Nightlife & Arts

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Abbey Theatre (p184)
Boom Boom Room (p182)
Button Factory (p175 & p182)
Devitt’s (p184)
Dublin Fringe Festival (p185)
JJ Smyth’s (p181)
Screen (p179)
Tripod (p177 & p183)
Village (p183)
Whelan’s (p183)


Theatre, comedy and classical concerts are usually booked directly through the venue. Tickets
for touring international bands and big-name
local talent are either sold at the venue or
through a number of booking agencies, including Big Brother Records (Map p85; %672 9355; www
.bigbrotherrecords.com; 4 Crow St), which sells tickets to
smaller alternative gigs and DJ sets (see also
p137), HMV (Map pp66–7; %24hr credit-card booking line
679 5334; 65 Grafton St), which sells tickets to pop
and rock gigs (see also p135), and Ticketmaster (Map
pp66–7; %0818 719 300, 456 9569;  St
Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre), which sells tickets to

every genre of big- and medium-sized show –
but be aware that it charges between 9% and
12.5% service charge per ticket.


Dublin’s veteran clubbers will fondly reminisce about the good old days of the early
1990s, when exploring the underground
fuelled by ecstasy (lovingly referred to as ‘disco
biscuits’) and dancing to the pounding beats
of white-label floor-killers virtually defined a


whole generation’s experience of what a good
night out really was. Then dance music went
mainstream, venue owners cottoned on to the
fact that there was a lot of money to be made
from kids in Day-Glo tops and crazy smiles,
and the scene more or less fell into the safe
mainstream and hasn’t budged since.
In Dublin, the big problem has been the
late-night bar licence (see the boxed text,
opposite), which sees pay-in clubs run only
about an hour later than free-entry latenight bars, prompting thousands of punters
to keep their euros in their pockets and stay
put, where the music is just as loud and the
booze is (marginally) cheaper.
The other issue here is variety. Dublin is
just too small and ground rents too expensive for a club owner to push out the boat
and promote a night of Afro-beat or Nu Jazz
that might only attract a few dozen devotees:
cost margins dictate the bottom line, which
invariably means quantity over quality and
the overwhelming dominance of a tried-andtested menu of unchallenging dance music,
rock and chart stuff. Which doesn’t mean to
say that there aren’t great DJs who play really
great music (see the boxed text, p176), but m...
Abbey Theatre ( p184 )
Boom Boom Room ( p182 )
Button Factory ( p175 & p182 )
Devitt’s ( p184 )
Dublin Fringe Festival ( p185 )
JJ Smyth’s ( p181 )
Screen ( p179 )
Tripod ( p177 & p183 )
Village ( p183 )
Whelan’s ( p183 )
© Lonely Planet Publications
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