Why can't the dark, dreary months of winter fly by as fast as summer and the summer months slow down a bit? To think I was complaining that there wasn't a bank holiday in July when June feels like mere seconds ago. We're entering the last month of summer (or first month of autumn whichever way you think of it) so enjoy it while you can!

Summer in Ireland is jam-packed with stuff to do - that's the damn reason why it's gone by so fast. Coupled with the weather we've been having, most of us haven't had a chance to blink!

Festival season is in full swing - Castlepalooza and Indiependence are both taking place over the long weekend - but don't worry if you're not going, there are SO many fun activities and events going on around the country that will  keep you occupied.

Friday, August 1st

What? Festival: Gaze International LGBT Film Festival
Where? Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin
When? July 31 - August 1

It is exactly what it sounds like; a festival of LGBT themed films. That said, it's a festival for all fans of the silver screen. A highlight from today's schedule is documentary The Celluloid Closet which showcases how mainstream Hollywood has dealt with LGBT themes over the years. It's totally free but ticketed so make sure to book.

What? Gig: Sultans of Ping
Where? Cyprus Avenue, Cork
What time? 9pm
How much? €20

Irish indie legends Sultans Of Ping - yes, they of Where's Me Jumper? fame - play their first hometown headline gig in six years!

Saturday, August 2nd

What? Art: 184th Annual Exhibition
Where? Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) Ely Plave, Dublin
What time? Opening hours: 11am - 5pm

If you haven't checked the RHA's 184th Annual Exhibition this long weekend is a great chance to do so (in one of my favourite places to wander round in Dublin as it happens.) The Irish art scene is booming and the sheer diversity, not to mention creativity, really is a sight to behold. Catch it before it closes on August 7th!

What? Gig: Slow Magic
Where? The Button Factory
What time? 8pm
How much? €10

Following a sublime performance at this year’s Body & Soul,  the ethereally gorgeous sounds of the mysterious Slow Magic are coming to Dublin. We must admit - we were intrigued just by that psychedelic animal head. This is going to be a fascinating gig.

Sunday, August 3rd

What? Music: The Workman’s Club Bank Holiday Party
Where? The Workman's Club, Dublin
What time? 5pm
How much? Free!

You can always count on the Workman's to throw a good party when one is needed and they're not letting us down this August Bank Holiday weekend. Doors fling open at 5pm and there will be live music, DJs and, er, karaoke (but don't let that put you off.) Wooooo!

What? Variety: The Pretty Things Peepshow
Where? Monroe's, Galway
What time? 8pm
How much? €12 / €15

The Pretty Things Peepshow - who have toured with Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue if you don't mind AND danced in music videos for the Red Hot Chili Peppers AND have appeared on NY Ink and Celebrity Apprentice - bring their eclectic show to the City of the Tribes. Think sword swallowing, whip cracking, glass walking, knife throwing, singing, dancing, magic and comedy and you're half-way there to imagining what's in store.

Monday, August 4th

What? Play: Old Flames
Where? The New Theatre, Dublin
What time? 7.30pm
How much? €12/€15

Don't spend the last few hours of the bank holiday cowering under your blankets, go the the theatre instead and feel good about yourself. This new black comedy looks at the relationship between two sisters as it is put to the test when an ex-boyfriend is hired to paint their house.

What? Sport and Fun: Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon
Where? Dublin
What time? 10am

For the go-getters among us, this is the perfect way to spend bank hol Monday. Test your endurance, have fun with the whole family (aww) and listen to some cool tunes along the way.