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The Band Plays On as Dublin Goes Country: Dublin still stomping as Capital entertains visitors with a ‘City & Western’ series of events

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe today announced that Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Dublin’s tourism industry were stepping in to ensure that the many thousands of Garth Brooks’ fans would still have a weekend to remember if they went ahead with their travel plans to the city in the last weekend of July.

Minister Donohoe emphasised:

“Garth may not be coming but Dublin is still here and there’s a lot happening in Dublin that week. The tourism industry is working hard to ensure Garth Brooks fans will still have a reason to come. Fáilte Ireland and the city’s tourism industry have pulled out all the stops to add extra country and western themed events to make it a weekend to remember for all fans that come. And Tourism Ireland is spreading the message to fans in key markets overseas through social media advertising and targeted publicity. Aer Lingus and Ryanair have also agreed to promote ‘Dublin Goes Country’ to millions of their customers.”

Minister of State Ring said:

“Ireland is a great place for festivals, as we showed during the Gathering. I am sure this is going to be a great weekend too. I would encourage all visitors to come to Ireland as planned and take in the rest of the country as well as Dublin.”

Fáilte Ireland has developed a ‘Dublin Goes Country’ campaign with some specially created country & western events to complement the vast range of events and activities that Dublin is already offering visitors during the July 25-29 period. These will include a series of music events at a variety of venues; themed menus at Dublin bars and restaurants and a series of nightly events featuring food, dance and music.

Highlights announced by the Minister today include:

Whelan's Bluegrass, Country & Roots Festival, July 25-27th;

“In Lonesome Dame” – live Outdoor music in the Dame St District, July 25-27th;

An ‘OK Corral’ Busking Trail – (Sat 26th July) from the Grafton Quarter to Wolf Tone Square; a busking trail of well-known and up and coming acts playing in key locations.

Stetson and the City (Friday 25th) – a one day music trail, organised by the people behind Breakingtunes Irish Music portal and Hard Working Class Heroes Festival, will showcase some of the best new country and folk bands in Ireland right now.

(See editor’s note for more details).

Fáilte Ireland will promote ‘Dublin Goes Country’ through, as well as via a variety of other digital channels and PR. Tourism Ireland will also promote the initiative through their own overseas platforms and liaise with the airlines.

Many tourism businesses taking part will be providing their own themed and related special events as well as special offers that weekend.

Everyone is encouraged to go to or or check out #DublinGoesCountry to keep up with all the latest news for the event.

Speaking today, Mary Collins from Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin team said:

“It’s a credit to the local tourism industry that they have all pitched in at such short notice to help us provide an exciting alternative for the many Garth Brooks fans who had already booked flights and accommodation to be here. Even, if people didn’t have a ticket for Garth, we would encourage them to check out these events, get into the swing of things and grab their partners for what should be a great hoe-down in the city later this month”.


Press Office, Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport 01 604 1087 / 01 604 1090


What is ‘Dublin Goes Country’ ?

This innovative initiative from Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin team and the local tourism industry will involve some specially created country & western events to complement the vast range of events and activities that Dublin has to offer visitors all year round.

What specific new events are organised for the weekend?

Whelan's Bluegrass, Country & Roots Festival

July 25th, 26th 27th

Whelan’s, Camden Street


One of Dublin’s most iconic music venues, Whelan’s, will host a free festival showcasing the best up and coming talent emerging from Ireland.

Four bands (a mixture of Roots, Trad and Rock) will play each night starting at 8pm and finishing at 11. The festival will have a roots bias, catering to the tastes of the many Garth Brooks fans in town while giving visitors the opportunity to experience new Irish music amongst Irish music fans and to have a real taste of an Irish Pub/Session.

In Lonesome Dame

July 25th, 26th, 27th

Dame Lane- Dame Court

7pm – 10 pm

Free Admission

Dublin’s Dame Street District will play host to live music stage at the “T” junction of Dame Court- Dame Lane with two free ‘Country/ Americano’ concerts playing each night.

Visitors can partake in lots of free festive activities such as Square Dancing Lessons; Piñatas; Egg & Spoon Races; Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

The District will be decked out in true hoedown style with colourful gingham bunting and bales of hay with old barn fences so visitors to the area will certainly feel that Dublin has “gone country”.

Friday 25th

• Square Dancing in the Street – Learn the basics of Square Dancing and put your knowledge to the test with live music setting the pace.

Saturday 26th

• Day-long BBQ with free live music covering all music that has influenced Country & Western.

Sunday 27th

• Day-long BBQ with free live music

The OK Corral Busking Trail

Dublin City from the Grafton Quarter to Wolfe Tone Square will provide the backdrop to a busking trail of well-known and up and coming acts playing in key locations.

Dame District is located just behind Dame Street and parallel to George’s street, where the T-junction at Dame Court has become an epicentre for socializing on any given night of the week.

Stetson and the City (map to follow)

Friday 25th

This one day music trail, organised by the great people who brought you the innovative Hard Working Class Heroes festival, will showcase some of the best new country + folk bands in Ireland right now. Over the course of the day there will be 16 acts taking over the city’s airport, restaurants, bars, shops and pretty much anywhere they can fit their instruments!


Saturday 26th

FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES , the ‘unofficial' official Garth Brooks Tribute Show will perform at Dalymount Park. They have teamed up with 98FM and Bohemians football Club for this event for all Garth Brooks fans and to raise money for Temple Street Children Hospital and Bohemians football Club.

What else is on in Dublin that weekend?

The cancelled concerts notwithstanding, there is still a lot happening in Dublin that weekend. Below are some events taking place over the weekend.

Riverdance 20th Anniversary

23rd June - 26th August

Gaiety Theatre

Vodafone Comedy Festival

24th – 27th July

Iveagh Gardens

Dublin City Soul Festival

26th – 27th July

Merrion Square:

Nashville Comes to Dublin

The Sugar Club 25th – 27th July

Whelan’s 28th – 29th July


July 26th - 27th

Blessington Lakes, Co. Wicklow

New Jersey Nights

Olympia Theatre

There is obviously loads of other ancillary events (e.g. a night Market / Food Markets, etc.) happening all around town as well and visitors can check out for more details.