Music is the perfect type of art. – Oscar Wilde

By Ava Kristy, UC Santa Cruz student studying at Trinity College Dublin

I think one of the things people most readily associate with Irish culture are its pubs. When I told family and friends that I had decided to study at Trinity, I got a lot of pub recommendations and a couple warnings about not drinking too much. While I would say that drinking is a big part of college culture in any country, Ireland does it in a really unique way. The live music in almost every bar I’ve been to has been one of my favorite things about going out in Dublin.

I’ve always been a big fan of live music. When I was younger I performed in musicals and choirs, my friends and I even tried to start a band in highschool. More recently I’ve decided I’m more of a listener than a performer, and pubs in Dublin are the perfect place to do just that. Nearly every pub I’ve been to here has had a performance if not the night I am then there, then at least later in the week. I love that there are so many opportunities to hear different kinds of music. The artists who perform tried and true classics are always good for a dance. It’s pretty fun seeing people from all over the world visiting Dublin and singing along to Sweet Home Alabama.

Temple Bar with Friends
Myself and friends at Temple Bar for a live performance

The traditional Irish music is, of course, another often-played genre. One of my very first nights in Dublin, I got to see an Irish dance performance, with the accompanying traditional music. I had a great time seeing people dance and sing along. It was a really unique experience for me seeing local people take pride a longstanding cultural phenomenon. The U.S., especially the part of California where I am from, is really multicultural. This is wonderful in the sense that I’ve got to experience a lot of different cultures, but it also means that we don’t have a lot of things everyone can agree upon as a representation of us all.

Live music at the Bowery
Live music at the Bowery

My personal favorite genre of music is indie rock. The variety of smaller venues around Dublin allows a lot of artists to play on any given night. I got to see one of my favorite artists, Darwin Deez, at Workman’s. He played a pretty small show and it was a really cool, intimate experience. Being able to listen to live music all the time changes the experience of listening and has allowed me to appreciate music in a new way. It’s grown to be one of my favorite things about Dublin. The ability to go out on a given night and enjoy some live entertainment with friends has definitely enriched my time here.


Source of the title: Oscar Wilde, Isobel Murray (2008). “Oscar Wilde – The Major Works”, p.265, Oxford University Press

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