Search icon


06th Oct 2017

10 Music Venues In Ireland Everyone Needs To Catch A Gig In At Least Once


Not all music venues were created equally.

Great live music performances need the atmosphere to match and there are certain locations that consistently make for a good night out.

Since music venues around the country — such as Whelan’s in Dublin, Dolans in Limerick, and The Fiddler’s Creek in Sligo — will be playing host to the Smithwick’s Soundtrack Series featuring Barq and Le Galaxie (get your tickets here) this October and November, we thought we’d take a look at some of the best music venues on this little island of ours.

Here’s what we found.

1. The Sugar Club, Dublin

This spot plays host to an eclectic range of events, which they loudly announce to the public with a large billboard out front.

Inside you’ll find classy yet comfortable surroundings where you can happily while away an entire evening enjoying lively performances.

There’s not a week that passes by without something exciting happening here.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Sugar Club (@thesugarclub) on

2. Dolan’s, Limerick

This place opened its doors in 1994 and has come a long way since then. Now home to five different music venues, they’ve stayed true to their roots with a programme of live music seven nights a week featuring a range of music from rock, indie and electronic to traditional, folk and country.

The likes of David Gray, Mumford & Sons, the Rubberbandits and Hozier are just a few of the big names to have graced these stages. The Irish Music Rights Organisation even bestowed its “Live Music Venue of the Year” award on the beloved venue in 2014 and 2015.

With so many different acts on the programme, you’re sure to find something cool.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jake Clemons (@jakeclemons) on

3. DeBarra’s, Cork

For such a small spot in the seaside town of Clonakilty, DeBarra’s Folk Club has made quite the name for itself over the last 30 years.

Having played host to the likes of Christy Moore and Noel Redding of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, the venue is known as one of the finest music houses in the country.

A cosy and welcoming environment, music fans are sure to feel right at home here.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by DeBarras Folk Club, Clonakilty (@debarras_clonakilty) on

4. The Bowery, Dublin

A young venue but fast becoming one of the best loved spots in Dublin to catch a gig.

It’s hard to deny the charm of this dimly lit, nautically-themed venue, complete with rum bar and a never-ending parade of music acts that take to its stage, ranging from rock to ska to funk.

You won’t find another venue quite like this in a hurry.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Bowery Dublin (@bowerydublin) on

5. Róisín Dubh, Galway

Róisín Dubh is loved in Galway for a very good reason: for providing a stage for established and upcoming talents alike.

Before they went on to greater success, the venue played host to acts like Two Door Cinema Club, Villagers, Le Galaxie, Delorentos, Jape as well as And So I Watch You From Afar, who started out playing free shows at the venue’s Strange Brew club nights.

Whether you’re here for music or comedy, you’re always guaranteed to experience a lively atmosphere in these parts.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Róisín Dubh (@roisindubhpub) on

6. Vicar Street, Dublin

Since opening in 1998, Vicar Street has become one of the nation’s most beloved venues for comedy, drama and concerts of every variety.

Major acts who’ve graced its stage over the years include Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Lana Del Rey.

With a capacity of 1,500, a show here promises to be intimate and altogether unforgettable.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Donal O Higgins (@donalohiggins) on

7. INEC, Kerry

This is Ireland’s largest indoor entertainment venue outside of Dublin, so notable performers have made appearances here on occasion.

The INEC opened its doors in 2000 and since then Meatloaf, David Gray, Morrissey, Snow Patrol and The Script have been just a few of the big names to put on a show here, with the building’s state-of-the-art facilities making it ideal for elaborate productions.

Does it leave the capital’s venues in the shade? Well, it’s certainly worth making a trip to this beautiful corner of the country to find out.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by INEC Killarney (@ineckillarney) on

8. The Grand Social, Dublin

This place opened its doors in 2010 and proved a hit with performers and punters alike, but not just because of its colourful decor.

The folks at The Grand Social are committed to facilitating great shows by playing host to a variety of genres and assisting however they can to make the performers’ jobs easier.

Definitely one of the most unique looking and sounding spots in Dublin — and that’s saying something.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Grand Social (@grandsocialdublin) on

9. Whelan’s, Dublin

So many greats have passed through its doors since Whelan’s first opened in 1989 — Arctic Monkeys, Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave — and with good reason.

There’s something about this intimate venue that just exudes charm, attracting easy-going, fun-loving music fans like moths to a flame.

It really is the jewel of Camden Street.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Whelan’s Bar (@whelanslive) on

10. Connolly’s Of Leap, Cork

Nearly 5,000 iconic music posters dating back decades adorn the walls of Connolly’s Of Leap lending a vivid sense of musical history to the building.

The cult venue reopened in 2015 after years of disuse and the music loving members of the public could not be happier.

Every Irish music fan deserves to experience this place first hand.

Don’t miss BARQ and Le Galaxie perform their interpretations of Pulp Fiction and Apocalypse Now as part of the Smithwick’s Soundtrack Series in some of your favourite music venues across the country this October and November. Tickets are €15 and you can pick them up HERE.

Tour dates are:

  • Le Galaxie at Whelan’s, Dublin, performing Apocalypse Now — Friday, October 13
  • BARQ at Dolan’s, Limerick, performing Pulp Fiction — Tuesday, October 17
  • BARQ at Opium Rooms, Dublin, performing Pulp Fiction — Thursday, November 2
  • BARQ at The Fiddler’s Creek, Sligo, performing Pulp Fiction — Friday, November 3
  • Le Galaxie at Cyrus Avenue, Cork, performing Apocalypse Now — Friday, November 10
  • Le Galaxie at The Black Box, Belfast, performing Apocalypse Now — Friday, November 24

Drink responsibly. Visit

Strictly over 18s