AUGUST Roundup: Best of Irish 2020

Welcome to the August edition of The Best of Irish with St. Patrick’s Festival.

Here, we curate a collection of happenings and wonderful content for the month ahead, bringing you the ‘Best of Irish’ from Ireland and worldwide. Join us in celebrating what the Irish do best, from music, dance, theatre and storytelling, to community fundraising, tutorials, interviews and other interesting things to do and enjoy. We hope you find something that interests you in our 'Best of Irish' things to do in August roundup below.

SUPPORT LOCAL: Sligo Oyster Experience

This is a new and interesting experience for seafood lovers to check out. The owner, Aisling Kelly Hunter, will first take guests along the coastline for a refreshing walk to Coney Island Oyster Farm (in main cover photo) where they will learn the history and current farming methods of harvesting oysters on the Wild Atlantic Way.

The tour also explores coastal foraging where guests get to see where edible sea vegetables grow along the coast, such as sea kale and samphire. To top it all off, there’s an oyster shucking demonstration at the Sligo Oyster Experience Cart and guests can indulge in unlimited Sligo Bay Oysters that are freshly prepared for them.

The Sligo Oyster Farm Tour runs every Wednesday at 11am and 2pm, lasting for 90 minutes. Tickets are €45 per person, which includes unlimited oyster tasting. Find more information and book on their website here.

MONDAY, 3 AUGUST - SUNDAY, 13 SEPT: Summer of Heritage Free Tours

If you are looking for free things to do in August in Dublin, this one is for you. Summer of Heritage is a programme of free guided heritage tours, heritage walks and online virtual tours that take place each year to coincide with National Heritage Week and to explore the vast local heritage of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area.

This year they are exploring the following areas: Historic Dún Laoghaire, Historic Shankill, Historic Milltown, Dún Laoghaire Harbour, Monkstown/ Salthill, Historic Booterstown, Historic Dundrum, Fernhill, Historic Blackrock and Foxrock Beckett.

All the walks must be booked in advance and there are limited spaces available. For more info and to secure a spot, visit the DLR County Council website here.

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Every year, our #SummerOfHeritage events consist of a series of free walking tours around the county run by dlr Heritage. Unfortunately the programme has been reduced for 2020, but you can book spaces on these walks now! Click the link in our bio to book now!

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TUESDAY, 5 - 13 AUGUST: Dublin City Libraries Events for Kids & Teens

The folks at Dublin City Libraries have put together an incredible amount of things to do in August with your kids. There are many online activities to choose from, all of which are being hosted across various Dublin libraries. Here's a selection of them:

  • HTML Workshop Series

Pearse Street Library, Tuesday 4, Wednesday 5 & Friday 7 August at 11am

An introduction to HTML Learning for children. Hypertext Markup Language is the standard markup language for documents designed for display in a web browser. In this series, children will be introduced to the basics of HTML and be guided on how to start their first page. Instruction will be provided on how to build a webpage and insert images. The workshops will take place via Zoom platform, facilitated by Kids Coder Club. Suitable for children age 10-12 years.

Book via your local library

  • Flap, Glide and Soar like a Pigeon

Coolock Library, Wednesday 5 August at 11am | Ballyfermot Library, Wednesday 5 August at 2pm | Cabra Library, Wednesday 12 August at 11am & 2pm

Online Visual Art workshops with Duffy Mooney-Sheppard. Presented in association with The Ark. Birds flap, glide and soar. Some birds spend their whole lives on the wing and rarely come to land. But Dublin is filled with one well known bird: the pigeon! Usually jostling for space, pigeons are ruling the roosts on the streets and in the skies. Be inspired by these resourceful birds, then design and make your own extraordinary pigeon or fantastical winged bird with visual artist Duffy. Workshops suitable for children age 5-12 years.

Book via your local library

  • Discover Science workshop

Ballymun Library, Wednesday 5 August at 11.30am | Dolphin's Barn Library, Wednesday 5 August at 3pm

Discover Science workshop. In this online session, children will learn how science is part of our lives, carry out interactive investigations, and explore topics from kitchen science to forces. The workshop will take place via Zoom platform facilitated by The Rediscovery Centre. Suitable for children age 7-11 years.

Book via your local library

  • Early Years Visual Art Adventures

Ballyfermot, Cabra and Coolock Library, Thursday 6 and 13 August

Early Years Visual Art Adventures with Lucy Hill is presented in association with The Ark. For only a once off price of €15, you can sign up for 2 weeks of inspiration and creativity for ages 2-4 years and their grown-ups as visual artist Lucy Hill guides you in exploring your local area, to create easy and fun art at home. Through bite-sized videos, image collections and ideas, Lucy will prompt gentle art explorations at home, in gardens, in parks and neighbourhoods. Suitable for children age 2-4 years.

Book via your local library

SATURDAY, 8 AUGUST: Assemble Launch

We are very excited to see this show come to life as it was due to take place during St. Patrick's Festival 2020 and like so many events, never got its chance to shine. Now, the incredible artists can proudly launch their work. Assemble is the first ever group exhibition presented by Atelier Maser and will bring together seven of the leading names in Contemporary Irish Art - Leah Hewson, Deirdre Breen, Jane Fogarty, Helen Steele, Lola Donoghue, Alice Fitzgerald and Aoife Scott.

The exhibition will showcase new work by all seven artists, with the ambition to present an engaging and accurate snapshot of contemporary art today. Representing a wide variety of disciplines including painting, printmaking, sculpture and textiles, the exhibition will be ambitious in nature and will celebrate Irish artists at varying stages of their careers.

To attend the preview guests must reserve a ticket, which is free but booking is essential. More free things to do in August - another win! Secure your spot on Eventbrite here.

This will be running until Friday, 28 August at the following times:

  • Thu & Fri: 9-5pm
  • Sat & Sun: 12pm-4pm
  • No booking needed

SUNDAY, 9 AUGUST: At Home With Irish Arts Center: The X Collective

Irish Arts Center presents THE X COLLECTIVE by Oíche Events in partnership with The Grand Social. The X Collective, a community of Irish and international artists formed by Emily Shaw of Oíche Events and the musician Zapho (Ele Breslin), perform across neo-soul, pop, and range of genres in a concert recorded at Dublin music venue The Grand Social.

Concert lineup: Chloë Agnew, Gemma Bradley, ELKAE, Tolu Makay, Shookrah, Shy Mascot, Zeenie Summers, Toshín, Zapho

This event will be streaming online in Ireland at 5pm on YouTube and Facebook. Keep an eye out on the Irish Arts Center's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for full details, coming soon.

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ANNOUNCEMENT💥 we are thrilled to be partnering up with @irishartscenter in NYC to bring you a showcase with 9 of The X Collective artists. This 75-min event (packed to brim with collaborations) will be presented by the lovely @chloeagnew , shot in @thegrandsocialdublin and streaming on Sunday, 9th August 10PM! We are so excited! Many more surprises in store - stay tuned✖️ Photos by @tivodar #thexcollective #oicheevents

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MONDAY 10, SATURDAY 15 & MONDAY 17 AUGUST - Abbey Theatre Productions

Dear Ireland Continues: Abbey Theatre asked their audience to write a letter. To start it, ‘Dear Ireland’, and talk to the nation about what it should be discussing. They received letters from all corners of the country and overseas, letters in Irish, English, and Irish Sign Language.

Now 20 of these letters will be read from the Abbey stage by some of Ireland’s leading actors. These readings will be interspersed with epic music performances by Damien Dempsey and spoken word performances from Lord Mayor Hazel Chu, Mrs. Sabina Higgins, Minister Catherine Martin TD, and Fintan O’Toole. Book here

Lankum: The ground breaking, award winning Irish band, Lankum will broadcast a live concert from the Abbey stage for one night only on Saturday, 15 August. Promising a unique set, Lankum will be joined by some very special guests on the night. Presented by Foggy Notions. Book here

This Beautiful Virtual Village: Playwright Lisa Tierney-Keogh has adapted and updated the winner of the 2020 Irish Times Irish Theatre Award for Best New Play to reflect the lockdown.This Beautiful Virtual Village will be available online from 7.30pm on 17th August for one month only.

On a quiet street in leafy, suburban Dublin, local residents meet online about a piece of graffiti. Who did it? What does it mean? And what’s to be done about it? They have wine and a quorum. Nothing can go wrong.

This Beautiful Virtual Village is a new adaptation of the razor-sharp play that exposes every side of what it means to co-exist in Ireland today. Set over one night, six people will confront their pride, prejudice and privilege. It won’t be pretty. But it could be beautiful. Book here

MONDAY 15 - MONDAY 24 AUGUST: Whelans Reopening Gigs

This is something we've all been waiting for. Live gigs, at long last - and no better place than the iconic Whelan's in Dublin. Of course, the venue has new social distancing measures in place to ensure the safety of their staff, artists and guests. Each of the below events have different prices and details to note, so make sure you follow through to the website.

THROUGHOUT AUGUST: Writer’s Paradise

Are you in need of some motivation to get back into the world of creative writing, poetry or storytelling? August is set to be a busy month for writers with many literary events, online festivals and competitions happening in Ireland and overseas, who welcome international participants. Poetry Ireland has rounded up a selection of opportunities for writers, which we had to include in our things to do in August.

  • Dalkey Creates Writing Competitions | Deadline: 2 Aug 2020 » more details
  • Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship | Deadline: 14 Aug 2020 » more details
  • The Bray Literary Festival 2020 Competitions | Deadline: 15 Aug 2020 » more details
  • Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition | Deadline: 24 Aug 2020 » more details
  • Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition | Deadline: 31 Aug 2020 » more details
  • The 8th Annual Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition | Deadline: 31 Aug 2020 » more details
  • Aesthetica Creative Writing Award | Deadline: 31 Aug 2020 » more details

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Know about something happening in September that deserves to be on our Best of Irish list? Submit your event/ content that will be available offline and/ or online in September by filling out the Best of Irish Event Submission form here.