From movies to music, fashion to food, our writers pick the cultural highlights of summer.
1. Men in Black International, June 14: The sharply dressed alien fighters return, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Liam Neeson.
2. Shaft, June 14: A reworking of the classic 1970s ‘blaxploitation’ thriller, starring Samuel L Jackson as John Shaft II.
3. Toy Story 4, June 21: Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and
4. Yesterday, June 28: A man wakes up in an alternate universe to discover the world has never heard of The Beatles. Danny Boyle directs.
5. Metal Heart, June 28: Hugh O’Conor directs Jordanne Jones and Leah McNamara in a charming Irish tale of sibling rivalry.
6. Spider-Man: Far From Home, July 5: Spider-Man (Tom Holland) comes to terms with a post-Avengers: Endgame world. Jon Watts directs; Zendaya co-stars.
7. Anna, July 5: Luc Besson directs a high-concept thriller about a beautiful assassin. Sasha Luss and Helen Mirren star.
8. The Dead Don’t Die, July 12: A zombie horror spoof, starring Bill Murray and Adam Driver. Jim Jarmusch directs.
9. The Lion King, July 19: Disney’s live-action remake of the classic animated tale. Jon Favreau directs; Donald Glover and James Earl Jones provide the voice talent.
10. Teen Spirit, July 26: Elle Fanning stars as an ambitious young popstar. Max Minghella directs.
11. The Current War, July 26: Benedict Cumberbatch and Nicholas Hoult star as embattled electricity titans Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.
12. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, August 2: Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham join forces to combat cyber-villain Idris Elba.
13. The Angry Birds Movie 2, August 2: Angry birds and scheming pigs go head-to-head, again. Peter Dinklage and Awkwafina provide the voice talent.
14. Artemis Fowl, August 9: Ferdia Shaw stars as the teenage Irish criminal mastermind. Kenneth Branagh adapts Eoin Colfer’s bestselling novel.
15. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, August 16: Quentin Tarantino’s paean to late-1960s Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.
16. Good Boys, August 16: Schoolkid Jacob Tremblay plays truant with a stash of accidentally stolen drugs. Will Forte co-stars.
17. Pain and Glory, August 23: A film director reflects on his chaotic life. Pedro Almodóvar directs Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas.
18. 21 Bridges, August 23: A disgraced NYPD cop tries to do the right thing. Chadwick Boseman, Taylor Kitsch and Sienna Miller star.
19. The Informer, August 30: An ex-con gets himself sent to prison to infiltrate the Mob. Joel Kinnaman and Rosamund Pike star.
20. IT Chapter Two, September 6: Part 2 of the horror adapted from Stephen King’s bestseller. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy star.
21. Downton Abbey, September 13: Feature-length story of the upstairs-downstairs world. Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville star.
22. The Kitchen, September 20: Elisabeth Moss and Domhnall Gleeson star in a thriller set in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s.
23. Rambo V: Last Blood, September 20: Vigilante John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) takes on a Mexican cartel. Adrian Grunberg directs.
24. The Woman in the Window, September 27: Joe Wright directs Amy Adams in an adaptation of AJ Finn’s bestselling thriller.
25. The Goldfinch, September 27: Nicole Kidman stars in John Crowley’s adaptation of Donna Tartt’s slow-burning thriller. Ansel Elgort co-stars.
26. Backstreet Boys, 3Arena, Dublin, June 11: Rejuvenated boyband celebrate their chart-topping DNA album and the 20th anniversary of their blockbuster Millennium.
27. Elton John, 3Arena, Dublin, June 12, 13: The piano-man’s farewell tour wends its way to Dublin. 28. Fleetwood Mac, RDS, Dublin, June 13: Seventies rockers continue their latest greatest hits tour, minus guitarist and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham.
29. Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Vicar Street, Dublin, June 13: The ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ singer and Game of Thrones extra plays rare Irish date.
30. Toto, Live at the Marquee, Cork, June 15: Classic rockers perform timeless soft-pop hits ‘Africa’ and ‘Rosanna’.
31. Pink, RDS, Dublin June 18: Quirky popstress is back in action.
32. George Ezra, Musgrave Park, Cork, June 20: The new Ed Sheeran in his largest ever Irish show.
33. Lana Del Rey, Malahide Castle, Dublin, June 22: Summer-time sadness comes to North County Dublin courtesy of sepia-tinged pop enigma.
34. Sigrid, Musgrave Park, Cork, June 22: The Coronas are the alleged headliners — but the real star will be the Nordic electro sensation.
35. Kris Kristofferson and the Strangers, Live at the Marquee, Cork, June 23: Craggy troubadour always assured of a warm welcome in Ireland.
36. Liam Gallagher, Musgrave Park, Cork, June 23: With no sign of an Oasis reunion, we’ll have to make do instead with the strutting younger Gallagher.
37. Maggie Rogers, Musgrave Park, Cork, June 25: The “Alaska” singer celebrates a year of high achievement.
38. Bros, Live at the Marquee, Cork, June 26: A hilarious BBC documentary has put the Goss twins back on the map. But can their music live up to the nostalgia?
39: Jessie Buckley, Whelan’s Dublin, June 29: The Killarney actress straps on a guitar and performs country songs from her hit movie Wild Rose.
40. Forever Young, Palmerstown House Estate, Naas, July 5-7: Human League, Kim Wilde, Midge Ure celebrate the glory days of big-haired pop in this Eighties nostalgia onslaught.
41. David Gray, Live at the Marquee, Cork, July 7: The singer-songwriter’s singer-songwriter, touring his excellent new album Gold in a Brass Age.
42. Tash Sultana, Live at the Marquee Cork, July 3: Cult Australian guitars, blending reggae, world music and acoustic pop.
43: Janelle Monae, Trinity, Dublin, July 3: Dirty Computer was one of 2018’s outstanding albums. Can pop polymath Monae make it come alive on stage.
44. Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, July 14: Rock warhorses swing back into Ireland for co-headliner.
45: Garbage, Iveagh Gardens, Dublin, July 18: The set the Nineties on fire — and now Shirley Manson and company are back for their first non-festival Irish date in more than 20 years.
46. Ezra Fuhrman, Cyprus Avenue, Cork, July 23: Quirky indie star, whose downtempo pop blends angst and dreamy irascibility.
47. Bombay Bicycle Club, Cork Opera House, August 3: Cult alt-pop band set out on the comeback trail.
48.Beirut, Vicar Street, Dublin, August 26, 27: Zach Condon, the one time wunderkind of Brooklyn alternative music, shuffles back with his multifaceted project.
49. Billie Eilish, Electric Picnic, August 30-September 1: Goth-pop sensation is one of the best reasons to travel to Stradbally for Electric Picnic 2019.
50. Ariana Grande, 3Arena, Dublin, September 22, 23, 25: Grande goes on the road having sealed her transition from teen pop star to mature artist with her tumultuous Thank U, Next album.
51. Her Ladies Day Best Dressed Competition, August 1: Stakes are high at this year’s Galway Races with the hotly-tipped Her Best Dressed Competition. The grand prize includes a luxury holiday from Emirates Holidays to the Seychelles worth over €2,500 including flights, accommodation, transfers and €3,000 in cash. www.galwayraces.com.
52. Munster Wedding Expo, September 8: Going up the aisle? Best save the date for the Munster Wedding Expo at Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Say ‘I do’ to inspired wedding ideas with the pick over 100 experts and exhibitors under one roof and regular bridal fashion shows. Tickets €10. www.eventbrite.ie.
53. Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth & Lismore, September 6: Join Lady Burlington for an illustrated talk celebrating Chatsworth and Lismore’s fashionable history. Presenting ensembles by celebrated designers, from the Victorian era’s Jean–Philippe Worth to Alexander McQueen, the lecture also features historic examples of regal dress, as well as clothing worn by members of the family. Tickets €15. www.eventbrite.ie.
54. Cork ‘Kilogram’ Sale, June 30: Like your pre-loved kilo sales? You’ll love the Cork ‘Kilogarm’ pop-up event. The premise is simple: shop by weight and select whatever garments you like for €25 a kilo — no restrictions. With five tonnes of clothing for sale, the choice really is yours. Open from 11 am at the Clayton Hotel. Free entry; early bird entry €3. www.eventbrite.ie.
55. Irish Designers Pop-up, June 8-July 20: Heading to The Galway Races? Get ahead in the style stakes with an exclusive Irish designer pop-up at Brown Thomas, Galway. Meet Lainey Keogh and Sara O’Neill, as well as Irish milliners Deb Fanning and Cara Meehan in store for fashion tips and to shop the collections before the Best Dressed Lady competition on August 1. www.brownthomas.com.
56. Siege: Trump Under Fire by Michael Wolff published by Little, Brown on June 4: The wildly anticipated follow up to Wolff’s Fire and Fury, Siege: Trump Under Fire investigates how the administration of Trump’s White House is handling their president.
57. Elsewhere: One Woman, One Rucksack, One Lifetime of Travel by Rosita Boland, published by Doubleday on May 30: Rosita Boland is opening her travel notebook to share nine journeys from nine different moments of her life. From trips to Pakistan to Antarctica, this is a treat for those who relish the written word.
58. Big Sky by Kate Atkinson published by Doubleday on June 16: A meaty holiday read by an author who can make you laugh and cry in the same sentence. Big Sky is the fifth instalment of the Jackson Brodie detective series, so expect sharp turns; dark alleys and lots of plot twists throughout.
59. The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa published by Vintage Digital on August 15: On an island where freethinking results in a visit from The Memory Police, a young novelist fights to save her editor from being their next victim. An ideal read for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale.
60. Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor, published by Harvill Secker on June 6: One of our best storytellers turns his hand to a reimagining of Bram Stoker in Shadowplay, and it has all the good stuff that we have come to expect from O’Connor.
We are welcoming in the month of June and presenting the first of our Staff Recommended Reads: #Shadowplay by Joseph O'Connor as chosen by Maria in head office. Read her full review here https://t.co/wReC7DXV5R.#DubrayRecommends @vintagebooks @PenguinIEBooks pic.twitter.com/4fekaEtjUp— Dubray (@DubrayBooks) June 1, 2019
61. Dublin and Cork have added over 30 new flights this summer, making it easier than ever to jet off. Dublin has Ireland’s first direct flight to Texas with American Airlines, and a service to Aalborg with Great Dane Airlines. Cork is offering Aer Lingus services to Dubrovnik and Nice with Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights to Naples, Budapest and Malta.
62. Family holidays with a twist are all the rage this year. China is a new family destination of major interest and Tropical Sky are offering an 11 night family holiday that takes in the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors and exploring Hong Kong. The trip starts from €2,969 per person and is recommended for families with children over the age of five.
63. Water babies should take note of the latest cruise ship on the block this summer. Celebrity Edge is the last word in luxury sailing. With two storey villas (yes, villas) that have their own private plunge pool, you’ll experience a cruise holiday on a whole new level. www.celebritycruises.ie
64. The Shelbourne Hotel is celebrating 195 years in business this year, and it has been gifted with a €40m refurbishment by its owners. We’ve seen parts of the refurbishment already in the Princess Grace Suite, but the latest round of improvements include the reopening of the Lord Mayor’s Lounge and a new whiskey bar.
65. Center Parcs Longford Forest is almost ready to open, and by all accounts it is
66. Cork’s Fitzgerald Park will transform into a science super-park on June 22-23 when Cork’s first ever Carnival of Science takes over. There’ll be a Big Top, a Stardome and a whole host of grown up real life scientists on hand to try out new and amazing experiments that the whole family can get involved with. Organised by Lifetime Lab and supported by Cork City Council and Science Foundation Ireland, this is a must-visit for any STEM enthusiasts at home.
67. The biggest agricultural show in Munster, Cork Summer Show heralds the start of the holidays for lots of families. As well as showcasing the biggest and the best farm machinery you can find, there’ll be dog shows, pet farms, gardening, crafts and baking competitions, fashion shows and lots of family friendly entertainment. Taking place at the Curraheen showgrounds on Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16, expect a great family day out.
68. From the people behind Electric Picnic comes Wonderland at Kaleidoscope Festival and it is well worth a look. Featuring a proper young person’s programme spread over eight stages and two days, this is a festival within a festival. Each area is tailored by age, and the whole weekend will be packed with activities designed to challenge the mind and encourage creativity. From Coder Dojo to story times with Ireland’s best children’s authors, the festival takes place from June 28-30 at Russborough House in Wicklow. www.kaleidoscopefestival.ie
69. A nationwide day of creativity is back on June 15 with Cruinniú na nÓg, a programme dedicating to inspiring creative thinking in our young people. It’s completely free and all over the country, offering a diverse mix of performances, coding, theatre, art and music workshops, readings and screenings, all divided into age appropriate groups. See www.creativeireland.gov.ie
70. Ahoy Me Harty! The Baltimore Pirate Festival is a weekend of raucous fun for the whole family, with lots of attractions that the whole family can enjoy. Expect swashbuckling competitions and pirate ship tours and opportunities to walk the plank. It’s a great reason to visit beautiful Baltimore, and you’ll learn all about its history while you are there. The festival takes place from June 21-23. www.baltimore.ie
71. Cork Summer Show, June 15-16: Cork’s oldest agriculture event returns with its own Taste Cork Food Zone featuring over 70 stalls, alongside other attractions, including the Cookery Demo tent, featuring local chefs. www.corksummershow.com
72. Clonakilty Street Carnival Dinner Party, June 15: Serving finest local seafood with meat, vegetarians and vegan options to up to 1200 diners along the lovely West Cork town’s main street. www.clonakilty.ie
73. La Cocina Pública, June 17, 19, 21, 22 and 23: Chile’s Teatro Container bring their travelling kitchen to Cork’s Midsummer Festival for an event combining the local food culture of South Parish with performance and dining. www.corkmidsummer.com
74. Grub Circus at All Together Now, August 2-4: This music festival combines culinary chaos, epicurean evangelism and serious food activism with top Irish food personalities including Darina Allen, Michelin star chefs and a ton of top Irish food and drinks. www.alltogethernow.ie
75. The Wine & Cheese Festival in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens, August 8-11: This is a no-brainer, combining superb Irish cheeses and fabulous wines in a stunning location with tasting arena, masterclasses, Cheesy Karaoke and Cheesy Singalong Social with Aoife McElwain plus loads more. www.wine-n-cheese.com
76. The Big Grill Festival, August 15-18: Europe’s largest BBQ features pitmasters and pop-up restaurants all cooking over live fire, craft brewers, whiskey and gin bars, eating competitions, demos, talks, live music, DJs. www.biggrillfestival.com
77. Feast, September 1-8: This Midleton-based festival of food and drink celebrates the splendid local producers and hospitality sector (including Ballymaloe in the hinterland) with a fine programme of events, demos, meals and market. www.feastcork.ie
78. Waterford Harvest Festival, September 6-8 : Citywide festival of street parties, demos, tastings and workshops along with a whole load of delicious dining from a Deise hospitality sector very much on the rise. www.waterfordharvestfestival.ie
79. A Taste of West Cork, September 6-15: Ireland’s ‘largest’ food festival covering villages, towns and islands right across West Cork with a multitude of events, demos, tastings, dinners and star chefs. www.atasteofwestcork.com
80. Taste The Island, September to November: Fáilte Island are currently conducting workshops around the country with Irish food producers and the hospitality sector preparing the programme for what is set to be the world’s largest and longest running food festivals, celebrating Irish food and drink and its huge culture. www.failteireland.ie
ARTS & ENTS
81. Immrama, Lismore, June 12-16: The Co Waterford town’s annual festival of travel writing will include visits from Scottish historian and broadcaster Neil Oliver (Coast, etc); English adventurer Sarah Outen; and African journalist Lerato Mogoatlhe.
82. Cork Midsummer Festival, June 13-23: From fun and free kids events to highbrow theatre, the Leeside festival has all sorts of impressive offerings. Cork Proms, Mick Flannery’s new musical, and Crosstown Drift literary strand among the highlights.
83. Seen, Not Heard, Crawford, Cork, from June 28: This major new exhibition shows depictions of Irish children through the centuries, with older pieces being juxtaposed with contemporary pieces. One of the gallery’s rooms is also being thrown open for children with puppetry, fun painting, etc
84. Galway International Arts Festival, July 15-28: The City of the Tribes will as usual attract thousands of visitors for a programme that includes an opera about the Kennedy family, and an exhibition of the striking, fleshy sculptures of Australian artist Sam Jinks.
85. West Cork Literary Festival,
Bantry, July 12-19: The second of the town’s summer festivals will have readings and workshops involving the likes of Graham Norton, below, Tracey Thorn and Mary Robinson.
86. The Odd Couple, Everyman, Cork, July 16 to August 17: Was Neil Simon ‘woke’ or just commercially clued in? Either way, in later years he re-wrote his classic comedy to feature lead female characters.
87. Spraoi, Waterford, August 2-3:
Annual three-day festival where the emphasis is on street-based entertainment.
88. Muldoon’s Picnic, Everyman, Cork, Aug 5: Always an engaging poet in a live setting, Paul Muldoon has gathered a motley crew of guests for a most interesting touring show. The Cork leg includes author Zadie Smith and the band Horslips, while Anne Enright and Martin Hayes will join him at some of the other venues.
89. Blood Brothers,Cork Opera House, August 6-24: Originally written by Willy Russell, this musical about twins separated at birth will gave Cork audiences a relatively rare chance to experience a West End production on home turf.
90. Kilkenny Arts Festival, August 8-18: Rough Magic put a modern twist on Much Ado About Nothing, Ciarán Hinds reads The Soldier’s Tale, and there’s the usual strong classical roster.
91. Poldark, BBC One, tbc: The fifth and final season of this historical drama could reveal who really shot JR, and provide an alternative ending to Game of Thrones but... it would still be primarily remembered for Aidan Turner getting his shirt off.
92. City on a Hill, June, tbc: No channel on this side of the Atlantic has yet confirmed this new series, but the presence of Kevin Bacon as star of a Boston-set show directed by Ben Affleck suggests we’ll be seeing it fairly soon.
93. Glastonbury, June 28-30, BBC: If you can’t be dealing with the hassles of sharing a space with 134,999 other people, there’s a lot to be said for enjoying the music from the comfort of your own couch. The Cure, The Killers and Janet Jackson feature among the headliners.
94. Sport: It’s not a big summer for foreign games, and even if it was, the Munster Hurling Final (June 30, RTÉ2) would probably trump them all. For golf fans, upcoming dates for the diary include the British Open, taking place on the island of Ireland, at Royal Portrush from July 18.
95. Stranger Things, Netflix, July 4: Possibly the only show on the entire summer schedule to really get excited about. Season two kept up the momentum back in 2017, and we’ve also been assured that the third series won’t be the last.
96. John Creedon, RTÉ One, tbc: The Corkman’s road trips have been a summer staple in recent years, and this time around Creedon is exploring some of the stranger place names on the Irish map. Anyone for Hackballs Cross?
97. Love Island, Virgin Two: This year’s show is already under way, but expect its profile to rise in the coming weeks as the summer schedules are shorn of decent shows. The ultimate guilty pleasure in terms of telly-watching, there’s even an Irish interest this time around with Dublin scientist Yewande Biala.
98. The Boys, Amazon Prime Video, July 26: Latest superhero comicbook adaptation that offers a twist on some of the usual tropes of the genre.
The titular boys are the group of vigilantes trying to reign in a gang of corrupt superheroes.
99. Temple, Sky, tbc: Expect to be reading the phrase ‘former Game of Thrones star’ a lot in the coming years, not least for Carice Van Houten, the former-Melisandre. She plays a medical researcher in this new thriller set in an underground clinic in London.
100. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Netflix, August 30: A puppet-driven prequel to Jim Henson’s 1982 film, the heavyweight voice cast in the fantasy tale includes Mark Hamill, Helena Bonham-Carter, Alicia Vikander and Irish actress Caitríona Balfe.