From movies to music, fashion to food, our critics bring you the big tickets for summer.
1. Iron Maiden 3Arena, May 6
Vintage headbangers bring their trademark mayhem to Ireland.
2. Take That, 3Arena, May 15&16
And then there were three. Incredibly shrinking “man-band” Take That go on the road promoting eighth studio album, Wonderland.
3. Ariana Grande, 3Arena, May 20
Teen star turned international pop sensation.
4. Imelda May, BGE Theatre, May 29&30
The Dublin singer is back with a new image and a changed perspective.
5. Kraftwerk, BGE Theatre, June 2&3
The godfathers of electronic music bring their 3D show to the docklands theatre.
6. Michael Bolton, 3Arena, June 8
Mullet exponent and big-lunged belter Bolton has enjoyed an upsurge in popularity.
7. Eddie Vedder, Live at the Marquee June 11
Zen grunge icon takes time away from Pearl Jam for a rare solo tour.
8. Hans Zimmer, 3Arena, June 13
Zimmer takes his repertoire on the road for a performance that won raves in Dublin last year.
9. Arcade Fire, Malahide Castle, June 14
The Canadian-American group are rumoured to be finishing a new album.
10. Aerosmith, 3Arena, June 14
Leave your sense of irony at the door and enjoy old-school rock ’n roll.
11. Robbie Williams, Aviva Stadium, June 17
The clown-prince of stadium pop makes his grand return.
12. Radiohead, 3Arena, June 20
Stadium miserabilists play their first Irish show in nine years.
13. Elbow, Live at the Marquee, June 21
Sensitive arena rockers channel mid-life ennui while celebrating the joy of simple pleasures.
14. Phil Collins, Aviva Stadium, June 25
He’s back! And is, by the looks of things, still wildly adored.
15. Green Day, Royal Hospital Kilmainham, June 29
Punk weirdos turned arch-critics of the military industrial complex.
16. Kings of Leon, 3Arena, July 1, 2&4
Swaggering rockers with lock-up-your-daughters strut and trove of old-school anthems.
17. Coldplay, Croke Park, July 8
The meek have inherited the earth as the balladeers play one of their largest shows.
18 Emeli Sande, Live at the Marquee, July 10
The tall-haired warbler goes on the road with her chart-topping comeback LP.
19. Longitude, Marlay Park, July 14-16
Grime sensation Stormzy is the big draw at the South Dublin festival.
20. U2, Croke Park, July 22
It’s the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, the LP that ushered in U2’s imperial phase.
21. Indiependence, August 4-6
Manic Street Preachers bring old school alt.rock cred as they headline the Mitchelstown Festival.
22. Electric Picnic, September 1-3
The country’s biggest festival is back, with the xx, Duran Duran and a Tribe Called Quest headlining.
23. Pet Shop Boys, BGE Theatre, September 5&6
Pop’s elder statesmen play a rare non-festival Irish show.
24. Tori Amos, Cork Opera House, September 6; Bord Gais Theatre, September 7
The piano-plinking icon kicks off her European tour.
25. Ryan Adams, Cork Opera House, September 9
Adams rocks out old-school style on his Prisoner album – a meditation on the end of his marriage to actress Mandy Moore.
— Ed Power
26. Miss Sloane, May 12
Jessica Chastain stars as a powerful lobbyist in Washington DC. Mark Strong co-stars; John Madden directs.
27. Baywatch, May 12
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Zac Efron star in a feature-length version of the iconic TV series.
28. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, May 19
A gritty take on the King Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) legend. Guy Ritchie directs; Jude Law and Eric Bana co-star.
29. Alien: Covenant, May 19
Ridley Scott directs Michael Fassbender and James Franco in the latest instalment in the Alien franchise.
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, May 26
Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) returns as the foppish privateer, searching for Poseidon’s trident. Geoffrey Rush and Javier Bardem co-star.
31. Wonder Woman, June 2
Gal Gadot stars as the Amazon princess-turned-superhero. Chris Pine co-stars; Patty Jenkins directs.
32. The Mummy, June 9
Spooky action-adventure romp with Tom Cruise battling a malevolent mummy. Russell Crowe and Sofia Boutella co-star.
33. Rough Night, June 16
Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon star in blackly comic tale of a bachelorette party that goes spectacularly bad when a male stripper dies.
34. Hampstead, June 23
Offbeat love story starring widower Diane Keaton and homeless man Brendan Gleeson. Joel Hopkins directs.
35. Despicable Me 3, June 30
Gru (Steve Carrell) and his minions return to foil a child star’s bid for world domination.
36. Spider-Man: Homecoming, July 7
Tom Holland stars as Spidey in this off-shoot from the Avengers series. Robert Downey Jnr co-stars. Kristen Wiig and Russell Brand co-star.
37. War for Planet of the Apes, July 14
Great ape Caesar (Andy Serkis) sets out to take his revenge on humanity. Woody Harrelson co-stars; Matt Reeves directs.
38. Cars 3, July 14
Lighting McQueen (Owen Wilson) must prove that he is the greatest racing car in the world.
39. The Beguiled, July 14
Drama set during the American Civil War. Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman star, with Sofia Coppola directing.
40. Dunkirk, July 21
Christopher Nolan’s epic tale of the massive Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy star.
41. The Dark Tower, July 28
Gunslinger Idris Elba roams a dystopian Old West in an adaptation of Stephen King’s best-seller. Matthew McConaughey co-stars as the Man in Black.
42. The Emoji Movie: Express Yourself, August 4
Multi-expressional emoji Gene (TJ Miller) sets out to become a normal emoji. Patrick Stewart co-stars.
43. Atomic Blonde, August 11
Berlin-set Cold War thriller, starring Sofia Boutella and James McAvoy. David Leitch directs.
44. Baby Driver, August 18
Edgar Wright’s tale of a heist gone wrong stars Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.
45. American Made, August 25
Doug Liman directs Tom Cruise in the true tale of a CIA pilot and drug runner in the 1980s.
46. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, August 25
A decade on from An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore delivers a documentary about a potential energy revolution.
47. It, September 8
A killer clown stalks a group of children in an adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror. Bill Skarsgård stars.
48. Victoria and Abdul, September 15
An unlikely friendship develops between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and a young Indian clerk (Ali Fazal).
49. The Solutrean, September 15
A survival epic set during the last Ice Age. Albert Hughes directs Kodi Smit-McPhee and Leonor Varela.
50. Flatliners, September 29
Medical students experiment on near-death experiences, with tragic consequences. Ellan Page and Diego Luna star.
— Declan Burke
51. Burren Slow Food Festival, May 12-14
The beautiful Burren continues to fly a most impressive flag for slow food in Ireland, this year hosting The Slow Food Irish Raw Milk Cheese Presidium and also focussing on the Irish gin revolution.
52. Ballymaloe Litfest, May 19-21
The 5th outing for this world class food and drinks literacy festival at Ballymaloe, this year featuring Claudia Roden, Joanna Blythman and Robin Gill in a star-studded lineup.
53. Sheridans Annual Irish Food Festival May 28
Sheridans’ Cheesemongers host the 8th iteration of this splendid food gathering at their Virginia Road Station HQ, Co Meath, with over 100 producers and excellent family entertainment.
54. The Limerick International Food Truck Festival, June 1-5
60-plus food trucks from 14 countries roll up to Limerick’s People’s Park offering a huge range of international cuisine, including a Belgian chocolate truck.
55. Bloom, June 1-5
Bord Bia’s annual flagship event in the Phoenix Park returns once more with another staggering assembly of Irish food producers, growers, celebrities, demos and myriad opportunities for some very fine dining indeed.
56. Boats & Bites 2017, June 3
Part of the Cork Ocean to City Festival, B&B features a splendid seafood market at the wonderful Port of Cork marina along with a marine-themed information and exhibition area.
57. Taste of Dublin, June 15-18
Top Irish food and drinks producers along with some of Dublin’s finest restaurants roll out the rug and open the hamper for some splendid noshing in the Iveagh Gardens.
58. The Big Grill Festival, August 17-20
With 25 pitmasters and pop-up restaurants, 25 craft brewers, whiskey and gin bars, eating competitions, demos, talks, live music, DJs, it’s about the best BBQ party you’ll hit all summer.
59. Midleton Food and Drink Festival, September 3-10
One of Ireland’s longest established gourmet centres, dating back to Ballymaloe in the 1960s, celebrates a splendid local food heritage.
60. A Taste of West Cork, September 8-17
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.
– Joe McNamee
61. ‘The One’ by John Marrs, Del Rey paperback original, May
A page-turning psychological thriller with a difference, this is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Film and TV rights have already been optioned by Urban Myth films.
62. ‘Into The Water’ by Paula Hawkins, Transworld Publishers, May
Following on from her sensational international bestseller The Girl on the Train, which has sold more than 18 million copies Paula Hawkins is back with another psychological thriller.
63. ‘Exile’ by James Swallow, Bonnier Zaffre, June 1
Racing breathlessly from uncharted CIA prisons to the skyscrapers of Dubai, from storm beaten oil rigs off the African coast to the ancient caverns beneath the city of Naples, Marc Dane returns in an explosive new thriller.
64. ‘The Street Where You Live’ by Roisin Meaney, Hachette Books Ireland, June
Over six weeks of an Irish summer - and during the country’s hottest heatwave in years - members of a small town choir prepare for their end of summer concert. However, as the hot weather breaks, so do the scandals and secrets of the choristers.
65. ‘What Happened That Night’ by Sheila O’Flanagan, Headline Review, June
The perfect summer read, seasonally set between Dublin and Spain; this latest offering from the bestselling writer focuses on how we come to terms with the terrible events of the past.
66. ‘Wilde Like Me’ by Louise Pentland, Bonnier Zaffre, June
Debut novel by social media star and beauty blogger Louise Pentland revolves around the woes of single mum Robin Wilde - she adores her six-year-old daughter, loves her job and has a wonderful best friend - but Robin has a secret.
67. ‘Camino Island’ by John Grisham, Hodder, June
Sensational legal thriller from the master.
68. ‘Cooking For Family and Friends’ by Joe Wicks, Pan Macmillan, June
Lean machine, Joe Wicks, AKA The Body Coach, is back in good time for summer with more than 100 delicious, crowd-pleasing recipes that are specifically aimed at sharing with the people in your life and full of nutritious hero ingredients to fuel your workouts.
69. ‘Love In Row 27’ by Eithne Shortall, Atlantic Books, June
A charming debut novel from the chief arts writer on the Irish edition of the Sunday Times, about an airline check-in attendant who plays cupid to unsuspecting passengers - while accidentally discovering a possible match of her own.
70. ‘I Found My Tribe’ by Ruth Fitzmaurice, Chatto & Windus, July
Ruth Fitzmaurice has two extraordinary families. First there’s her husband Simon, a filmmaker with advanced motor neurone disease who can only communicate with his eyes via a computer, and their five children under the age of 10.
Ruth’s family is kept afloat by an army of nurses and carers that flows through their house in Greystones, on the East Coast of Ireland.
However, Ruth’s other family is her Tribe of Amazing Women. Amidst the chaos and the pain that rules their lives, The Tragic Wives Swimming Club congregate together in summer and winter on the sea steps at Women’s Cove.
Day after day, they throw themselves into the freezing Irish Sea before later sharing a thermos of tea. Then, teeth chattering, hands shaking, they are once more prepared to take on the world… Film rights have been optioned by Element Pictures.
— Ailin Quinlan
ARTS & ENTS
71. Aeneid: Book VI Abbey Theatre, May 14
Stephen Rea reads his late friend’s Seamus Heaney’s translation of part of Virgil’s epic poem.
72. Fastnet Film Festival Schull, May 24-28
Who needs a cinema to have a film festival? Not in West Cork, apparently. This Corona-sponsored gathering has long been punching above its weight, and the charm factor is obvious for some of the heavyweight figures who attend.
73. Evita BGE Theatre, Dublin, June 6-17
Why bother going to the West End when you can see Bill Kenwright’s production in Dublin? Altogether now... ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’.
74. Immrama Lismore, June 14
Former hostage Terry Waite and author extraordinaire Colm Tóibín are among the headliners for a festival of travel writing that has the unfortunately prescient theme of ‘Emigration, Exile and Slavery’.
75. Cork Midsummer Festival June 16-25
The festival is back to a full-on 10-day event, rather than the weekend stints of recent years, and the biggie for those ‘have-you-seen’ chats will probably be Corcadorca’s production on Spike Island of Caryl Churchill’s Far Away.
76. Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting National Gallery, from June 17
As well as work by Johannes Vermeer himself, this exhibition will also feature pieces by some of the other Dutch genre painters of that particularly progressive 25 years from 1650.
77. Galway International Arts Festival, July 17-30
Camille O’Sullivan and Rosaleen Linehan are among the stars of Woyzeck in Winter, a merger of Büchner’s Woyzeck and Schubert’s Die Winterreise that gets its premiere in Galway. Loads more besides.
78. Dublin’s International Literature Festival (May 20-29)
Literary treats Book-lovers are spoilt for choice over the next few months, not least with Dublin’s International Literature Festival (May 20-29) with Jo Nesbo, Werner Herzog and Arundhati Roy.
In Munster, upcoming biggies include Listowel Writers’ Week (May 31 – June 4) with Alan Cumming; and the West Cork Literary Fest (July 14-21) that includes Graham Norton and Anne Enright.
79. Dancing at Lughnasa Everyman, Cork, August 2-26
Brian Friel’s masterpiece is the major summer show at a venue celebrating 120 years. Over at Cork Opera House, the return of Annie (July 20 – August 20) will draw a wide age range.
80. Kilkenny Arts Festival August 11-20
In this town, the word ‘Messiah’ is usually heard in the same sentence as the name ‘Brian Cody’, but this time around it refers to Handel’s classic oratorio.
The performance will be a rare return to the original form first heard in Dublin in 1742, and is part of a typically impressive classical strand in the festival.
— Des O’Driscoll
81. Achieve Zero Gravity
This summer J Barter Travel is offering customers the chance to float free of gravitational pull with the S3 Zero G Experience.
The 90-minute trip takes place in a modified private Airbus 340, and zero gravity is simulated when the aeroplane climbs at a sharp angle of 45 degrees from about 7,300m to 10,300m, then dives at a 45 degree angle after about 20 to 25 seconds which creates a parabolic arc.
The aircraft is divided into three different zones; Party; which can hold 40 passengers, Premium; which can take 28 passengers and VIP; which can take 12 passengers. Prices start at €2,773 per person.
82. Castle View
Ashford Castle has recently been named the AA Hotel of the Year 2017, one of the Irish hospitality industry’s highest accolades.
Lauded for its stunning heritage property with friendly, professional staff, a warm welcome and excellent service, the AA team was impressed by the hotel’s ability to provide a five-star service while maintaining an intimate atmosphere at all times.
83. Mini Storehouse
Dublin Airport will be unveiling a mini version of the Guinness Storehouse in Terminal 2’s The Loop shortly.
Billed as a tour rather than a pub, this will be a ticketed tourism tour, and we reckon, a pretty fine way to loll away a few hours waiting for a flight.
84. Fly Fly Away
There are lots of new routes taking off from Irish airports this summer, making it even easier than ever to plan your summer break.
Cork Airport will be flying three times a week to Boston with Wow starting in July, twice weekly to Zurich with Swiss Air from June and thrice weekly to Reykjavik with Wow Air from the start of May.
85. Manor Fit For A Queen
Adare Manor continues its major refurbishment as we move into summer and the unveiling in autumn has all of those in travel circles buzzing.
The refurb is adding a spa, a brand new swimming pool and even a cinema as well as an entirely new wing of rooms and a championship golf course.
Watch this space.
– Ciara McDonnell
86. Launch of Alexa Chung fashion line, May
Style icon Alexa Chung (below) launches her eponymous stand-alone clothing brand Alexachung.
Expect a full-scale collection featuring ready-to-wear, shoes, bags, accessories and plenty of denim — all at accessible price points.
87. Joanne Hynes for Dunnes Stores, May 12
Following the sell-out success of her previous collections, designer Joanne Hynes launches ‘The Great Escape’ — her high summer offering for high street giant Dunnes Stores. Expect a maximalist floral frenzy rendered in the designer’s time-honoured trademark.
88. Designer Dinner, June 1
Join IMAGE magazine, and Loulerie’s Louise Stokes, for an incredible evening at The Marker Hotel with Lisa Salzer, founder and creative director of Lulu Frost jewellery. Expect an exclusive interview with a chance to shop the new collection.
Tickets are €140 and include dinner, Ruinart champagne, Hennessy digestifs, plus a gift.
89. The Galway Races Summer Festival, Aug 3
The West looks set to attract serious contenders in the style stakes as the race is on for the G Hotel and Spa Best Dressed Competition and Best Hat Competition.
Expect a prize fund to the value of €12,000.
90. The Spectacular Vintage Wedding Fair Cork, Sep 24
Held at Cork’s Castlemartyr Hotel, this unique wedding fair showcases local, handmade, vintage and bespoke event services with hair and make-up demos, live music and a Vintage Tea Party; there’s even a man creche.
91. Kat And Alfie: Red Water RTÉ One, May 14
Bleedin ‘ell, the EastEnders duo are in Éire for a six-part spin-off show. The characters played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Ritchie are looking for Kat’s long-lost son in a series filmed in Dunmore East.
92. Twin Peaks Sky Atlantic, May 23
The revival of David Lynch’s classic from the 1980s has been edging towards completion for quite a while. We’d fear the worst for a show that was probably of its time, but the 71-year-old creator and most of the original cast have returned.
93. House of Cards Netflix, May 30
Will this show feel different now that Donald Trump has actually become president? Possibly. Last year’s season four even ended with a president trying to shore up support at home by ordering attacks on overseas targets. Sound familiar?
94. Fargo Channel 4, tbc
Season three started in the US recently and, like its excellent predecessors, will be a self-contained tale. Ewan McGregor plays a pair of feuding twin brothers in Minnesota.
95. Broken BBC, June
Jimmy McGovern’s new series stars Sean Bean as Fr Michael Kerrigan, a priest in north-west England.
96. Riviera Sky Atlantic, June
The Irish trio of Neil Jordan, Paul McGuinness and John Banville are the creative team behind this big budget thriller set in the south of France.
A woman discovers some of the dirty dealing behind her husband’s fortune. Iwan Rheon is back after being eaten by his own dogs in Game of Thrones, while Monica Bellucci will presumably be as magnificent as ever.
97. GLOW Netflix, June 23
Comedy drama set in the 1980s among a group of women in the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling circuit that gives the show its name.
98. U2 Cork RTÉ, July
We haven’t seen the proper title for this documentary on Ireland’s biggest rock band, but we do know it’s in the pipeline. The show will explore how the band were able to draw such large crowds on Leeside in the late 1970s that the Arcadia was chosen to showcase their talents for visiting record labels from the UK.
99. Game of Thrones Sky Atlantic, July 17
Summer is here, but winter is coming. A run of just seven episodes in the penultimate season will have many people stressing to suss viewing options in holiday venues. The White Walkers are also heading south for a bit of a jolly when a crack appears in the Wall.
100. The Defenders Netflix, August 18
The streaming channel is upping the ante on super-hero adaptations with a series that features the combined forces of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage.
— Des O’Driscoll
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