It’s back! The organisers of the St. Patrick’s Festival have gone all out to curate a packed progamme of tasty cultural treats in honour of Ireland’s patron saint this weekend. With plenty of spectacular events, pageants, and street performances on offer, we’re looking forward to heading into town and taking in four solid days of craic in the company of musicians, performers and the citizens of Dublin.
We’ve selected five highlights that are well worth checking out, but for more detailed information on the absolute wealth of things to see and do in the city over the next few days, see the packed programme of events over at stpatricksfestival.ie.
Mother Presents Cultúr Club at The Festival Quarter
There’s a fabulous night in store on the eve of the big day as Mother presents Cultúr Club, a vibrant cultural event that’s set to span four stages across the iconic Festival Quarter site in the grounds of the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks.
Get set to traverse a dizzying series of diverse musical styles including pop, disco, electro, techno and beyond as the iconic venue plays host to some of Ireland’s finest performers from across the LGBTQ+ community. Amid a razzle dazzle of mind blowing drag queens, artists, cabaret talent and DJs, highlights include the first ever Geilí (Easy Julia!) and the acclaimed Seanchoíche storytelling night.
And in a touch of added class, the Queen of Ireland herself, Panti Bliss and her Dancing with The Stars partner, Denys Salmon will take to the main stage for a very special dance performance. It’s gonna be epic! And did we mention the afterparty?
Cultúr Club takes place at Festival Quarter in the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks on Thursday 16th March 2023.
Thursday, March 16th, €20
Eating an’ Drinking at Me Auld Flower
Sup and dine your heart out at Me Auld Flower, an exciting new take on traditional Irish fare that’s set to fuel the city’s Shamrockers as part of this year’s St Patrick’s Day Festival.
The old Dublin Corporation Fruit and Veg market has been transformed into an incredible new experience, converging around ‘a melting pot of Irish food’, under the expert stewardship of Mr. Andy Noonan.
The spectacular fare on offer features everything from fresh oysters to charcuterie and cheese, to bowls of coddle and a modern take on the unofficial dish of Ireland in the form of bacon and cabbage dumplings.
There’s also a host of cooking demos and competitions to look forward to, with chefs such as Aishling Moore, Paul Flynn and Holly Dalton showcasing the incredible things that can be done while working with great Irish produce. Bring it!
Thurs Mar 16th – Sun Mar 19th.
A Visual Feast – St Patrick at The National Gallery
The National Gallery of Ireland marks St Patricks’ Day with a series of online and in-person events, many of which are free.
Lunchtime on Thursday March 16th sees a free online Irish language ‘Ciorcal Comhrá’ that can be joined from anywhere in the world. Caomhán Mac Con Iomaire and Aoife Marie Buckley will take a look at women artists in the National Collection, while online participants will be invited to join a discussion on the role of women in Irish art history, and the significance of celebrated artists such as Mary Swanzy, Sarah Purser and Mainie Jellet.
With an array of fascinating exhibitions to explore, NGI is also running a number of free tours throughout the weekend, including themed tours of their extensive collection on the day itself, all of which are free of charge.
And of course no visit would be complete without dropping into the shop to pick up a unique souvenir or print, inspired by Irish landmarks.
Thursday March 16th – Sunday March 19th.
Pillow Queens and Friends
Over the past few years Pillow Queens have built an enviable cult following off the back of high octane gigs, and a deep rooted love of live performance. Now, a unique collaboration with the St Patrick’s Festival sees them distill their expertise into an evening that celebrates the best of new Irish music across four stages at the Festival Quarter site.
Pillow Queens & Friends sees them bring a dozen acts including Sprints, Katie Kim and Melts to perform live on stage this Saturday night, before rounding off proceedings with another of their signature barnstorming performances.
We can’t wait!
Saturday March 18th, €35. Tickets here.
Walking Tours and Outdoor Fun in The City
Did you know that much of the pre-Viking development of Dublin owes its origins to the legacy of St. Patrick? Learn more about this and other incredible insights about the connection between the country’s patron saint and the history of Dublin in Pat Liddy’s In The Footsteps of St Patrick Walking Tour. The tour is two hours in duration, and it departs from St Patrick’s Cathedral at regular intervals over the course of the weekend.
Saturday March 18th sees the launch of the Bohemian Way, an exciting new cultural experience that combines the rich history of Bohemian Football Club with a call to action on the climate crisis. This event will include live music and poetry at three unique locations around Dublin 7, and a historical walking tour between the stages, using a specially-designed app to guide you through Dublin 7. As you explore, you will discover icons that reveal audio, video or physical installations relating to different aspects of the Bohemian Way. The app is available for download on the Google Play and Apple Store.
Meanwhile Dublin Balladeer and performer Séan Fitzgerald hosts a musical walking tour of the city, sharing the songs and music inspired by Dublin over the centuries. Meet at 11am on Grattan Bridge, Thurs – Sat.
And of course there’s loads more to see and do in Dublin this weekend, with art workshops, theatrical performances, family fests, and all the fun of the fair at the City Funfair on Custom House Quay, where carousels, bumper cars, and old time waltzers offer plenty of fun for young and old alike.