It has been a tough end to an extremely tough year. However Christmas is a time to welcome a little insanity and forget, if only temporarilly, the various woes of life as we let the hair down after a challenging semester of assignements and exams.

It has been a tough end to an extremely tough year. Not only has Ireland become the butt of every financial joke imaginable, the weather has also put a dampner on the festive mood as the restrictions on public transport and the general inconvenience of it all has left people feeling less than merry. However Christmas is a time to welcome a little insanity and forget, if only temporarilly, the various woes of life as we let the hair down after a challenging semester of assignements and exams.

There are many venues dishing up the very best in festive celebrations this yultetide as they attempt to entice us out of our homes despite the sub zero weather. The wrights venue in Swords has been growing in popularity over the past year and they have lined up a host of acts to perform over the festive period begginning with Xfactor senstation

Wagner, set to perform on Thursday, 23rd December. Love him or hate him, it will be the long hair crooner's first Irish performance since leaving the show and tickets stand at fifteen euro. On the 28th, grammy-winning DJ and producer David Morales will be bringing his own unique skills to the dancefloor, with the New Years Eve fire and ice ball, ice sculptues, cocktails and performers will be a feature on every floor.

Renowned for holding some of Dublins best gig nights, Whelans on Wexford Street and the Village next door, will hold the 6th year of the Performance festival on Monday 27th December. The festival will see over 100 bands and solo acts play over 6 stages and the mix of acts will bring a huge variety of performances to the floor. Tickets are reasonably priced at twelve euro for the day long festival which will run from 11am with an all ages day show followed by a separate over 18?s show from 7pm-2.30am. Band, AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR, will be ringing in the new year in Whelans on December 31st. Tickets are ?20 and they will be joined by Dublin post hardcore outfit JOGGING and electronic act HUNTER-GATHERER, both of whom have had a wonderful year.

On the 27th December, ASLAN will be back in Vicar Street following dates in Australia and Germany and tickets to see the Dublin based band, on the go for thirty years now, will cost ?33.60. Twelve euro will buy a ticket to see, Fight like Apes in the Stables, Mullingar, also performing on the 27th.

Despite the cold weather, there is also plenty in the line of festival fun to keep us entertained over the Christmas period, beginning with the Temple Bar Tradfest on December 26. Throughout the 5 day Festival 15 pubs throughout Temple Bar will provide free live music daily. The annual festival celebrates Irish culture with an array of street entertainment. On Wednesday 26 January, Trad group Altan will celebrate more than 25 years of playing together with a special anniversary concert in the surrounds of Christ Church Cathedral. Tickets are priced at ?20.99 and will also feature performances from many well known names in Irish music.

More traditional music showings will take place in the Button Factory on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th before Clannad perform an exclusive concert in Christchurch Cathedral. The tickets are quite costly at 38.99 but will see the band, accompanied by an ensemble of 17, perform a selection of songs spanning over 40 years. The festival will conclude on Sunday 30th with a family day of entertainment.

The three day Dublin New Year Festival is kicking off on the 30th December with the Solas Festival of Light that will illuminate the city and start the celbrations. A carol concert, culminating with the ringing of the Christ Church Bells, will ring in the New Year or revellers can join the New Years Eve party at the Guinness Storehouse where entertainment
including a performance from the Republic of Loose, a complimentary drink on arrival and a selection of food and desserts, will keep revellers occupied until the wee hours.

For Futher Information

Whelans
The Village
Vicar Street

The Stables
Temple Bar Tradfest
Button Factory
Dublin New Year Festival