City festivals 2016: Dublin

Guest blogger Anita Dykstra is a travel writer from New Zealand. You can read her great blog on her website.

Sunshine at Longitude Festival DublinThe Irish capital of Dublin loves to celebrate in style. As the days get warmer and longer it’s the perfect time to get your best kicks on, grab your favourite drink and start dancing the summer days away.

Dublin may be small but when it comes to a good party it certainly doesn’t lack atmosphere. Summer here is to be celebrated and festivals are a great time for everyone to connect and celebrate music, food and friends. Grab your tickets to the festivals below as soon as possible to make 2016 the best year yet. The best part is, there is no dreaded camping at any of these festivals; each is only a hop, skip and jump away from the city centre of Dublin so there’s no need!

Longitude Festival

Kraftwerk at LongitudeHeld in beautiful Marlay Park on the 15th-17th of July, Longitude is one of the biggest festivals in Dublin and should definitely be marked in your diary this year. It’s fast becoming one of Ireland’s biggest festivals of the summer because it’s so easily accessible from major cities throughout Europe. A first-class, eclectic line-up has been announced and includes the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer, Diplo and The National. Longitude is the sister festival to Latitude which is held in the UK. Marathon buses are making it super easy for you to get to this not-to-be-missed event with buses leaving from Georges Quay directly to the festival (return) for €10 online or €15 on the day. Public buses also run past the park.

Where to stay? The Times Hostel – College Street is a five-minute stroll from the bus pickup point, with the added bonus of being across the road from Trinity College. They offer a ton of free extras, too, such as free weekly dinners, free phone calls and free walking tours of Dublin.

Forbidden Fruit

New Order at Forbidden Fruit DublinHeld on Bank Holiday weekend of the 3rd-5th of June, Forbidden Fruit have knocked it out of the park with a line-up including artists Dizzee Rascal, Tame Impala, Underworld, Leftfield and Maya Jane Coles. The festival takes place on the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, only 15 minutes from the city centre. They are offering free transport via the Bulmers Bus which departs from Harcourt Street every 30 minutes from 4pm on the Friday and 2pm on the Saturday and Sunday; you can also hop on the tram (Luas) from the city centre and get off at Heuston Station, a five-minute walk from the gates. This year Forbidden Fruit have gone all out in terms of food, too, with homemade ice cream, award-winning meat pies and way more available for you to eat. This is the perfect festival for chilling on the grass during the day before heading to the many after-parties in town until the wee hours.

Where to stay? Times Hostel – Camden Palace has many of the same free extras as its sister hostel on College Street, and is set around the corner from the Bulmers Bus stop on Harcourt Street. This neighbourhood is also home to some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.

The Beatyard

Beatyard FestivalThis small and intimate festival really does deliver big results. Held on Dún Laoghaire Harbour on the 30-31 of July, The Beatyard Festival brings great music over three areas, plus delicious food, fun games and an impressive market. International artists such as George Clinton, Roy Ayers and Lee Scratch Perry can be seen and heard this year. This is where musicians, creative types and chefs can all come together and celebrate in style over one weekend.

Don’t miss the ‘Eatyard’ where you can grab yourself a scrumptious bite to eat with over 30 food and drink vendors situated here, including local brewers, pizza at the famous Big Blue Bus and bánh mì from Bread & Bones. There are competitions, cooking classes, art demos and much more happening. The ‘Banteryard’ is where you can listen to talks and discussions covering topics such as tech, fitness, health, science, politics and literature. It’s a festival which offers more than just music. It covers a range of great fun activities which can be enjoyed no matter how old you are.

Where to stay? Set in a 200-year-old wine vault, the award-winning and cavernous Isaacs Hostel is located a short walk from Connolly Station, where you can catch the DART straight to Dún Laoghaire Harbour. Freebies include breakfast, Wi-Fi, guided walking tours, live music and even a sauna!

Dublin City Block Party

Dublin City Block PartyFirst held in 2014 as a one-off event, Dublin City Block Party is now back after two long years and it’s better than ever. Held on the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of July, it’s set over three indoor and outdoor stages with massive artists such as Dusky, Kelis and Todd Terje. This summer city party is in the Liberties neighbourhood, a short walk from both the city centre and the Guinness Storehouse. It’s the perfect summer city festival that includes music, food and games all mashed into one big celebration. The best thing is you probably won’t be covered head to toe in mud which means you can wear your best dancing shoes!

Where to stay? Generator Hostel Dublin is located next to the Jameson Distillery, just ten minutes’ walk across the River Liffey from this festival. Modern, clean and spacious, they offer tons of private rooms and dorms for great value.

For all of these festies, it may be summer but remember to bring your rain jacket; you never know what the Irish weather has in store for you!

Tell us below what city festivals you are attending this year in Dublin!

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