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.
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.
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