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3 Great New Year’s Musical Events in Dublin

Dublin is a fine city to be located in to welcome the arrival of the New Year and you’ll find plenty of things to do to celebrate on New Year’s Eve.

If you are already in the city, then be sure to check local newspapers for details, or consider going along to what we think are the three best and most memorable musical events to attend.

The Ringing of the bells at Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

(Previously and sometimes still known as Christchurch Cathedral)

Built somewhere close to the year 1028, this cathedral from the middle ages is certainly something to see. It originally had close ties to Canterbury Cathedral and is the oldest structure in the city.

It’s a seasonal treat to experience bell ringing at the Cathedral. The 19 cathedral bells are reputed to deliver some of the loudest peals in the world. Six of the bells have been in place since 1670 (unfortunately the first ones cracked when there was an accidental gunpowder explosion nearby). One of the bells weighs more than 2 tonnes.

Every year on New Year’s Eve, you’ll find groups of friends and families gathering outside the cathedral to listen to the bells as they ring in the New Year.

Tips: Wear something warm and try to arrive around 10.30pm. There will also be a concert taking place inside the Cathedral by the Dublin Gospel Choir.  Tickets available for the concert from the Cathedral’s website.

RTE Gala New Year’s Eve Concert

Another traditional music event that is a joy to attend is this annual concert held at the National Concert Hall.  You’ll have to buy tickets early as there is never an empty seat in the house as this event is known as the flagship performance of the National Concert Hall.

Expect to listen to the RTE Concert Orchestra & Big Band pull all the fun seasonal favourites out of the hat. This year they will be accompanied by Michel Legrand the well-known French film movie composer who will be the pianist, singer and conductor.

Included in the price of the ticket is a glass of Champagne, or you can opt to take dinner.

Info: Check for further info. Ticket prices vary and the performance starts at 10pm.

NYE Dublin

If traditional music and bell ringing doesn’t really do it for you, then this outdoor concert with pyrotechnics, special effects and performances could be right up your street.

Over the festive season you may have come across seasonal markets, an ice rink and many other activities that have been arranged as part of this event. On 31st December, you’ll find the streets around the city centre coming alive with performances including circus acts, street theatre and the excitement of a countdown to the special hour.

Tips: don’t miss the fireworks at 8pm in St Stephen’s Green

Tickets are €20.00 (plus booking fee)

Dublin is certainly not allowing NYE to pass unnoticed this year. Be sure to buy tickets early so that you don’t miss out on your choice of seasonal treats.


Christmas Day Swim in Dublin at Forty Foot Swimming Hole

Whatever the weather on the day, every year hundreds of people take part in the Christmas Day swim at Forty Foot, Dublin. This event might not be on your to-do list but it’s certainly a lot of fun. Not to mention that it’s just around the corner from the Martello Tower where Irish novelist and poet James Joyce set his opening to Ulysses

Cold water swimming is a popular winter pastime right across Europe. Thousands will be taking part in a form of it all over the continent on Christmas Day.

You’ll see a variety of characters enjoying the water down at Forty Foot. The swimming hole is frequented by the members of the Forty Foot Gentlemen’s Swimming Club who are well aware of the health benefits of taking a cool dunk in the water. Blood circulation, salt water and something as bracing as the Irish Channel in winter will get your body moving. OK, possibly right out of the water in a big hurry.

If you fancy taking part on the big day, then you might want to prepare beforehand. Here’s what you can do to prepare and also some other snippets that you should know about:

  • Take a few cold showers to acclimatise the body. You don’t want to be too shocked when you enter the water or it could ruin your day, to say the least!
  • Don’t expect a water temperature that anywhere near resembles the summer temperature for wild swimming.
  • As you jump in, exhale. Your ribcage will contract when you enter the cold water, and you’ll naturally breathe in. Some people who don’t do this panic as they feel that they cannot breathe. Remember that any yelping that you do is all part of a taking part in a fresh natural swim.
  • Know that you’re going to feel cold when you jump in, and then get on and do it. Don’t stand on the side lines looking like an undecided turnip, you’ll only get cold.
  • Once you’re in, don’t come running straight out; give yourself at least 90 seconds to get used to the water and acclimatize.
  • Don’t imagine that you can swim too far, until you have had a practice. You’ve got to understand how your body reacts to such festive occasions first.
  • If possible don a neoprene suit – ideally with a Santa hat so that you look the part.

Open swimming is a lot of fun, believe me I’ve tried it and I highly recommend it. You just need to have your expectations set right and those of your body too.

Forty Foot is open 24 hours a day and regulars report that there can be strong currents and seals in the water. If you don’t feel all that adventurous this Christmas, nobody will hold it against you. You can always blame it on forgetting to bring your swimsuit with you.