How to reclaim the summer: our critics round up the hot 100 events for the season

It’s been a tough lockdown, but as we emerge, here are our editors’ top picks for the season, from movies to music, fashion to food.
How to reclaim the summer: our critics round up the hot 100 events for the season

It’s been a tough lockdown, but as we emerge, here are our editors’ top picks for the season, from movies to music, fashion to food.


1 The Old Guard, July 10

Charlize Theron leads a group of immortal mercenaries who protect the mortal world from evil.

2 Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot, July 10

Myth and magic as the aging King Arthur seeks to reclaim the Round Table. Richard Brake stars.

3 Disappearance at Clifton Hill, July 17

Psychological thriller starring Tuppence Middleton as a young woman haunted by memories of a kidnapping she might once have witnessed.

4 Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, July 17

Peyton Elizabeth Lee stars as a young woman inducted into a programme for second-born royals trained to save the world.

5 The Broken Hearts Gallery, July 17

Rom-com in which a woman recovers from heartbreak by opening a gallery for ex-lovers. Dacre Montgomery stars.

6 Unhinged, July 17

Russell Crowe stars as a crazed motorist suffering a very bad case of road rage.

7 Open 24 Hours, July 20

Psychological horror. Having set her abusive boyfriend on fire, a young woman takes a job at an all-night gas station.

8 Mulan, July 24

Live-action remake of the Disney animation, starring Yifei Liu as the warrior- princess Mulan.

9 Spy Intervention, July 24

Comedy spy thriller, in which the world’s greatest spy settles down to domestic bliss. Poppy Delevingne stars.

10 Life With Music, July 27

An aging musician (Patrick Stewart) comes to terms with his mortality. Katie Holmes co-stars.

11 Tenet, July 31

Sci-fi thriller from director Christopher Nolan, starring John David Washington as a spy tasked with preventing World War III.

12 Infamous, July 31

Larcenous lovers (Bella Thorne and Jake Manley) take off on a crime spree through the South and go viral. Joshua Caldwell directs.

13 Stage Mother, July 31

Musical comedy drama in which a conservative mom inherits her son’s San Francisco drag club. Jacki Weaver stars.

14 Empty Man, August 7

Supernatural thriller in which an ex-cop encounters a shadowy group summoning demonic forces. David Prior directs.

15 Project Power, August 14

Thriller about an unlikely crew teaming up to defeat the dealers of a pill that delivers unpredictable superpowers. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars.

16 Yes, God, Yes, August 14

A teenage Catholic girl comes to terms with her burgeoning sexuality. Natalia Dyer stars.

17 Bill & Ted Face the Music, August 21

Time-travelling duo Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) return to save the universe once more.

18 The New Mutants, August 28

The latest instalment of the X-Men superhero series stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Maisie Williams.

19 Dream Horse, September 4

Welsh villagers come together to form a horseracing syndicate. Toni Collette and Damian Lewis star.

20 Sound of Metal, September 4

A heavy metal drummer starts to lose his hearing. Riz Ahmed and Mathieu Amalric star.

21 Love Sarah, September 7

A woman (Celia Imrie) dreams of opening a Notting Hill bakery. Rupert Penry- Jones co-stars.

22 The King’s Man, September 16

Ralph Fiennes and Gemma Arterton star in a Kingsman prequel, in which a spymaster and his protégé must foil the world’s greatest criminals.

23 Schemers, September 25

Dundee-set comedy thriller, with young music promoter Davie getting in over his head with local gangsters. Sean Conor stars.

24 Candyman, September 25

A sequel to the horror classic Candyman (1992), written by Jordan Peele and directed by Nia DaCosta.

25 Phil Lynott: Songs for While I’m Away, Date TBC

A documentary about the charismatic Thin Lizzy frontman, directed by Emer Reynolds.



26 Paul Weller, On Sunset, July 3

Modfather tries to lift our Covid blues with “soulful” new LP.

27 Rufus Wainwright, Unfollow The Rules, July 10

The crooner returns with a new album in which he wrestles with middle-age.

28 Margo Price, That’s How Rumours Get Started, July 10

Dark and raw country pop from Nashville Grammy nominee.

29 Glass Animals, Dreamland, July 10

A sort of Millennial Radiohead — and back with their third LP.

30 The Streets, None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive, July 10

Cheeky-chappy Mike Skinner brings his 2000s hit vehicle out of retirement.

31 BTS, Map of the Soul: 7, July 14

K-Pop supergroup unleash another chart-topper.

32 Dixie Chicks, Gaslighter, July 17

Shunned by fans in the US for slamming George Bush, the Dixie Chicks test the water with their first long player in 14 years.

33 Lianne La Havas, Lianne La Havas, July 17

Championed by Prince, and a one-time backing singer to Paloma Faith, Londoner La Havas breaks a five year recording silence.

34 Ellie Goulding, Brightest Blue, July 17

Once hugely hyped, can Goulding bounce back with her first album in five years?

35 The Pretenders, Hate For Sale, July 17

Chrissie Hynde and crew release their first new album in four years — incredibly it’s just their 11th studio record.

36 The Naked and the Famous, Recover, July 24

New Zealand indie-electro band return with much-anticipated fourth LP.

37 Fontaines DC, A Hero’s Death, July 31

Dublin’s punk poets release a second record. You can feel the hype already.

38 Gavin James, Cork Showgrounds, July 31

Drive-in shows are the hot new trend for obvious reasons. Gavin James fans can catch the troubadour on a drive-in tour of the country, including a gig at Cork Showgrounds.

39 Hermitage Green, Cork Showgrounds August 1

Limerick trad-rockers bring their drive-in tour to Cork.

40 Aslan, Cork Showgrounds, August 2

With the pandemic ongoing, Christy Dignam and pals come south for afternoon and evening drive-in shows at the Showgrounds.

41 Alanis Morissette, Such Pretty Forks in the Road, July 31

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the 33-million selling Jagged Little Pill. Alanis Morissette will mark the occasion in the healthiest way possible, by pushing ahead with a new record, Such Pretty Forks in the Road.

42 Bright Eyes, Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was, August 21

Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes famously wrote the anti-George W Bush ballad ‘When the President Talks to God’. What will he have to say about Donald Trump?

43 Declan McKenna, Zeros, August 21

Ed Sheeran is taking some time away — so this exuberantly angsty young man is here to fill the void.

44 Everything Everything, Re-Animator, August 21

Mercury-nominated electro crew with a streak of poetic miserabalism.

45 Disclosure, Energy, August 28

Rave-happy siblings bounce back with new collection of bangers.

46 Maya Hawke, Blush, August 31

Last seen in Stranger Things 3, the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke collaborates with producer Jesse Harris on a collection of dreamy country-pop.

47 JARVIS, Beyond the Pale, September 4

Ex-Pulp man continues his idiosyncratic adventures in tweed-wearing pop.

48 Idles, Ultra Mono, September 25

Mercury-nominated UK/Irish post-punks rattle back into action with long-anticipated new LP.

49 Matt Berninger, Serpentine Prison, October 2

National frontman goes it alone with first solo album, produced by Booker T Jones of Booker T and the MGs.

50 The Killers, Imploding The Mirage

Brandon Flowers and the gang return with their sixth studio LP, scheduled for release in this summer or autumn.



51. Thanks A Million, with Angela Scanlon

Series 2 showcases Scanlon as an extremely empathetic interviewer as she chats to lots of her famous friends about what they’re grateful for.

52. Grounded with Louis Theroux

Lockdown has afforded Theroux the opportunity to track down the people he has most wanted to interview — ever. From Helena Bonham Carter to Boy George, this is heaven.

53. Fake Heiress

Ideal escapism, the true story of the rise and fall of Anna Delvey, who conned New York society into thinking she was a millionaire heiress.

54. This Is Love

From the team behind Criminal comes This Is Love, a fantastic series all about how and why we love. Narrated by the heavenly Phoebe Judge.

55. The Catch And Kill Podcast

Ronan Farrow investigated Harvey Weinsten for two years before he was finally arrested. This is the story of his journey.



56 The Restaurant by Roisin Meaney (Hachette Ireland), out now

Chef Emily swore off men for good when she opened her restaurant. Will she give up on love forever? Consistently loveable characters cemented in great reading - this is a perfect summer read.

57 Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld (Doubleday), July 9

From the author of American Wife comes a twisty turny take on what would have happened if Hillary had left Bill.

58 Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis (Penguin), July 9

Young Adult thrillers don’t come better than this. This super creepy mystery follows Lola as she is packed off to live with her Granny after a family tragedy hits.

59 Anne Devine: Handle With Care by Colm O’Regan (Transworld Ireland), July 16

Irish Examiner columnist Colm O’Regan should be ready to celebrate, the follow up to his debut novel is just as hilarious and heart-warming as the first.

60 The Woman Who Ran Away by Sheila O’Flanagan (Headline Review), July 23

Two women form an unlikely friendship as they face up to shocking truths about the men they’ve loved — and take the reins on deciding their future. Life-affirming goodness from O’Flanagan.

61 The End Of Her by Shari Lapena (Bantam Press), July 23

Tightly woven whodunit following a new mother as she navigates horrific allegations made against her husband.

62 Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon (Penguin), July 30

A husband making sense of life following the sudden death of his wife discovers that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Gripping.

63 Scenes of a Graphic Nature by Caroline O’Donohue (Virago), August 6

Irish Examiner columnist O’Donohue has done it again, combining dark wit with heart-wrenching honesty. Follow Charlie Regan as journeys inside herself while exploring her Irish roots.

64 Betty by Tiffany McDaniel (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), August 20

Set in the cinematic beauty of the Appalachian mountainside, Betty tells the story of a young girl as she discovers start truths that will haunt her for the rest of her life.

Set to be a star of the summer.

65 Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan (Doubleday), 27 th August

The extraordinary story of a family devastated by a sudden disappearance and then transformed by a miraculous return, Strange Flowers is a winner from this stellar writer.




The Sustainable Fashion Dublin Flea Market showcases 20-30 hand-selected artisan, sustainable and pre-loved vendors on Insta Stories. Browse local lifestyle goodies, swipe up, buy and #supportlocal. Every second Saturday from 11 am.


Expect video presentations from accredited couture maisons and exclusive ancillary content to translate the most elite form of fashion design to the world.


This online-only fashion week format aims to unite Italian fashion designers and promote their messages while maintaining physical distance. Preview menswear and womenswear pre- and main season collections, attend virtual showrooms and be inspired by industry speaker panels.

69 G&T STYLE CLUB – INSTAGRAM: #gandtstyleclub

Cork stylist Natasha Crowley and photographer Gill Carney present the Instagram G&T Style Club. Expect a weekly themed edit of the duo’s favourite pieces styled to inspire others to shop from their wardrobes. Want in? Hashtag your outfit post #gandtsyleclub; add @natashacrowley and @gillybeangirl to feature in their Insta Stories feed.



Closet Confidential X Courtney Smith
Closet Confidential X Courtney Smith

The lockdown brainchild of stylist Courtney Smith, Closet Confidential is a live Instagram series which delves into the wardrobes of her favourite TV stars and style influencers. Rosie Connolly, Darren Kennedy, Blathnaid Treacy and James Kavanagh have all shared their unique tastes. Check Courtney’s Instagram page for dates and times or watch previous episodes on IGTV.



71 Mexican Cooking Classes; July (date to be confirmed)

Dublin-based Picado Mexican, run by Lily Ramirez-Foran and husband Alan Foran has long been Ireland’s one stop culinary shop for all things Mexican, including ingredients and classes on how to use them. A new series of online classes (downloadable and permanently accessible) includes recipe booklet. All ingredients also available from online store.

72 Re-Opening of Irish hospitality sector; July to Sept

While many of those in the position to do so will have been champing at the bit for that June 29 opening deadline, many more are biding their time, with some even waiting til September. Be sure and support them each and every one!

73 Cookalicious Get Your Teen Cooking; July 7,8 & 9

Galway-based Cepta Mahon’s online cookery classes is a three-hander via Zoom, guiding teens through a series of simple yet tasty dishes, themes including Simple Italian, Street Food, Snacks & Healthy Treats.

74 Oxford Food Symposium; July 10 to Aug 2

Not an Irish event per se though many in the Irish food world attend each year and Irish speakers have featured in the past but forced entirely online by Covid 19, ‘access’ has never been easier to one of the world’s most compelling food forums.

75 Belfast Whiskey Week; July 24-Aug 4

Ireland’s largest whiskey festival goes fully online this year with 39 unique interactive tastings (tasting packs available in advance by post) and featuring more than 30 distilleries and brands and plenty of other entertainment to boot.

76 Boxtravaganza Beer Festival; July 25

Hagstravaganza, White Hag Brewery’s annual event in the west of Ireland, migrates to an online platform with 500 lucky participants receiving 24 global beers in advance by post. Live tastings, interviews, comedy, music etc.

77 L Mulligan Grocer Whiskey Festival & Beer Tastings; July (dates to be finalised)

The iconic Dublin gastropub and one of the very best places in the country for finest whiskeys and craft beers add an online whiskey festival to the regular programme of beer and whiskey tastings they have run since the beginning of lockdown.

78 Grá Chocolates; late July

The wonderfully talented Gráinne Mullins, Eurotoques Young Chef of the Year, launches her new range of Grá Chocolates, set to become one of the most iconic Irish food products in quite some time as Gráinne brings her gifts to bear on delivering a gorgeous range of truly scrumptious chocs featuring Irish produce. www.grá

79 Design POP 2020; August 28-30

Three top design teams link up with local food producers to create temporary pop-up ‘food pavilions’ in Cork city with a parallel programme of food talks/events in the Thompson House mothership.

80 Three Stars, Four Hands: September ( dates to be confirmed

Michelin-starred chefs Ahmet Dede (formerly of one-starred Mews, in Baltimore) and Mikael Viljanen (of Dublin’s two-starred Greenhouse) come together for a very special series of dinners showcasing their spectacular delivery of finest Irish produce.



81 Clonmel Junction Arts Festival, July 4-12

This year’s curtailed festival has managed to have a physical presence in the Tipperary town via several art installations, while online events include an aria from new electronic opera iGirl, by Roger Doyle and Marina Carr.

82 Galway Film Fleadh, July 7-12

A hugely important event for Irish premieres, online viewing of films (limited ticket sales) will be augmented by live-streamed filmmaker Q+A’s, as well as live-streamed masterclasses, and panel discussions.

83 West Cork Literary Festival, July 9-16

With the cancellation of the regular programme of events in Bantry, the Professional Development side of the festival is still facilitating some online workshops in travel writing, novel writing, how to get your short story into shape, etc.

84 National Theatre at Home

Upcoming screenings from the UK company include The Deep Blue Sea (July 9 to July 16) by Terence Rattigan, starring Helen McCrory in a tale of passion and loneliness; and Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus (July 16 to July 23). Free, but donations welcome.

85 Druid Debuts Until July 23

Given that Galway is reigning European City of Culture, hopes were high that the annual arts festival would be even better than ever. Despite its cancellation, the city’s main theatre company has gone online with the rehearsed readings of four new plays on Thursdays at 7.30pm over the next few weeks.

86 Kilkenny Arts Festival August

Country star Lucinda Williams and a number of flagship dramas and classical concerts have been kicked on to next year, but organisers are planning that some smaller live and virtual events will still take place.

87 Masters of Tradition August 19-23

Martin Hayes and the other organisers of the festival have been keeping a close eye on the evolving situation around virus restrictions, and are hoping to put on a scaled-down festival. At the moment, it’s looking like one main concert and one extra intimate performance each day.

88 Dublin Fringe Festival September 5-20

An event that’s always featured innovative pieces, this year’s ‘Pilot Light Edition’ will be a mix of outdoor performances, shows with smaller audiences and online events.

89 Cape Clear Storytelling Festival Sept 4-6

This year’s event is going online. Details of the various storytellers will be available in the coming weeks through the festival website.

90 Culture Night, Sept 18

At least the annual extravaganza of free arts events is definitely getting some sort of a run for its 15th incarnation. Depending on virus restrictions, it looks like there will more outdoor and online activity.



91 The Plot Against America, Sky Atlantic, July 14

Ben Cole and John Turturro in ‘The Plot Against America’, which will be shown by Sky Atlantic on July 14.
Ben Cole and John Turturro in ‘The Plot Against America’, which will be shown by Sky Atlantic on July 14.

David Simon of The Wire has created a series of the Philip Roth novel, with a cast that includes Winona Ryder and John Turturro. An alternate-history tale, it follows a Jewish family in the US as former aviator Charles Lindbergh becomes president and unleashes a wave of anti-Semitism.

92 Cursed, Netflix, July 17

The Arthurian legend gets a female perspective through the tale of young woman who will eventually become the Lady of the Lake. You may recognise star Katherine Langford from 13 Reasons Why.

93 30 Rock

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and co have made a one-off episode of the cult comedy in isolation. American network NBC is showing on July 17, and presumably it will surface on this side of the pond soon after.

94 Gardening Together, RTÉ One, July

Diarmuid Gavin helps people to transform gardens of various shapes and sizes, all the while providing useful advice, and extolling the virtues of gardening for mental health.

95 Lovecraft Country, Sky Atlantic, August

A black man ambarks on a search for his father across America in the 1950s.

96 The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty, BBC Two, July

If you’ve enjoyed Succession, perhaps this three-part documentary will appeal with its tale of a real-life media dynasty. In the Logan Roy role is Rupert Murdoch himself, the canny businessman who has achieved incredible wealth and power through his newspapers and broadcasting networks.

97 The Boys, Amazon Prime Video, tbc

Possibly the best original series this streaming service has produced, season one offered a cynical twist on the usual superhero tale. Unfortunately, season two is bereft of Elisabeth Shue and her Stillwell character, but newcomers this time around include Goran Visnjic (Dr. Luka from ER).

98 DNA Caillte (The Lost DNA), TG4, Septemer 2

Three-part documentary that analyses the DNA of people from ancient and medieval Ireland. Some of the show’s findings made the news, with the revelation a man buried near Newgrange was the product of parents who were themselves closely related.

99 Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Netflix, tbc

Season seven of arguably the funniest American comedy series of the moment. As well as the usual giggles, there’s also a baby due during the 13-episode run.

100 Fernando Torres: El Último Símbolo, Amazon |Prime, tbc

Documentary on the Spanish striker who was an icon at Atlético Madrid and Liverpool, even if he never quite shone at Chelsea. The player himself discusses his life in football.


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