The Wood Quay Summer Sessions, run by Dublin City Council, are a series of free lunchtime gigs that take place every Thursday in July from 1-2pm in association with First Music Contact (FMC), Improvised Music Company (IMC), Music Network and Contemporary Music Centre (CMC).

“When Dublin City Council came to us and asked ‘Do you want to programme some music for Thursdays during the summer?’ we said, ‘Why don’t we show all of Dublin’s music?'” said Angela Dorgan, CEO of First Music Contact. “Events like the Wood Quay Summer Sessions can help to bring artists to a new audience.”

It all kicked off on Thursday 5th on what felt like the first grey day in months but, there was no gloom to be found in the Wood Quay Amphitheatre.

Events like the Wood Quay Summer Sessions can help to bring artists to a new audience

As a gentle breeze blew, visitors flowed in to see the show. There was a varied crowd with everyone from toddlers to experienced culture vultures taking a seat for the concert. Some came prepared with blankets, cushions and packed lunches while some seemed to just happen across the event, most likely drawn in by the music.

The gig started with the unlikely pairing of trumpeter, Niall O’Sullivan and accordionist, Dermot Dunne. They opened the show with a number familiar to most, The Godfather theme tune, before playing a few more traditional numbers.

Trumpeter, Niall O’Sullivan and accordionist, Dermot Dunne.

They were a pleasure to watch. Dunne seemed to feel every note with his entire being, his face and body playing to the melody as much as his accordion, while it was plain to see that O’Sullivan was having a great time.

The second act of the afternoon dubbed themselves the “Wood Quay Trio” and featured double bassist Paul O’Driscoll, harpist Eilís Lavelle and uilleann piper Mark Redmond. The group had been “thrown together for this gig” according to Redmond, but you couldn’t tell. They were perfectly in sync, their toes all tapping out the same rhythm but in their own individual ways. O’Driscoll was tapping his right toe double-time while Redmond’s right heel kept pace and both of Lavelle’s feet marked alternate beats.

The "Wood Quay Trio", featuring double bassist Paul O’Driscoll, harpist Eilís Lavelle and uilleann piper Mark Redmond.

Redmond was a fantastic storyteller, giving the background to every tune. One had been hidden in a book (gathered to prevent the loss of music after the famine) in the library of Trinity College for over 100 years. When they finished, the man beside me turned to me and said, “Thank God they got that book out of the library”, he spoke for all of us.

The Wood Quay Summer Sessions continue every Thursday in July from 1-2pm. Over the next couple of weeks, five more acts will take to the stage. Entry is free to all, and the area is well served by Dublin bus with stops on both the quays and nearby Lord Edward Street.

To learn more, visit the DCC event page.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...

Take the weekend off

There's no better city than Dublin in which to spend a long lazy weekend; walk along the canal admiring the swans, sup a coffee in town watching the world go by, maybe do a little yoga in the local park. But one of Dublin's greatest attributes is its proximity to some of Europe's most beautiful cities. You can fly out on Friday evening, come back on Sunday night and feel like you've truly experienced another culture. Here are six glorious European cities that are only a couple of hours away:

Read More

Dublin’s Top Ten Works of Art

The Book of Kells in Trinity is arguably Dublin’s most famous work of art but what of all the internationally renowned masterpieces housed in the Dublin galleries? Here are ten of the major artworks waiting to be discovered behind doors you walk past every day. In the National Gallery: 1. Caravaggio – The Taking of Christ Caravaggio painted this dramatic scene of the arresting of Jesus in 1602 for the Roman Marquis Ciriaco Mattei. We see Judas identifying Christ with a kiss and the guards moving in for the arrest. The darkness of the painting is lit from within by a lantern held by St Peter, although this is considered to be a self-p

Read More

Park Life!

Dublin’s parks have undergone a renaissance in recent years. Once a location for a quiet game of frisbee or a poetic wander amongst the flowerbeds, they have of late been injected with a new vitality. Food stalls, open-air cinema, yoga, and family events are now a given and in the summer months, Dublin’s parks host free lively festivals and original evening events that give the city’s pubs and clubs a run for their money. RUN FOR FUN, WALK FOR HOPE Every Saturday, in parks all over Dublin, early birds can enjoy a free 5k timed parkrun courtesy of parkrun.ie. Operating since 20

Read More

WHAT'S ON...

Nutgrove Arts Festival

Online

This year celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Nutgrove Arts Festival 🎨🎤🎭 This year you will see Nutgrove Arts Fest moving online with an array of musical performances, Introductions to Artists, online Art workshops, Art competitions, Traditional Halloween story-telling, and much more. Stay tuned and enjoy 🎊 The Doorway Gallery Doodle Box Brilliant Events

More Details

Dockers & Demons Festival

Online

Dockers Demons returns for its 4th festival to D4 and the Docks of Dublin. A plague of dangerous birds has alighted on the village this year bringing a new season of mayhem, madness and horror. The new moon of Oct 16th saw the first of these dark birds arrive. Be alert, look lively, and beware the glowing eyes you may see staring in your window or across the street. The House of Broken Birds has arrived!! Responding to the extreme challenges of Covid 19, the team are enduring and staying with producing and presenting a festival. With no large gatherings allowed, we are working

More Details

International Literature Festival Dublin

Online

The International Literature Festival Dublin, founded in 1998, is Ireland’s premier literary event and gathers the finest writers in the world to debate, provoke, delight and enthral. Described by the press as ‘boasting a stunning array of top international literary talent’ and ‘the country’s most successful and easily the best annual literary event’, International Literature Festival Dublin's line-up is sure to impress. Join us from 22 - 28 October, as we host some of the world's leading thinkers for a fantastic online programme. With readings, discussions, debates, workshop

More Details