Discover The Best Venues For Live Music In Dublin A Guide For Music Lovers

Contents show

Welcome to the music capital of Ireland! Dublin is known for its lively nightlife, rich culture, and of course, never-ending love for live music. Whether you’re a local, an expat, or a tourist visiting for the first time, you’ll never run out of options when it comes to enjoying some of the best live music performances in the world.

But with so many options to choose from – big concerts, intimate gigs, traditional Irish music sessions, and everything in between – it can be overwhelming to plan your night out. That’s where we come in. In this article, we’re going to give you a guide to the best live music Dublin has to offer, so you can spend more time enjoying the music and less time stressing about where to go.

From the historic venues where legends like U2 and Van Morrison got their start, to the newest hotspots where up-and-coming artists and local bands share their talent, we’ll cover it all. We’ve done the research, talked to the experts, and even asked the locals for their recommendations, so you can trust that we’re giving you the most up-to-date and reliable information. So, whether you’re a die-hard music fan or just looking for a fun night out, keep reading to discover the best live music Dublin has to offer!

Experience the Best Live Music in Dublin at These Top Venues

Dublin’s live music scene is buzzing with energy and excitement. With its rich musical heritage, the city attracts many talented performers, from up-and-coming local artists to international superstars. Whether you’re in the mood for rock, jazz, folk, or something else entirely, there’s something for everyone in Dublin. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top venues in the city where you can experience the best live music.

1. The Olympia Theatre

The Olympia Theatre is one of Dublin’s most iconic live music venues, having played host to some of the biggest names in music over the years. Located in the heart of the city on Dame Street, the theatre has a capacity of around 1,600 people, making it one of the larger venues in Dublin.

If you’re interested in seeing a live music show at the Olympia, be prepared to book your tickets early. The theatre is incredibly popular, and many shows sell out quickly. Some of the artists who have performed at the Olympia in the past include David Bowie, U2, and The Clash.

Pros Cons
  • Iconic venue with a rich history
  • Large capacity means lots of seats available
  • Located in the heart of the city
  • Shows can sell out quickly, so book early
  • Can be quite crowded
  • Tickets can be expensive for popular acts

What to Expect

The Olympia offers a fantastic live music experience, with its stunning architecture and excellent acoustics. The venue is known for its intimate atmosphere, which allows audiences to enjoy a close-up view of their favorite performers. The theatre is easy to get to via public transport, with many bus and Luas routes stopping nearby.

Customer Reviews

“I saw Hozier here and it was an incredible experience. The acoustics were great, and the intimate setting really allowed us to connect with the performance.” – Sarah M.

“The Olympia is one of the best places to see live music in Dublin. The atmosphere is electric, and the history of the venue adds to the experience.” – Dave W.

Real-World Example

In 2014, Irish musician Hozier shot to fame with his hit single “Take Me to Church.” The success of the song led to a sold-out show at the Olympia later that year, cementing his status as one of Dublin’s rising musical stars.


Overall, if you’re looking for an unforgettable live music experience in Dublin, the Olympia Theatre is an excellent choice. While tickets can be pricey, the quality of performers and the venue’s rich history make it a must-visit destination for any music lover. Be sure to book early and arrive early to get the best seats possible.

The Top Live Music Venues in Dublin

Dublin is an Irish city known for its lively music scene. The city is filled with many great live music venues that feature a variety of music genres. From traditional Irish tunes to rock and roll, these venues cater to everyone’s music taste. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the top live music venues in Dublin.

The O2 Arena

The O2 Arena is one of the largest live music venues in Dublin. It has a seating capacity of 14,000 people and is located in the Dublin Docklands area. The venue has hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry, including U2, Metallica, and Beyoncé. The O2 Arena is known for its state-of-the-art facilities, excellent sound quality, and great views from every seat.

  • Pros:
    • The venue can accommodate a large crowd.
    • The sound quality is excellent.
    • The stage and lighting facilities are state-of-the-art.
    • The venue has great views from every seat.
  • Cons:
    • Tickets can be expensive.
    • The venue is located outside the city center, so it can be difficult to get to.
    • The venue can get overcrowded, making it difficult to move around.

The O2 Arena has also been the venue for some iconic moments in Irish music history. U2 played a series of concerts at the venue in 2015 as part of their Innocence + Experience tour. The band dedicated their song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” to missing women in Ireland. The O2 Arena has also hosted the annual Meteor Irish Music Awards, which celebrates Irish music and musicians.

Vicar Street

Vicar Street is another popular live music venue in Dublin. It is located in the city center and has a capacity of 1,050 seated or 1,500 standing. The venue has a great atmosphere and is known for hosting intimate shows. Many famous musicians have played at Vicar Street, including Prince, Bob Dylan, and Radiohead.

  • Pros:
    • The venue is located in the city center.
    • The capacity of the venue allows for an intimate atmosphere.
    • The stage is visible from every seat in the house.
    • The venue has excellent acoustics.
  • Cons:
    • Seats are limited, so it can be difficult to get a ticket for popular shows.
    • The venue has a limited bar and food menu.
    • The standing area can get crowded, making it difficult to see the stage for shorter people.
See also  Rock The Night Away With Live Music Delray Your Ultimate Guide To The Hottest Acts In Town

One of the most legendary shows at Vicar Street was in 2016 when Prince played two spontaneous shows in one night. The tickets were only available on the day of the concert and sold out within minutes of being put on sale. Prince played a mix of his classic hits and new material to an adoring crowd.

The Olympia Theatre

The Olympia Theatre is an iconic live music venue in Dublin. It has a seating capacity of 1,400 people and is located in the heart of the city. The venue has a rich history and has been operating since 1879. It has been restored to its former glory and is known for its ornate décor and intimate atmosphere. The Olympia Theatre has hosted many famous musicians over the years, including Adele, David Bowie, and Bruce Springsteen.

  • Pros:
    • The venue is located in the city center.
    • The theatre has an ornate and beautiful interior.
    • The stage is visible from every seat in the house.
    • The venue has excellent acoustics.
  • Cons:
    • The venue can get overcrowded.
    • Seats are limited, so it can be difficult to get a ticket for popular shows.
    • The theatre can get hot and stuffy, especially during the summer months.

The Olympia Theatre has a unique feature called The Gods, which is a section of the theatre that has a balcony overlooking the stage. The balcony is reached by climbing a steep staircase and is notoriously difficult to access. However, those who make the climb are rewarded with a unique and unforgettable view of the stage.

Comparing the Venues

The O2 Arena Vicar Street The Olympia Theatre
Capacity 14,000 people 1,050 seated or 1,500 standing 1,400 people
Location Outside the city center In the city center In the city center
Sound Quality Excellent Excellent Excellent
Atmosphere Lively Intimate Intimate
History Hosts some of the biggest names in the music industry Many famous musicians have played here Has a long and rich history

In conclusion, Dublin has a vibrant and exciting live music scene. Whether you prefer big arena shows or intimate gigs, there is a venue in Dublin that caters to your needs. The O2 Arena, Vicar Street, and The Olympia Theatre are just a few of the top live music venues in the city. Each venue has its unique features and quirks, and choosing the right one for you depends on your personal preferences.

Subsection 3: Best Venues for Live Music in Dublin

Dublin is a city that never sleeps when it comes to live music. There are a plethora of venues scattered all over the city that cater to all kinds of music enthusiasts. Here are some of the best places to catch a live gig in Dublin.

The Olympia Theatre

The Olympia Theatre located on Dame Street is one of the most iconic theatres in Dublin. It is a historical venue that has played host to some of the biggest names in the music industry. The theatre can hold up to 1,300 people, making it an intimate setting for concerts.


– Intimate atmosphere
– Great acoustics
– Rich history


– Limited seating
– Expensive tickets in some cases

The Olympia Theatre has welcomed musicians like Adele, Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and Jeff Buckley. In 2015, Hozier performed his famous “Take Me To Church” for the first time at the Olympia Theatre. The venue also hosts plays, comedy gigs, and musicals throughout the year.

Vicar Street

The Vicar Street venue is a relatively new addition to Dublin’s live music scene. Located on Thomas Street, it is owned by the same group that owns The Olympia Theatre. However, Vicar Street is a larger venue, accommodating up to 1,500 people.


– Large capacity
– The wide variety of musicians
– Good sound quality


– Hard to get tickets for popular performers
– No outside viewing of the stage

Vicar Street has played host to diverse genres of music ranging from rock to traditional Irish music. The venue has an excellent sound system that provides concert-goers with an unbeatable experience. Musicians like Bob Dylan, Eminem, Coldplay, and Tom Waits have all performed here.

The Button Factory

The Button Factory is located in the vibrant Temple Bar neighborhood in Dublin. This live music venue holds up to 750 people, and it has a stage made for musicians to perform their talent.


– Comfortable seating
– Central location in the city
– Sound quality


– Not best suited for acoustic performers
– Limited stage space

The Button Factory hosts acts ranging from alternative to electronic music, as well as local acts. The venue has welcomed musicians such as Paolo Nutini, Bell X1, and The Hives.


Whelan’s is a small and intimate venue, located on Camden Street. It is a perfect spot for those who want to catch emerging Irish music talent. Whelan’s claims to be a venue for the best Irish musicians, and they have a fantastic reputation to back that up.


– Intimate atmospheres
– A vibrant atmosphere
– Affordable ticket prices


– Limited capacity
– Smaller stages

Whelan’s has hosted Irish musicians such as Hozier and Ed Sheeran before they became phenomenally popular. The venue also hosts “unsigned Sundays,” where upcoming performers can showcase their talents.

The Grand Social

The Grand Social is located on Lower Liffey Street and is a multi-function venue that welcomes live music fans from all genres of music. The venue has two separate rooms that cater to different tastes in music. The main room regularly books well-known artists, while the second room provides a more intimate space for upcoming musicians’ gigs.


– Two separate rooms with different atmospheres
– The wide variety of genres
– Cocktails and beers available


– Limited seating
– Not many large, famous musicians

The Grand Social has been a stage for up-and-coming artists as well as established artists. The venue has been frequented by musicians like Nick Cave, The Riptide Movement, and Villagers.

Venue Capacity Genres catered to Ticket prices
The Olympia Theatre 1,300 Various genres High-priced
Vicar Street 1,500 Various genres Range from low-priced to high-priced
The Button Factory 750 Alternative and electronic music Mid-priced
Whelan’s 300 Irish music Low-priced
The Grand Social 600 Various genres Range from low-priced to mid-priced

To sum it up, Dublin is a city that loves its live music. There is something for every music lover in this city, and these venues showcase some of the best talent Ireland and the rest of the world has to offer. Catching live music in any of these venues is an experience to savor.


Dublin is world-renowned for its live music scene, with countless bars, clubs and venues across the city hosting an array of local and international musical talent. From traditional Irish folk music to contemporary rock, hip hop and electronic music, Dublin has something to offer everyone. In this article, we will provide an overview of Dublin’s famous live music scene and its key subtopics, including the city’s rich musical history, popular music venues, emerging musicians and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the music industry.

See also  Rock Out At Live Music Desert Ridge Your Ultimate Guide To The Hottest Bands And Venues

Dublin’s musical heritage is deeply rooted in its traditional Irish folk music, which has been passed down through generations and continues to inspire musicians today. The city’s vibrant pub culture also plays a significant role in its musical history, with many famous pubs and bars hosting live music performances, such as O’Donoghue’s, which was the birthplace of The Dubliners band in the 1960s.

Traditional Irish Folk Music

Traditional Irish folk music is an essential part of Dublin’s musical heritage, with many musicians keeping the tradition alive through contemporary performances. This music genre is characterized by the sound of the Uilleann pipes, the bodhrán (a traditional Irish drum), and the fiddle, among other instruments. Notable Irish folk musicians include The Chieftains, Sinead O’Connor, Enya and Damien Rice.

Pub Culture and Live Music

Dublin’s traditional pub culture is an integral part of its live music scene, with many famous pubs hosting live music performances every week. Among the most popular pubs for live music are Whelan’s, The Cobblestone, The Brazen Head and The Palace Bar, where traditional Irish music sessions take place regularly. Many famous musicians have also played in Dublin’s pubs, including U2, Van Morrison, and Sinead O’Connor.

Aside from its pubs and bars, Dublin has a wide range of dedicated music venues that host concerts and gigs throughout the year. From small, intimate venues like The Workman’s Club to larger arenas such as The 3Arena, Dublin has something to offer for all music tastes and preferences.

The 3Arena

The 3Arena is Dublin’s largest music venue and has a capacity of up to 13,000 people. It has hosted countless international musicians, including Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, and Ed Sheeran. The venue has excellent sound quality and lighting systems, making it one of the best music venues in the world.

The Olympia Theatre

The Olympia Theatre is one of Dublin’s most iconic music venues, with a capacity of around 1,200 people. It was opened in 1879 and has been used for a variety of events, including plays, musicals and concerts. Many famous musicians have graced the stage at The Olympia, including David Bowie, Adele and Radiohead.

Dublin’s live music scene is not just about established musicians, but also includes many emerging artists who are making waves both in Ireland and internationally. There are several music festivals and events in Dublin that showcase emerging musicians, such as the Hard Working Class Heroes festival and the Dublin Fringe Festival.

Fontaines D.C.

Fontaines D.C. is a post-punk band from Dublin that has gained international recognition in recent years. Their debut album, ‘Dogrel’, was released in 2019 and received critical acclaim, with many critics calling it one of the best albums of the year. The band has played at several international music festivals, including Coachella and Glastonbury.

Tebi Rex

Tebi Rex is an emerging hip hop duo from Dublin that has been making waves in the Irish music scene. Their music combines elements of hip hop, indie rock and electronic music, making them stand out from other Irish hip hop artists. They have played at several music festivals in Ireland, including Electric Picnic and Longitude.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Dublin’s live music scene, with many music venues and festivals forced to cancel events to comply with government restrictions. The pandemic has also affected musicians and their ability to make a living from their art.

Closed Venues and Canceled Events

Several music venues in Dublin were forced to close their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic due to government restrictions, including The Academy and The Button Factory. Major music festivals, such as Longitude and Electric Picnic, were also canceled to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Virtual Concerts and Livestreams

Despite the pandemic, many musicians in Dublin have continued to share their music with fans through virtual concerts and livestreams. These online events have become increasingly popular, with many musicians reaching a wider audience than ever before. For example, Irish artists such as Dermot Kennedy and Niall Horan have hosted successful livestreamed concerts to thousands of fans around the world.

The Future of Dublin’s Live Music Scene

The music industry in Dublin has been hit hard by the pandemic, and it is unclear when it will return to its former glory. However, many musicians and music venues in Dublin are adapting to the new reality and finding innovative ways to continue creating and sharing their music. As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, the live music scene in Dublin is likely to come back stronger than ever before.

Pros Cons Comparisons
  • Rich musical heritage
  • Wide range of music venues
  • Emerging musicians and artists
  • COVID-19 pandemic impact
  • Music venue closures and event cancelations
  • Financial challenges for musicians
  • Compared to other music destinations such as London and New York, Dublin has a more intimate and authentic music scene
  • Compared to other traditional music destinations, such as Glasgow and Edinburgh, Dublin’s music scene is more diverse and includes a wider range of contemporary music genres

In conclusion, Dublin’s live music scene is diverse, vibrant and constantly evolving. It is deeply rooted in the city’s rich musical heritage and reflects the diverse range of cultures and influences in modern-day Ireland. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dublin’s musicians and music venues are finding new and innovative ways to continue creating and sharing music with audiences around the world.

Uncovering Hidden Gems in Dublin’s Live Music Scene

Dublin is renowned for its live music scene, with some of the world’s most famous acts performing in the city’s large venues. However, there’s also an abundance of smaller, more intimate venues that host talented local artists and up-and-coming musicians. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these “hidden gems” of Dublin’s live music scene and explore why they’re worth checking out.

The Charm of Small Venues

Dublin has a thriving music scene, with venues of all sizes dotted throughout the city. While larger venues offer a crowd-pumping atmosphere, there’s something special about the intimacy of smaller venues. These venues provide an up-close and personal experience, where the audience can connect with the performers in a way that’s simply not possible in larger venues. The smaller crowd sizes also provide an opportunity to discover new musicians and genres that you may not have otherwise been exposed to.

The Best Small Venues in Dublin

Here are some of the best small venues in Dublin that should be on your radar:

  1. The Workman’s Club: This venue has a relaxed atmosphere and hosts an eclectic range of events. From indie rock to electronica and everything in between, there’s always something interesting happening at The Workman’s Club.
  2. Whelan’s: This iconic venue is well-known for hosting some of the biggest names in Irish music, but it’s also a great place to catch local artists. The venue has a cosy upstairs bar and an intimate performance space downstairs.
  3. The Grand Social: This venue is a favourite among locals and tourists alike, with a lively atmosphere and a varied programme of events. The venue also has a spacious outdoor terrace, perfect for enjoying a drink and mingling with other music lovers.
  4. Boys School: situated in the heart of Dublin, this hidden away venue regularly features unique events and experimental music projects. Their impressive sound system is perfect for showcasing electronic, hip hop and experimental performers.
  5. The Sugar Club: A self-described “Voodoo Lounge”, you never know what will happen at this trendy venue, but one thing is sure – it won’t be boring. Musicians from across the world touch down in this charismatic venue, from jazz ensembles to solo singer-songwriters.
See also  Want To Make Money With Music Heres How To Start A Music Publishing Company

The Pros and Cons of Small Venues

Small venues have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Pros Cons
  • Intimate atmosphere
  • Opportunity to discover new artists
  • Lively and engaged audience
  • Lower ticket prices
  • Less comfortable seating arrangements
  • Sound quality may not be as good
  • Limited facilities (e.g. to restraurant or bar options)
  • Crowded space

Cultivating a Local Music Scene

Small venues play a crucial role in cultivating a strong local music scene. They provide an opportunity for up-and-coming artists to showcase their talent and gain exposure. However, smaller venues rely heavily on local support to stay afloat. By attending gigs at smaller venues and supporting local artists, you’re helping to nurture the growth of Dublin’s music scene and ensuring that new talent continues to emerge.

The Future of Live Music in Dublin

The recent closure of Dublin’s beloved Tivoli Theatre has raised concerns about the future of live music venues in the city. However, many small venues in Dublin continue to thrive, and new ones are popping up all the time. The future of Dublin’s live music scene looks bright, with dedicated music lovers committed to supporting their favourite venues and artists.

In conclusion, Dublin’s smaller music venues are a treasure trove of talent and undiscovered gems. By exploring these venues, you’ll discover new music, meet interesting people and support the growth of the local music scene. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and uncover the hidden gems of Dublin’s live music scene!

FAQs: Live Music Dublin

What are the best live music venues in Dublin?

Dublin is known for its vibrant music scene, and there are many venues to choose from. Some of the best venues for live music in Dublin include Whelan’s, The Olympia Theatre, The Academy, and Vicar Street. Each of these venues hosts a variety of genres and is worth checking out.

What are some upcoming concerts in Dublin?

There are always upcoming concerts in Dublin. You can check out websites such as Ticketmaster, StubHub or Bandsintown to see who’s playing. Some upcoming concerts in Dublin include Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and The 1975.

What kind of music can I expect to hear in Dublin?

Dublin has a varied music scene, with every genre represented in some way. From traditional Irish music to rock and roll, indie rock to electronic dance music, and everything in between, there’s something for everyone.

Are there any free live music events in Dublin?

Yes, there are many free live music events in Dublin. You can check out events such as the Temple Bar Tradfest, the Dublin Fringe Festival, and the People’s Music Awards. Additionally, many pubs and bars in the city offer free live music performances throughout the week.

Can I bring kids to a live music event in Dublin?

It depends on the venue and the event. Many venues have age restrictions, and some events may not be suitable for children. However, there are also family-friendly festivals and events that are suitable for all ages.

What is the dress code for live music events in Dublin?

There is no strict dress code for live music events in Dublin. The key is to be comfortable and dress appropriately for the venue and the type of event you’re attending. Generally speaking, casual wear is acceptable at most venues.

What is the best time of year to visit Dublin for live music?

Dublin’s music scene is active all year round, but some of the best times to visit are during the summer months when many festivals take place, such as Forbidden Fruit, Longitude, and Electric Picnic. However, there’s always live music to be found in the city, regardless of the season.

Can I buy tickets for live music events in Dublin online?

Yes, you can buy tickets for live music events in Dublin online through various ticketing websites. Some of the popular ones include Ticketmaster, StubHub or Bandsintown. You can also buy tickets directly from the venue or promoter.

What is the best way to get to live music venues in Dublin?

The best way to get to live music venues in Dublin depends on the venue’s location. The city has a well-connected public transport system, including buses, trams, and trains, which makes it easy to get around. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or use ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft.

What can I do before and after a live music event in Dublin?

Before a live music event, you can explore the city’s many attractions, such as the Guinness Storehouse, Phoenix Park, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. After the event, you can grab a drink in one of the city’s many pubs or clubs, or explore the vibrant nightlife scene that Dublin is known for.


Live music in Dublin is a must-see experience for any music lover. With a variety of venues, genres, and festivals throughout the year, there’s always something to enjoy. From family-friendly events to all-night parties on the town, Dublin’s music scene has something to offer everyone. So why not grab a ticket to the next concert, explore the city, and experience the best of Dublin’s live music for yourself?

After reading this article, visitors to Dublin can feel confident in finding the best venues and events for their music preferences. There’s always something happening in Dublin, so be sure to check out popular ticketing websites or ask locals for their recommendations. Don’t forget to explore the city’s attractions during the day and enjoy the nightlife scene after the show. Thanks for reading, and we hope you have an enjoyable visit to Dublin!