If you’re visiting Dublin soon, we highly recommend you catch a live trad music session to give you an idea of what this vibrant genre is all about. The front bar of iconic Whelan’s (a venue which has welcomed indie, rock and electronic acts from around the world for over 25 years) plays host to The Folk Club every Tuesday evening. This session showcases both new and established acts, with the likes of lively five-piece Skipper’s Alley, gorgeous electro-folk act Fox Owl Crow and Irish bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell (from the excellent Four Winds) all recently featuring in this intimate fireside session. Be sure to grab a pint at the bar and pull up a seat beside them next time you’re passing.
You’ll find plenty of other free trad music pubs and venues dotted around the city too. O’Donoghue’s pub on Baggot Street is steeped in folk history and plays host to a traditional and lively music session seven nights a week. The Cobblestone meanwhile is the perfect melting pot of old and new. Located in trendy Smithfield, this cosy pub serves great Guinness and also hosts regular live music sessions. Across the river you’ll find The Brazen Head (Dublin’s oldest pub), which hosts a live show every night, as well as a fantastic Sunday afternoon session (3.30pm – 6.30pm).
Further afield in the suburb of Rathfarnham you can catch trad act The Merry Ploughboys, who play a lively show every night in the pub of the same name. And of course we urge you check out Johnny Foxes, a cosy getaway nestled in the Dublin mountains. It’s easily accessible though, with a shuttle bus running from the city-centre. Established back in 1798, there’s traditional music and Irish dancing every day; check out their Hooley Night in particular!