Can you believe it's July already? We are officially in the second half of 2014 and depending on how well you think your life is going you're either chuckling and going, 'Wow, how time flies when you're having fun!' or you're drawing the curtains, putting down the fire and pretending it's January all over again.
No need to be the second person. Life is beautiful! Everyone knows that Ireland is at its very best when the sun is shining and, well, looky here, it's out! Even if it goes behind the clouds that's ok, the summery atmosphere will prevail.
If you have seen the American stand in Lidl already or indeed, the 1996 film starring Will Smith, then you probably know that Friday, July 4th is the USA's Independence Day. U.S.A! U.S.A! Ahem. There are sure to be plenty of stars and stripes style festivities around the place - there's a concert on in Dublin's St. Patrick's Cathedral for one - so keep an eye out. There's no harm in jumping on that bandwagon - sure don't they help us celebrate St. Patrick every year?
If playing beer pong or like, singing The Star-Spangled Banner is not really your cupán tae, never fear, there are loads of things to be doing from Friday to Sunday.
Friday, July 4
What? Festival: Light Colour Sound
Where? Shankill Castle, Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny
When? July 4th - 5th
One of Ireland's most charming boutique festivals is taking place this Friday and Saturday in one of Ireland's nicest counties (I would know, I was there for the first time in my life last week.) It's the kind of fest where you enjoy tea in china teacups. Chill with your friends, amble through candle lit walkways, drop in on some acoustic sessions, dance under the stars, experience the best in spoken word and witness - and/or wear - incredible costumes. Simply lovely.
What? Play: The Price by Arthur Miller
Where? The Gate Theatre, Dublin
What time? 7.30pm
How much? €35
While Arthur Miller may be well-known for being one-time hubby of Marilyn Monroe and for being Daniel Day-Lewis' daddy-in-law, he is also considered to be one of America's greatest playwrights so what a coincidence that this play is being staged in July. If you really were planning on jumping in on the Fourth of July celebrations, why, this is a very understated way to do so!
What? Concert: Kings Of Leon
Where? Marlay Park, Dublin
What time? 5pm
How much? €61.50
Alternatively, rock out to the humongously successful and popular (and dashing) band from Tennessee. Just don't forget to arrange transportation back from Marlay Park or you may be left facing a very, very long, tiring and blister-inducing walk (Arcade Fire / Pixies gig on June 28 I'm talking 'bout you.)
Saturday, July 5
What? Festival - Daytripper
When? Friday 4th - Sunday 6th
I don't predict that there will be very many riots (heh heh) at the Daytripper Festival taking place in Waterford over the weekend but Friday's headline act Kaiser Chiefs will be causing mayhem in a good way on the main stage. Other acts hitting it up are fellow headliners Paloma Faith and David Gray, along with Walking On Cars, Hermitage Green, O Emperor, The Hot Sprockets, Kodakid, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott from The Beautiful South, Booka Brass Band, Propeller Palms, Corner Boy, Susan O’Neill & The Low Standards, James, Cathy Davey, King Kong Company, Solar Taxi and Hogan.
What? Comedy: The Lads of Comedy
Where? Roisin Dubh, Galway
What time? 8pm
How much? €8/€10
Five of Ireland's top comedians Kevin McGahern, Trevor Browne, Edwin Sammon, Ronan Grace and Andrea Farrell bring their tour to Galway this weekend. It might be raining on Saturday so if you need cheering up this is the best way to do it. Go if it's sunny too!
What? Play: Adrenaline by Cian Clancy
Where? Granary Theatre, Cork
What time? 8pm
How much? €10
We are really loving how accessible Irish theatre is becoming. This Cork City set play - a tale of how three lives entangle - will set you back only €10, an excellent price for seeing a new play by an up and coming playwright performed by promising actors.
What? Extravaganza: Jack of Diamonds Old Time Radio Show
Where? The Sugar Club, Dublin
What time? 8.30pm
How much? €10
The Sugar Club always know how to host a fascinating event. There's never a better place to get gussied up in interesting garb (the dress-code for tonight is 1940s style and it's strongly encouraged. Do it!), listen to music you wouldn't usually hear and see sights you wouldn't normally see. Gavin Glass is the MC with Betty Swing Machine on House Band duties, and obviously, there's much, much more.
What? Summer Season: Dublin Castle Summer Season 2014
Where? Dublin Castle
When? July 3rd - August 3rd
Once again, the folk at Dublin Castle have some wonderful events in store over the next month or so. Deeds of Deceit kick off the summer season (you can check it out today at 4.30pm or 7.30pm). It sure is topical, 'In one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the twentieth century, the Irish Crown Jewels were discovered stolen from Dublin Castle in 1907. Despite investigations from Scotland Yard and the Dublin Metropolitan Police, there was no inquiry and no trial into the theft, only a litany of lies, scandal and deceit.' Ooo, intriguing.
Sunday, July 6
What? Album Launch: Aoife O'Donovan
Where? Coughlan's Live, Cork
What time? 8.30pm
How much? €12
Aoife O'Donovan presents her new album Fossils tonight and we believe that her record is exceptional - one of those that will truly stand the test of time. A gifted singer and songwriter, this intimate show will be one that is not forgotten soon.
What? Comedy: Gearoid Farrelly, Greg Marks, Noreen Callinan, plus guests. MC Simon O'Keeffe
Where? Ha'penny Bridge Inn, Temple Bar, Dublin
What time? 9.15pm
How much? €5
Oh, how we love reasonably priced gigs, especially reasonably priced gigs that make us feel better about the next day being Monday and all. The Capital Comedy Club always present the best in Irish comedy so get down to Temple Bar and have yourself a good auld laugh.
What? Family Comedy Festival: FunnyFest
Where? The Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin
When? Sat 05 July 2014 - Sun 24 August
Speaking of comedy, The Ark's comedy festival for kids kicks off on Saturday and runs for almost two months! Today, the whole family can enjoy the funny antics of Marcus Olaoire, Bec Hill and Reuban at gig number two in The Ark's Comedy Club.