Sound of Ireland

When you think of travelling to Ireland you probably think of the towering Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, the Ring of Kerry, ancient castles and the cobbled streets of Dublin. Too few people think of this beautiful country as a hotspot for music, nightlife, bands and a long history of songs celebrating its sweeping landscapes.

These six musical hotspots could well guide a musical tour around Ireland, for any music enthusiasts out there!

The 1000-year-old pub
If you travel to Ireland’s Ancient East region in Athlone town, you’ll find Sean’s Bar, one of the oldest pubs in Ireland at over 1000 years old. Here you’ll be able to enjoy traditional music that’s played nearly every night.

The home of U2
‘It’s a beautiful day. Don’t let it get away.’ While many people know that mega-successful rock band U2 is Irish, few know that they originated from Dublin. The band members were born in Dublin, and you can learn more about them at the ‘U2: Made in Dublin’ exhibition at The Little Museum of Dublin.

The Irish bagpipes
While Scotland is well known for its bagpipes, fewer people know that Ireland has its very own equivalent. The Uilleann pipes are a sweet-sounding wind instrument comprising powered bellows that sit between the arm and hip.

Songs of the scenery
The famous Christmas song Fairytale of New York by Pogues and Kirsty MacColl sings of Galway Bay in its chorus. Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, with Galway city located on its northeast side.

Strings of superstars
If you travel to County Down, you’ll find the home and workshop of Lowden Guitars, a branded played by superstars including Ed Sheeran and Eric Clapton.

Festival central
If you’re around in the summer and in the mood for a surf and music festival, head to Sligo’s Bundoran along the Wild Atlantic Way to take part in the Sea Sessions festival. If you’re around in September head over to County Laois to enjoy Electric Picnic, a festival that has hosted the likes of Blondie, Sam Smith and Florence and the Machine.

Did you know much about Ireland’s rich history of music and festivals? Would you consider a musical tour of Ireland once international borders open up again?

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Written by Liv Gardiner


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