Dublin is aiming to become one of Europe’s key destinations to usher in the New Year and its New Year’s Festival - which runs from December 30 to January 1 - has a huge variety of events lined up to tempt everyone, irrespective of your interests.
How about a night of great music at the 3Arena, a dazzling Street Fest at St Stephen’s Green and extraordinary light shows in the city centre? With the Procession of Light, spoken word festival, NYF Music trail, and a world record attempt among the other attractions, this New Year’s promises to the best Ireland has ever seen.
1. Three Countdown Concert
Revellers who experienced bands on College Green in the soaking rain of previous years will no doubt cheer the decision to move the event indoors and just up the River Liffey to Ireland’s largest purpose built venue, the 3Arena with its 14,000 capacity.
2. The Coronas and Fatboy Slim
The popular Dublin band, fronted by the charismatic Danny O’Reilly, will lead the Irish charge at the 3Arena on December 31. They will be joined on the bill by the DJ legend Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook), trad visionaries Kila, the admired Monaghan troubadour Ryan Sheridan and rising Donegal duo Little Hours.
3. NYF Street Fest
Taking place on New Year’s Eve at St Stephen’s Green South from 9 – 12pm, with a festival atmosphere and live music from a great line-up of bands. Check nyfdublin.com for full details.
4. Spoken Word Festival
We love to talk in Ireland and after the huge success of this event last year, it’s returning with more guests, lively discussion, poetry slams and hip-hop. Talks will be held in various city locations on December 30 and 31.
5. NYF Music Trail
Follow the NYF Music Trail over two days across the city in unique venues. Fifteen venues across the city on both the 30th and 31st December will play host to live music from the best new artists Ireland has to offer selected from Dublin's prestigious showcase event, the ‘Hard Working Class Heroes' line up.
Watch in wonder as Luminosity springs an iconic building to life, telling a unique story with cutting edge 3D light projections. This free family spectacle will illuminate from 5pm each evening at St Stephens Green South.
7. Procession of Light
Savour the atmosphere of the city centre as night falls with stunning street processions, dazzling light installations and magical streets theatre. Suitable for young and old, it all kicks off on December 31 at St. Stephens Green at 6.30pm
8. World record attempt
Along with the harp and uileann pipes, the bodhrán is as Irish as it gets. Bring your bodhrán along on the evening of December 31and attempt to break the world record for the most number played simultaneously. The existing record stands at 980.
9. The Ruby Sessions
The Ruby Sessions is an acoustic club held weekly every Tuesday night in the intimate setting of Doyle’s of College Street, Dublin for the last 15 years. As part of NYF Dublin, The Ruby Sessions have put together an incredibly special two night gig including some very special guests. The lineup is top secret! But previous performers have included Ed Sheeran, Paulo Nutini, Mumford & Sons and Damien Rice
10. Dublin Discovery Trail
Explore the city over the three days of the festival by availing of special NYF discounts and guided tours. Take in the majestic architecture of the Aviva Stadium or learn about our stunning literary tradition at the Dublin Writers Museum. Both are offering two-for-the-price-of-one tickets.
11. Disco Brunch
Disco-dancing in the middle of the day? Why not. Have a two-course lunch at the popular Brasserie 66 and then work off all those calories with an energetic boogie at the South Great George’s Street restaurant.
12. Craft Beer and Whiskey Tasting
A pair of venues on Nassau Street - Porterhouse Central and Dingle Distillery Bar - are the locations to sample the very best specialist beers and whiskeys Ireland has to offer. Classes will be held on December 30 and 31 and January 1.
13. 5k Fun Run
So what if you’ve overindulged at Christmas? Get 2016 off to the best possible start with a fun-filled, all-abilities race in the city centre. Proceeds go to the Mark Pollack Trust, which is funding research to find a cure for spinal cord injuries.
14. Resolution Day
Most of us make resolutions on January 1 each year, but here’s an event where those desires to try something completely new can be accommodated. So why not try your hand at hurling or Gaelic football, cricket, wall-climbing or - for something out of the ordinary - zorbing?
15. Children’s storytelling
The Banquet Hall of the Smock Alley Theatre in Temple Bar is the evocative location for a storytelling and art workshop for children aged between six and 12. Run by Paul Timoney, a seasoned storyteller, workshops will be held at 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm on January 1.
For the past few years, the First Fortnight Festival has been drawing attention to our mental health. Now, in conjunction with First Fortnight, a series of dynamic TED-style talks addressing this most vital of issues will be held at Christ Church Cathedral.
For more great ideas on how to usher in 2016, see www.discoverireland.ie #thisisLIVING