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Night Culture is Not Night Clubs

August 2, 2016 – Culture

When most people think of night life or night culture they think of nightclubs and all the questionable decisions that go with them. However I like to think there’s so much more to offer during the dark hours. Such as Vivid, a light festival in my hometown of Sydney that lights up our landmark buildings and litters the city with light installations.

vivid this one

Now don’t get me wrong, I love going out for a bit of a tipple and a wee boogie but let’s put that aside and look at some of the excellent offerings that are not night clubs.

  1. Storytelling with Milk and Cookies  – this collective brings together novices and masters to share tales in an open mic format although they are on a break for the summer. You’re welcome to just come and listen or get up and tell your own story. Oh and did I mention they always have baked goods?
  2. Giggling at  the Comedy Cellar – Open every Tuesday in the International Bar on Wicklow St, you can catch some of the best homegrown and international talent here. Who doesn’t love a good giggle?
  3. Outdoor cinema with Happenings – you’d have to have been living under a rock not to have heard of these gatherings through the summer. Set in parks throughout the city, Happenings screens classics and cult favorites so bring along a picnic and make an evening of it.
  4. Indoor cinema at The Sugar Club – ok, so technically this is set in a club and it has a bar but this isn’t your typical night out. Brought to you be a variety of collectives (including ourselves sometimes) films are shown and there’s usually a party afterwards. The annual Jungle Book Party is particularly deadly.
  5. Puppetry and poetry with PETTYCASH – These elusive creatures pop up from time to time with various shows around Dublin. A collective comprised of poets, artists, musicians and shadow puppet masters, we recently hosted them in our tent at Dublin Pride where they even opened up the mic to anyone wanting to have a voice!
  6. Live music at The Ruby Sessions – Looking for some new music to crush on? Well you’ll find it at Ruby’s! Four up and coming artists every Tuesday in Doyles with the occasional big name thrown in the mix (Paolo Nutini anyone?). Best part? All the proceeds go to The Dublin Simon Community.
  7. Theatrics at one of Dublin’s many theatres – While my personal favorite is The Gaiety, and in particular their annual panto, there are scores of theatres across the city with heaps of new as well as tried and tested performances gracing their stages. With Dublin Theatre Festival just announcing their lineup it’s a great time to delve into the theatre world.
  8. Dublin’s best hot chocolate at Accents – This gem of a cafe is open to 11pm every night and is full of board games and cozy couches. Also you can get dark, milk or white hot chocolate and it’s amazing.
  9. General good times at one of Dublin’s hundreds of festivals – Did you know that Ireland hosts over 800 festivals every year? Heaps of these take place in Dublin so if you’re sitting at home bored just do a quick Google and it’s sure to bring up some results. Or there’s event listing services on Gumtree, Lovin Dublin,, Dublin360 and many more!

Sure this isn’t an exhaustive list and there’s plenty more that can be done but if you feel like giving your liver (and your wallet) a bit of a break maybe give one of these a go!

Words by Gretel Downey