From U2 to Westlife, and Thin Lizzy to The Cranberries, Ireland’s capital city has always had an incredibly strong music scene that’s steeped in historical mysticism. These days Dublin’s music scene is more eclectic than ever. Here’s a list of some of the city’s most iconic and exciting live venues.
The iconic Whelan’s is recognised as Dublin’s original live music venue. With the main venue offering a capacity of 450 and the upstairs stage holding up to 120, you’re always in for an intimate and unforgettable gig experience. Whelan’s stages have been graced by the likes of Nick Cave, Hozier and Jeff Buckley and have also played host to many of BIMM Dublin’s End of Term gigs.
The Workman’s Club
Since opening its doors on Wellington Quay in 2010, the Workman’s Club has been at the centre of some incredible live music events including Royal Blood’s debut gig in Ireland, Imelda May, Father John Misty and Little Green Cars. The multi-floor venue has a capacity of 300 in its main room, and is a great place to see a wide range of what the Dublin music scene has to offer, all in one place.
The Grand Social
Since opening in 2010, the Grand Social has become a bit of a landmark for music lovers and performers alike. Located right by the iconic Ha’Penny Bridge, the venue has hosted the likes of BIMM Manchester Alumni, Pale Waves as well as Kate Tempest, Primal Scream and The Academic. The venue pride themselves on their high quality sound system, which is what makes it such a great place to catch live music.
The Sound House
Upstairs at The Wiley Fox on the north side of the River Liffey is the Sound House. With a capacity of approx’ 250, it’s the perfect place for an intimate gig, and has hosted many Irish and International acts.
Perhaps the most beautiful venue in Dublin. Originally opening in 1879 as a music hall, and then converted into a theatre in 1897, the Olympia’s stage has hosted legendary artists such as David Bowie, Radiohead and Adele. It’s also a place to see live theatre. In 2016, the building was completely refurbished, so it can continue to be a hub of live music in the city.
Not far from BIMM Dublin is Vicar Street. One of the most popular venues for Dubliners – and it’s no wonder why. This venue has hosted the likes of Bob Dylan, Gary Numan, Paul Simon, Dionne Warwick and Glen Hansard – just to name a few. It has a capacity of 1500 for standing gigs, yet still has the feeling of a small and intimate performance space. It’s also home to the annual RTE 2fm Choice Music Prize.
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
Nestled in Dublin’s own miniature Silicon Valley (Grand Canal Docks) is the prestigious Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Opened in 2010, the 2,111 seated venue runs everything from West End Musicals to creative conferences and of course some great live music. Acts to have graced the stage over the last few years include Kraftwerk, Herbie Hancock, Incubus, John Grant and much more.
Known by old-school Dubliners as ‘The Point’, this 12,000 capacity venue is home to the biggest touring acts all year round. Beck, Stevie Wonder, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Mariah Carey, One Direction, Radiohead….you get the point! (No pun intended).
With a capacity of 82,000 for sporting events, Croke Park (Páirc an Chrocaigh) is the third largest stadium in Europe, so it’s no surprise that some of the biggest acts in the world regularly visit this iconic venue. Ed Sheeran, U2, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and the Rolling stones have all played over the last few years and this year the Spice Girls and Westlife will be wowing crowds during the summer months!