This weekend I got lucky.
I was in Dublin and had somehow managed to time my trip perfectly with the annual TradFest.
TradFest is celebrating its tenth year entertaining Guinness-fuelled crowds across venues in Dublin’s iconic Temple Bar.
The festival brings the best of live traditional and folk music to the heart of Dublin’s city centre, celebrating the talents of Irish and international musicians alike.
Realising this happy coincidence hours before I was due to jet off to the city (despite incessantly googling ‘Dublin’ all week-long), we had missed out on securing tickets to many of the free and paid events.
Turns out that you don’t need tickets to enjoy TradFest. It had well and truly taken over the city, Temple Bar especially.
Following the TradFest Music Trail, we hit the bars along the main street, topping up on Guinness as we went.
We were treated to tin whistle recitals and hearty Irish sing-a-longs which became increasingly raucous as the crowds became more acquainted with Dublin’s famous tipple.
Prices of the famous pint vary ridiculously. The cheapest pint we found in Temple Bar was €5.50 at The Old Storehouse off the main street, but the price crept up to over €6.50 just down the road.
Stocking up on the cheaper pints, we sat back and stretched our vocal chords to versions of ‘Old Rover’ and ‘Belle of Belfast City’.
The next night was a real treat.
Hidden down a cobbled side street by the waterside is the back entrance of The Merchants Arch. After climbing a winding stone staircase you are greeted by a hidden Beer Hall with high vaulted ceilings and a bar crowded with locals and tourists alike.
We tapped our feet to harpists, flutists and even Breton vocalists.
Not your standard night out on the town.
The festival made our nights out so perfectly Irish! The only downside being that I have now been humming ‘Old Rover’ for 3 days solid…
I came away with a new-found appreciation of Gaelic music and a taste for delicious creamy Guinness.
I love when cities run events like this and let us budget-defined folk in for a mosey.
It made our trip and I would recommend a visit next year!
Check out more information on the festival here.