Friday, January 13, 2006

Guest Publication #2 - Cheap Gigs In Dublin

Have you ever had a night out where you didn't seem to do much, can't remember drinking a lot and even walked home because you were feeling so good, only to find that you still managed to spend a lot more money than you imagined? Somehow I don't think you'll have to think long and hard over that question before memories of "just one more round" or "but it's Christmas - why not!" come flooding back...

But how hard is it to find a memory of a night out where it cost you a lot less than you expected Have a think about it for a second? It's not so easy to think of a night like that. If only Carlsberg made nights out, eh? They'd probably be the cheapest nights out in the world!

Well Carlsberg may not make nights like that, but there are other companies that do, and they do it very well.

My friend Brian and I recently went to a gig in Dublin and were very susprised at how cheap it was. Not surprised at the low price of the gig itself, more at the low cost of getting from Belfast to Dublin (return) and staying for a night in the Fair City. It's actually much cheaper than you would think.

After having such a great time and realising how many more bands play in Dublin and not Belfast, I thought that I would share the experience. You can greatly increase your gig choices if you consider going south of the border, without having to greatly increase your expenditure.

Brian and I headed to Dublin by bus from the Europa Station (Belfast city center). There are buses leaving every hour on the hour and a return ticket will only set you back £11.70 - £4 less than it did 5 years ago when I lived in Dublin and made the journey regularly! Someone also told me you could get the bus from Belfast City Airport for £8 to Dublin Airport, then catch a free bus into the city center.

After a quick search online, we found a hostel on the website - a very well laid out site with a large selection of hostels. After a short time we had booked a hostel that cost us just under £32 (£16 between us) for the night. What's more, it is located right in the center of Temple Bar - the entertainment/pub area of Dublin and only 2 streets from the venue our gig was in. Excellent!

I know what you're thinking: "The hostel must have been a dive!" But it wasn't - in fact it was quite the opposite! Bar a rather poor receptionist, the room itself was clean and well kept. My only complaint would be that we had noisy neighbours, but that was hardly the hostels fault.

The whole trip cost us only £28 and two half-days off work because the gig was on a weeknight. If you happen to head to a concert on a weekend, you could get to it for £28 and the cost of the ticket, no days off work. All in we paid less than £50 for the event including tickets and had a blast while we were at it.

This has certainly opened my eyes - there are a lot more bands playing Dublin than Belfast, but the thought of the cost of transport let alone a hostel had always put me off. I hope that, like me, you will now consider travelling to Dublin for the odd gig or two. It's not expensive, there's very little effort involved and it was so much fun that I know I'll be back in Temple Bar for more bands later this year.

Overall I would give this idea 5 students out of 5 for ease and price.

[Article by KA. PA is away on official Friday 13th business. He will return on Monday 16 January]


Anonymous Lou said...

Very reasonable indeed! What was the gig itself like?

9:28 pm  

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