Summer festivals, shows and other things to do

On a summer day in Dublin city, there’s no danger of being bored. Indeed, for a relatively small city, there’s always something to do – and this is remarked on by most visitors to the city.

Yes, there are tourist attractions worth checking out. The Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum and Christchurch Cathedral are all worth a look, but Dublin really comes alive through its people and its culture.

Between theatre, live music, art exhibitions and installations, talks and workshops, comedy and family-friendly events happening Monday to Sunday, right through the year – and mostly organised and led by the citizens of the capital themselves – there are plenty of options in this seaside city built on the river Liffey and the canals.

We’ve put together some of the big highlights to check out in the summer of 2022.

City Spectacular 2017.

Bloom, June 2nd – June 6th

This hugely popular garden festival, set in the Phoenix Park – the largest public park in any European capital – has gone from strength to strength. As well as gardens, horticulture and design, there’s also a chance to try new foods from some of Ireland’s top food producers at the food village. It’s a family-friendly day with science labs, book clinics and gardening activities for the kids.

Forbidden Fruit, June 4th – 5th

Taking place over the June Bank Holiday weekend, this music and arts festival kicks off in the heart of the city centre. There’s plenty to look forward to, including sets from Lorde, Hot Chip, BICEP, Princess Nokia and Chet Faker. Plus, homegrown acts like Gemma Dunleavy, Malaki and Kojaque will take to the stage at the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham.

Bloomsday Festival, June 11th – 16th

James Joyce immortalised and popularised Dublin with his magnum opus, Ulysses, and Bloomsday is marked on June 16th every year when many Dubliners dress in the style of 1904. The week-long festival also includes readings, performances and visits to places marked in the book.

Dublin Tech Summit, June 15th – 16th

This conference sits at the heart of the international tech scene and is a special event for Dublin’s tech-lovers. Over two days, it will welcome over 200 speakers to Dublin’s RDS. It will also feature lots of tech demos and workshops.

Dalkey Book Festival, June 16th – 19th

Held in the picturesque south Dublin seaside village of Dalkey, this annual festival features live podcasts, writing workshops, readings and a long list of well-known speakers, which include everyone from journalist Fintan O’Toole to DJ Annie Mac.

Smithfield Fleadh, June 18th – 19th

This is a new, free music event in Smithfield Square in Dublin’s city centre. Over two days, it will showcase a range of talented folk and traditional musicians and run workshops for all the family to enjoy.

Street Feast, June 26th

Street Feast brings communities together for local lunches on the street or in the park. It’s a particularly good chance for newcomers to get to know their neighbours.

Dublin Pride Festival, June 22nd – June 26th

This celebration of LGBTQI history and culture in the city features open mic nights, a full-day festival in Merrion Square and the main event – the Pride Parade, which takes place on June 25th.

Longitude, July 1st – July 2rd

This popular three-day music festival is held in the beautiful suburban setting of Marlay Park. This year’s line-up features internationally renowned acts like Dave, Tyler, The Creator, A$AP Rocky and much more.

The Festival of Curiosity, July

This annual festival of science, technology and the arts is an engaging and imaginative opportunity for learning. It includes events and daytime activities for all ages.

The Big Grill Festival, August 11th – 13th

This is the largest BBQ and craft beer festival in Europe. You can expect chilli-eating challenges, workshops from well-known chefs, a children’s play area and much more.

Dublin Horse Show, August 17th – 21st

Equestrian sports are massively popular in Ireland and the horse racing industry is a major employer here. As a result, The Dublin Horse Show has become a highlight of the Dublin calendar with dressage, showjumping and Ladies’ Day among the highlights. Head along in your Sunday best, soak up the atmosphere, listen to some music and check out the craft show.

For a full list of events in Dublin this summer, see our What’s on listings.

Peter McGuire is a freelance features and news journalist. He also works a researcher and editor. He is a regular contributor to The Irish Times and the Huffington Post, and has also written for the Irish Examiner, Sunday Business Post and Irish Independent.


Orla O'Brien of Galz Gone Wild laughing and wearing woolly hat


Dublin hiking groups – Galz Gone Wild

Hiking for women who want to connect with nature We caught up with Melissa McDermott – Galz Gone Wild founder – and Ruth Farrell to find out about the group of women who escape the city to find some scenic hush in the Wicklow mountains. Creating a supportive community of women Mel founded Galz Gone Wild in 2017 after moving home from London. She found herself lacking direction, and she was unsure of her next step. She started to hike to clear her head, but the hiking communities she found were mostly male and older. They were hiking for different reasons. “There is a community there, but it’s very much about getting from point A to point B, as quick

The colourful, ripple effect facade of the Icon Factory


Dublin Treasures – The Temple Bar Icon Walk

The greatest story ever strolled Pitching itself as “the greatest story ever strolled”, the Icon Walk cracks the heart of the Irish people wide open and tie-dyes the backstreets of Temple Bar with its vibrant colours. Like spokes from a hub, the walk’s rainbow-painted laneways radiate outwards from The Icon Factory, a gallery and shop at the corner of Aston Place and Bedford Lane. Founded in 2009 by Barney Phair, this not-for-profit artists’ co-operative is run for the benefit of the many creatives that ply their wares here. Supporting street art and thwarting vandalism

Que outside Doyle's Pub.


The Ruby Sessions

The jewel of Dublin’s music scene Sometimes the queue for The Ruby Sessions is so long that it snakes down the stairs of Doyles pub and out the door around past the old plaque on the wall that says “Good times are coming/ Be they ever so far away” and down into the dark and puddles of Fleet Street. If you find yourself that far back, your chances of getting in are very far away indeed. These are the nights when word has leaked out into the world that a ‘Very Special Guest’ will be taking to the mic of the renowned live music night. And for the price of a €10 charity donation, you too could be part of the intimate gathering that surrounds the candlelit stage