Doolin offers traditional music nightly all year round and there are at least 4 different sessions in the village every night between March & October. With over 35 sessions per week in the summer it can be difficult to decide which one to attend. Here are our top picks !
Wild Atlantic Session - Fitzpatrick's Bar, Mondays (all year)
The Wild Atlantic Session takes place on Mondays, all year round, in Fitzpatrick’s Bar at Hotel Doolin. The session, hosted by members of the band “Fiddle Case” Eoin O’Neill, Quentin Cooper, Jon O’Connell & Adam Shapiro, has become a favourite among locals as well as visitors. They are joined by a host of special guest musicians and singers including the great Luka Bloom who has been known to drop in. It is a night of great tunes and a special vibe.
Blackie, Cyril & Geraldine – McGann's Pub, Tuesdays (all year)
Blackie O’Connell is one of Ireland’s finest uilleann pipers (irish bagpipes) and he plays in McGann’s Pub every Tuesday along with Cyril O’Donoghue (bouzouki & vocals) and Geraldine MacGowan (bodhran & vocals). Blackie’s powerful playing is accompanied brilliantly by Cyril & Gerladine who perform fantastic songs in between sets. “Ceol agus craic” (music and fun) guaranteed every Tuesday!
Blackie & Cyril also play in McGann’s on Sundays and in McDermott’s on Mondays and Wednesdays during the summer (March – November).
Dubhlinn - McDermott's Pub, Mondays & Wednesdays
Dubhlinn features Blackie O’Connell on uilleann pipes, Cyril O’Donoghue on bouzouki and Eoghan Neff on fiddle. Regularly featuring in McDermotts on Monday & Wednesday nights from 9.30pm.
Tara Howley & Friends - Fitzpatrick's Bar, Wednesdays
Tara comes from a very musical family and all her sisters play in Doolin regularly. Tara is the youngest and she plays the uilleann pipes, fiddle & concertina and is a great singer and dancer as well. Her great talent has brought her all around the world as she has been touring with the world-famous Riverdance. We are lucky to have her in Fitzpatrick’s Bar at Hotel Doolin where she’s usually joined by Peadar Reilly (flute) and Brian Donnellan (bouzouki).
Christy Barry - Doolin Music House, Thursdays
Christy Barry is a very popular local musician who has been playing in Doolin for over 40 years. He set up “Doolin Music House” in 2016. Christy plays flute, whistle & spoons and he is sometimes joined by his long-time musical partners James Devitt (fiddle) and Terry Bingham (concertina & accordion). Doolin Music House hosts great evenings of traditional music, stories and canapés in the home of renowned musician Christy Barry and his partner, Sheila, who is an artist.
Impromptu sessions - When the magic happens
These are the sessions everyone hopes to experience ! Whether it is for a special occasion (birthday, wedding, etc.) or for no apparent reason, local and/or visitor musicians sometimes decide to sit down in a pub, order a drink, take out their instruments and start playing. It can be two friends who decide to spend a cold winter afternoon by the fire and have a chat and a few tunes or it can be a dozen musicians attending a birthday party who spontaneously start a session.
These spontaneous sessions tend to happen more often between November and March, but also occur in the summer, typically during one of the festival in Doolin.
The short video below was filmed at a local musician’s birthday party and it was one of three simultaneous sessions in the pub !