IRE­LAND’S TOP 20 EVENTS

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We round up the un­miss­able events tak­ing place in 2019.

WEST LIFE

SSE Arena, Belfast, May 22-23, 25–27 / Croke Park, Dublin, July 5-6

Af­ter break­ing mil­lions of hearts in

2011 with the an­nounce­ment that Ire­land’s big­gest boy­band was to split, late last year Kian, Shane, Nicky and Mark broke the news of their re­turn to ac­tion for their 20th an­niver­sary. De­mand for tick­ets to see the re-united pop-stars has been so high that ex­tra dates were added in Dublin and Belfast, in­clud­ing an­other sta­dium date at the mighty Cro­ker.

SPICE GIRLS

Croke Park, Dublin, May 24

Scary, Baby, Sporty and Ginger are set to make his­tory by be­com­ing the rst ever girl group to grace the stage at Croke Park. De­mand was so high for the ’90s sen­sa­tions, who last played Ire­land 21 years ago, that all tick­ets for the 82,000 ca­pac­ity sta­dium were snapped up within two hours. The tour marks the rst time the girls will be back to­gether since they ap­peared at the 2012 Lon­don Olympics.

ME­TAL­LICA AT SL ANE

Slane Cas­tle, Meath, June 8

Re­joice heavy metal fans! Fol­low­ing a long 10-year wait, and a spate of leaks and ru­mours about their pos­si­ble re­turn to Ire­land, Me­tal­lica have con rmed that they will play at Slane Cas­tle in 2019. Me­tal­lica’s Euro­pean Tour will run from May to Au­gust next year, and no doubt Slane will be one of their key dates.

LIVE AT THE MAR­QUEE

Cork City, June 8 – July 8

Al­ways guar­an­teed to bring the best of mu­sic and com­edy to the Rebel County, this year’s Live At The Mar­quee will be air­ing out the tent for a se­lec­tion of Ir­ish he­roes, in­clud­ing As­lan, Versatile, Jenny Greene & The RTE Con­cert Orches­tra, Christy Moore and Tommy Tier­nan. They’re joined by in­ter­na­tional su­per­stars Kris Kristof­fer­son, David Gray, Toto and BROS.

FLEET WOOD MAC RDS, Dublin, June 13

They may have gained back the af­fec­tions and inim­itable croon of Chris­tine McVie, but 2018 saw the

Mac on the outs with iconic gui­tarist Lind­sey Buck­ing­ham. Tom Petty & The Heart­break­ers gui­tarist Mike Camp­bell and Split Enz and Crowded House front­man Neil Finn have been subbed in to ll out the sound, which sounds like an en­tic­ing propo­si­tion to us! This is sure to be one of the live high­lights of 2019.

MUMFORD & SONS

Malahide Cas­tle, Dublin, June 14 & 15 Last Novem­ber, Lon­don folk-rock­ers Mumford & Sons re­leased their ac­claimed fourth al­bum, Delta. It found the band de­but­ing at num­ber 1 in the US for the third time in the row. This sum­mer sees them back to live ac­tion with their Gen­tle­men Of The Road tour, in­clud­ing two dates at Malahide Cas­tle with Der­mot Kennedy, Wild Youth and AURORA.

HOZIER

In­de­pen­dent Park, Cork, June 25 / Bel­sonic, Belfast, June 27

Hav­ing stormed to the top of the charts in both Ire­land and the US with his in­cred­i­ble new al­bum Waste­land, Baby!,

Hozier is about to em­bark on a mas­sive sold-out US tour. That trek will take him right up to June, when he re­turns to the home­land for hotly an­tic­i­pated dates at In­de­pen­dent Park in Cork (with rising star Si­grid), and Belfast’s Bel­sonic fes­ti­val.

TRIN­ITY SUM­MER SE­RIES Trin­ity Col­lege, Dublin, July 1-7

The city cen­tre spec­tac­u­lar has burst out of the gates with a mouth­wa­ter­ing lineup for 2019. The Mod­fa­ther him­self, Paul Weller, will be strut­ting his stuff on the cricket pitch on July 4. Else­where, Kelly Jones and The Stereo­phon­ics are back on our shores on July 6, as are elec­tro-le­gends New Or­der on July 7. The bill is rounded out with ap­pear­ances from the elec­tri­fy­ing Janelle Monae (3), Foals (2) and Vam­pire Week­end (1).

BOB DYL AN AND NEIL YOUNG Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, July 14

Two of mu­sic’s most leg­endary per­form­ers are Ire­land bound for an in­cred­i­ble one-off dou­ble bill in the sunny south east. Icons of the 1960s folk re­vival, Dy­lan and Young have de­ter­minedly ploughed their own fur­row in the years since, rarely let­ting fans achieve a steady grip on their mer­cu­rial tal­ent while still re­leas­ing beloved al­bums.

BURT BACHARACH

Iveagh Gar­dens, Dublin, July 20 / Big Top, Gal­way, Gal­way July 22

Re­cip­i­ent of three Academy Awards and eight Gram­mys, Burt Bacharach rev­o­lu­tionised the mu­sic of the 1950s and ’60s. Renowned for hits such as ‘The Look Of Love’, ‘I Say A Lit­tle Prayer’ and‘ Walk On By ’, his songs have been recorded by leg­endary

singers such as Frank Si­na­tra, Neil Di­a­mond, Linda Ron­stadt, Dionne War­wick and Aretha Franklin.

GAL­WAY RACES Gal­way Race­course, July 29–Au­gust 4

Surely one of the great­est race meet­ings in the world, the fa­mous Gal­way Races Sum­mer Fes­ti­val boasts seven days of su­perb rac­ing, hos­pi­tal­ity, en­ter­tain­ment, stun­ning fashion and an elec­tric at­mos­phere. Re­turn­ing for its 150th year in 2019, whether you fancy a ut­ter or are just there for the glam­our, there’s plenty for all at the fes­ti­val, in­clud­ing Ladies Day, Su­per Satur­day and the Mad Hat­ter’s Com­pe­ti­tion.

DUBLIN HORSE SHOW

RDS, Dublin, Au­gust 7-11

This sum­mer high­light has be­come an Ir­ish institutio­n, ever since it was rst held in

1864. A cel­e­bra­tion of Ire­land’s af nity with all things equine, from the nest show horses to the best in­ter­na­tional showjumper­s, it ef­fort­lessly com­bines sport, style and so­cial­is­ing in a ne set­ting. It’s also one of Ire­land’s largest events, each year wel­com­ing tens of thou­sands of peo­ple from Ire­land and all over the world.

FLEADH C HEOIL

Au­gust 11-18 – Drogheda, Co. Louth

The 2019 Fleadh Cheoil prom­ises an­other week-long jam­boree of mu­sic, song and dance. In re­cent years the num­bers have grown signi cantly, with in ex­cess of 250,000 ock­ing to the 2012 Flead­hanna in Ca­van, and a stag­ger­ing 500,000 at­tend­ing the Drogheda event in 2018. This year sees the fes­ti­val re­turn­ing to Drogheda, for what’s sure to be one of the sum­mer’s ma­jor high­lights.

ALL -IREL AND HURLING FI­NAL Croke Park, Dublin, Au­gust 18

Lim­er­ick nar­rowly ended a 45-year drought against de­fend­ing champions Gal­way in

2019, and John Kiely’s men brought the Liam MacCarthy Cup back to the Treaty City for the rst time since 1973. While Lim­er­ick will be eager to make it two-in-a-row, Gal­way re­main the favourites to stage a come­back in this year’s tour­na­ment, and with the round robin for­mat rmly em­bed­ded since last year, we’re sure to see the provin­cial com­pe­ti­tion reach fever pitch in 2019.

Belfast Vi­tal, Au­gust 19 / RDS, Dublin, Au­gust 21 Dave Grohl, Tay­lor Hawkins, Nate Men­del, Chris Shi ett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaf­fee kicked off 2018 by playing an Aus­tralian/New Zealand sta­dium tour fol­lowed by sell-out shows at some of the world’s big­gest mu­sic venues, in­clud­ing Madi­son Square Gar­den, Fen­way Park, Wrigley Field and Lon­don Sta­dium. Now the ‘Best Of You’ singers have an­nounced two Ir­ish dates, one at the RDS Dublin and an­other head­lin­ing the Vi­tal Fes­ti­val in Belfast at Boucher Road.

THE ROSE OF TRALEE

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL FES­TI­VAL Tralee, Kerry, Au­gust 23–27

With con­tes­tants from all over the world com­pet­ing for the cov­eted ti­tle, The Rose Of Tralee – cel­e­brat­ing its di­a­mond ju­bilee this year – has be­come one of the most renowned Ir­ish fes­ti­vals. The cul­tural phe­nom­e­non takes over the small town of Tralee dur­ing the run-up to the tele­vised event and in­cludes three Rose Pa­rades, live con­certs, huge re­works dis­plays and much more, in ad­di­tion to the Gala Rose Ball at the Rose Dome.

ALL- IRE­LAND FOOT­BALL FI­NAL Croke Park, Dublin, Septem­ber 1

Dublin are aim­ing for an un­prece­dented

fth suc­ces­sive All Ire­land Se­nior Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship, and all eyes will be on Croke Park for what might be a truly his­toric nal. Stand­ing in their way are old foes Mayo and an in-form Kerry side who have beaten all and sundry in the Al­lianz League, in­clud­ing a ra­zor thin one-point vic­tory over Dublin in Tralee. The com­pe­ti­tion was thrown wide open on St. Pa­trick’s Week­end, when Dublin made a shock exit from the Al­lianz League, bested by Ty­rone at Croke Park – which added fur­ther in­trigue to a keenly awaited foot­ball cham­pi­onship.

IREL AND V SWITZERL AND

Aviva Sta­dium, Dublin, Septem­ber 5

With Cap­tain Fan­tas­tic back at the helm, and with the guarantee that at least two Euro 2020 matches will be played on home turf at the Aviva, all eyes will be on the boys in green for this au­tumn clash with the Swiss. Fin­gers crossed that Euro 2016 tal­is­man, striker Shane Long, will be back in the squad fol­low­ing his bout with in­jury.

GUIN­NESS SUM­MER SE­RIES: IREL AND V WALES

Aviva Sta­dium, Dublin, Septem­ber 7

The Rugby World Cup in Tokyo is just around the cor­ner, and with the taste of bit­ter de­feat at the hands of the Welsh dur­ing the Six Na­tions still fresh in the mem­ory, Joe Sch­midt and the boys will be look­ing for a solid vic­tory on home soil. The Welsh were un­stop­pable at the Mil­len­nium Sta­dium, their 25-point tally very nearly go­ing unan­swered. Whichever way this Sum­mer Se­ries match swings, the vic­tor will set them­selves apart as ones to watch in Ja­pan.

PLOUGHIN G C HAMPIONSHI­PS Fe­nagh, Co. Car­low, Septem­ber 17-19

Ever since it was con­ceived back in 1931, the Na­tional Plough­ing Cham­pi­onships have com­bined her­itage and a keen com­pet­i­tive edge. In the 21st cen­tury, the cham­pi­onships are no longer just for plough­ing or ma­chin­ery enthusiast­s. There’s also a tented trade vil­lage, a food fair, craft vil­lage, live­stock, forestry and ed­u­ca­tion events. Plus fashion, a mo­tor show, and much, much more!

VERSATILE

ME­TAL­LICA

DUBLIN HORSE SHOW

SPICE GIRLS

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