin’s music scene is being showcased through MusicTown the capital’s newest music festival which runs until April 19th.

An eclectic programme of more than 50 events, some of which are free, will be held in venues around the city. The line-up of concerts, talks, workshops and walks celebrating Dublin's musicians and their work, features genres from rock to hip hop to contemporary opera, with information available at

Singer Imelda May was back in Dublin on Sunday to take part in Barrytown Meets MusicTown, a musical and literary celebration of Roddy Doyle's The Barrytown Trilogy. "I'm delighted to be involved, it's a great thing to do, he's such a terrific writer and a credit to Dublin," said May. The sold-out event in Vicar Street, curated by the Man Booker Prize winning author and Aoife Woodlock, Other Voices music producer also featured Glen Hansard, Richard Hawley, Imelda May, Colm Meaney, Aidan Gillen, and Ger Ryan.

Handel’s legacy in Dublin is honoured through several events including “Messiah in the Street” at lunchtime on Monday. Fishamble Street will be the venue for outdoor performances of choruses from Handel’s Messiah by Our Lady’s Choral Society and the Dublin Handelian Orchestra, conducted by Proinnsías Ó Duinn and held to celebrate the first ever global performance of Handel’s Messiah on the site of the former Neal’s Musick Hall on April 13th 1742.


Cabaret, rock and classical performer Storm Large will be accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, at the National Concert Hall on Tuesday with a genre-defying programme that features the Weill/Brecht masterpiece The Seven Deadly Sins, and a rock-ballad version of I’ve Got You Under My Skin.

Dublin City Gallery Hugh Lane will hold a series of lunchtime performances including pianist Fionnuala Moynihan’s Ivory Lady programme.

Other events include the Busker of the Year Competition, percussion masterclass workshops from the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Rock on Baby workshops in the Ark, Temple Bar, and The Isle Is Full of Noises: Shakespeare's Music by the Gregory Walkers – a "Top 20" of Shakespearean tunes.

Dublin City arts officer Ray Yeates promised “something for everyone” during the week. “Music permeates almost every street in Dublin city and we want to harness its magic and importance and amplify and celebrate it for all Dubliners and visitors alike. Whatever your taste, we want to encourage people to experience new genres of music and to journey deeper into their preferred music of choice.”

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times