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Bad News about some events in Dublin!

Today I have lots of bad news and I am reluctant to spread all this doom and gloom because I prefer to spread joyful and happy news, but our event world in Dublin got some very unfortunate news that I have to share with you!

Yesterday the organisers of the Oktoberfest Dublin announced on Facebook ( that “the 2019 event cannot go ahead due to unprecedented increases in our insurance premium”.

They then continue to explain that the claim culture in Ireland brought them to the decision to take a break this year. At the end of the post they offer some hope by saying “[we] ask you to look forward to Oktoberfest 2020.”

BUT there are other developments that will make Oktoberfest 2020 VERY unlikely: Dublin City is attempting to implement a “Water Animation Strategy” (Yep! That’s what they call it!), which will see George’s Dock being turned into a 250m long commercial whitewater kayaking course for a whopping 15mio. So then there will be no more events on the platform in George’s Dock or around the chq Building. ( And since an event like the Oktoberfest needs some suitable space where neighbours won’t complain about a beer festival until late in the evening, it is very unlikely that another venue will be found.

This is bad news for events in Dublin, but I hear some of you saying that it is just a beer festival, so not the biggest loss. You might be right, but read on…

In other recent news, the organisers of the “Dublin Flea Christmas Market” have announced ( that the market will NOT take place anymore. In 2018 it was at the Point Village and happened over two weekends with 280 stalls. In 2019 there will be no more market because no suitable venue can be found (the building where the market took place in the last few years now has a tenant and is not available anymore).

Since this was the last large scale Christmas Market (not in the traditional meaning of a Christmas Market, but still a big market at Christmas!), this means that we really have hit rock bottom as far as Christmas events are concerned. Dublin City would have to take ownership of a market and NOT outsource it to an event management company, that’s how markets can be so successful in Germany and Austria and Poland etc, but Dublin City has no real interest!

One indication is this: If you had some hope that the closing of College Green for traffic would get Dublin City to put on some brilliant events, you will unfortunately be very disappointed.
Last weekend was the first of a few temporary College Green closures which will happen this summer to test the impact the pedestrianisation of this area could have and Dublin City promised “three great events” over three weeks under the headline “Summer Sundays on College Green”.
But the first one was the poorest of events that you could imagine. :-O The whole area from Trinity College to George’s Street was closed for traffic, but nothing was done with it! The area was just empty! A few small tents on the median just outside the Bank of Ireland building invited to “Drawing in the City”, but if that is what Dublin City calls a “great event”, we are truly doomed!

With over 80,000 followers and with a reach of over 30,000 for the weekly event post, we are one of the biggest event communities in Dublin and definitely the biggest community for free events. So can we do something to improve the situation in Dublin? Leave your suggestions below and also please spread the news to your friends, families and colleagues!

May your week be Event-Full!


Failte Ireland lies to International Media!?

I love Dublin! I am living here for ages and for more than 11 years I wrote a online publication about cultural events in Dublin, but during that time I also have seen how the official groups responsible for tourism (especially in Dublin!) do less and less and expect more and more money to be dropped by tourists.

New Year’s Eve is not the most exciting day of the year in Dublin and if anyone asked me, I would strongly recommend that potential visitors stay far away between 24 December and 02/03 January. It is just sooo disappointing if you go to a city for these celebrated days and there is NOTHING happening.

In previous years some attempts were made to make Dublin a little more interesting at least over New Year with the New Year’s Festival Dublin. It consisted of some events on New Year’s eve (many years ago we even had fireworks!) and then more events and activities on New Year’s Day. But in 2018 all this changed again and it is the poorest and most disappointing events programme for the New Year’s Festival in at least 5, maybe 10 years!

There are just two light shows at Customs House. They are free, but needed tickets (which are all gone) and then there is a gig (not free!!) in the 3Arena. Apart from that there is not a single official event and NO events on New Year’s Day. Private Fireworks are forbidden in Ireland, nobody pays fro public Fireworks, so New Year’s Eve is a Non-Event!

That’s the facts!! But Failte Ireland is of the opinion that the facts shouldn’t get in the way of their “Fake news” marketing!

900 media representatives from 20 countries were invited to come to Ireland just before New Year’s and Failte Ireland is trying to convince them of something that is clearly untrue.

A RTE News article here says:

“The New Year’s Festival in Dublin is set to showcase tourism in the capital, and encourage more people to visit the capital and Ireland in 2019, according to tourism groups.”

“Liam Campbell from Fáilte Ireland’s International Publicity team said this year’s New Year’s Festival promises to be the most impressive end of year celebration Dublin has ever seen.”

What an amount of codswallop!

Do I think people should come to Dublin? Absolutely YES! It is a great place with lots of free and non free events during the year. This is mostly not thanks to Failte Ireland or Dublin City, but luckily we have lots of great people and businesses in Ireland that do a great job. But PLEASE tell people that they should avoid the Christmas and New Year’s period if they don’t want to be disappointed.

Bloomsday!?!?! What is that?

You either love it or you don’t care at all about Bloomsday, there seems to be nothing in between. It is a HUGE day for some and others don’t even know what it is about. If you belong to the latter group, let me help you a bit.

Bloomsday is a made up day and nothing of it is based on real events. James Joyce wrote the book Ulysses between 1914 and 1922 and the book describes one day, Thursday 16 June 1904 when Leopold Bloom, a fictional figure in the book, went about his business from 08:00 to the early hours of the next day. This invented day, lived by an invented person became Bloomsday.

You could compare it to McClane Day! Which doesn’t exist!!! But would be the day just before Christmas when we copy all the things that John McClane did in Die Hard. We go to Nakatomi Plaza for a Christmas Party, have a disagreement in the toilet and then spend the rest of the day to fight against Max Gruber and some terrorists/thieves with all sorts of weapons. So if McClane Day makes sense to you, then Bloomsday will also make sense.

The James Joyce fans dress up like characters from the book in clothes that were worn by people around 1904, then they have a breakfast like Leopold Bloom and visit the locations he went to during the day.

Does that help a bit? If not, get a better description here: :-)

I think we should plan for McClane Day! We just have about 6 months to prepare for it! :-O

National Museum at Collins Barracks hikes up Parking Fees

We have something great in Ireland! All our four National Museums do not charge any admission charge. That’s the National Museum at Collins Barracks, in Kildare Street, in Merrion Street and in Turlough, Co. Mayo. This is a bit of a luxury that not many countries have. Sure, it is not really free because in the end we all pay for it through our taxes, but at least you can go there without paying as often as you want.

Collins Barracks is a huge site with only half of it open as a museum and the other half is storage for a huge amount of additional exhibits. Collins Barracks also has is – as a former barracks – on a huge site that has its own car park.

Until 2013 parking was free there, but due to budget cuts in 2013 it was announced that they would have to charge for parking and the fees were a very moderate
+ EUR 2 for 0-3 hours
+ EUR 4 for all day parking.
That was still a good price and you could go to the museum for up to three hours for a low cost.

But last week on 19 May this substantially changed. The new charges are now
+ EUR 2 for just 1 hour
+ EUR 5 for up to 4 hours
+ EUR 12 for all day

That is a HUGE increase! If you assume maybe 2.5 hours for an extensive visit it will cost you EUR 5 instead of EUR 2 before. That’s 150% of an increase!! :-O

And no! Your taxes didn’t go down!

Eurovision and the National Pride

It is with some surprise that the Irish entry at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, sung by Ryan O’Shaughnessy, made it to the final on Saturday. The song was not horrible and the singer is good, so there was no explicit reason for expecting that it wouldn’t qualify. But as we know from years and years of Irish failures, the quality of a song or singer is not always the most important thing.

So on Saturday the following countries will compete:
From the second heat Serbia, Moldova, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Slovenia, Netherlands will make it to the final on Saturday and from the first heat there will be Austria, Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Israel, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Albania, Finland and Ireland. These 20 will be joined by the already seated bigger countries Spain, Portugal, UK, Germany, France and Italy.

So far so good, But there was one thing that I found even more surprising than the Irish entry making it to the final: It was that suddenly and immediately a National Pride seemed to kicked in.

RTE2 showed a celebrating Ryan O’Shaughnessy holding up an Irish flag and the text read “@Ryan_Acoustic summing up how the whole country is feeling right now:” And a RTE News item on their website had the headline “Nation shares pride at Eurovision qualification”. Comedy Actor Rory Cowan wrote “… Brilliant result. … Ireland are back”. [Should that not be “Ireland IS back”??? :-O ] Musician Brendan Murray commented “Well done @Ryan_Acoustic and all the team! It’s times like this I’m proud to be Irish now bring her home son!”. He didn’t explain thought who “she” from “bring HER home” was :-P

So there were some outbursts of national pride there indeed. But is that maybe just a few people playing to their audience? Or is it a widespread feeling of National Pride triggered by the somewhat odd Eurovision event?

Let’s see how it works out on Saturday. The competition final will start at 20:00 and can be seen on RTE TV.

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