Dublin’s inaugural Doggie Do is set to transform Merrion Square into a dog-lover’s delight this September. Celebrating our unique bond with our canine pals and inspired by the annual Halloween Dog Parade in New York City’s East Village, the Doggie Do promises a variety of pooch-friendly activities and events and a grand family day out. Dog owners can gem up on all manner of expert advice including responsible dog ownership guidance, vet Q&As, talks from top groomers & trainers, participatory sideshows involving agility and scent trials, while their four-legged friends will be given the opportunity to indulge in a spot of me time in the ‘Doggie and Soul’ chill out area. A parade of dogs will lead to the day’s grand finale – the crowning of the inaugural ‘Dog of Dublin’. Has your pooch got the pizazz to take the prize? There’s only one way to find out…
Get set to experience the renowned German beer festival in the heart of Dublin. The original Oktoberfest comes from Germany to Dublin for 18 days, bringing with it authentic Oktoberfest barmaids, Bavarian beer, entertainment and more. Housed in a marquee just like the famous Oktoberfest marquee in Munich, there’ll be plenty of steins to clink and beers to sample – but it’s not all about the ale. Explore the German market where you can get your hands on delicious grub from over thirty specialist food producers and traders who are travelling to Dublin especially for the event. Sample the finest Bavarian snacks and dishes, including steaks and pretzels, bratwurst and sauerkraut, mountain cheese and schmankerlteller. Alongside the tasty food and drink on offer, there’s an array of truly German entertainment; learn to yodel and dance the polka, challenge your friends at the Bavarian Games, test your strength and see how many steins you can carry – and you’ll be serenaded by traditional Bavarian musicians throughout the festival too.
Ireland’s leading multidisciplinary arts festival returns to Dublin this September with another eclectic programme of treats from every corner of the cultural landscape. As ever the diverse line-up encompasses performance, theatre, music, art, comedy, dance and more besides, but while its remit is broad enough to embrace all manner of artistic endeavour the Dublin Fringe remains steadfastly dedicated to providing a platform for brave, innovative performing art in the Irish capital. This year the Dublin Fringe turns 21 and it will be celebrating with the return of the spectacular Spiegeltent, which takes up residence in Wolf Tone Square. The Spiegeltent will host an exciting programme that includes the sublime electronica of Holly Herndon and Christian Löffler and the heady drama of Scotch and Soda’s stunning circus performance. Elsewhere, Object Piggy bring interactive performance art to the Lir Academy and the Project Arts Centre hosts the Irish premiere of George Brant’s Grounded.
London Mela is well established as one of the capital’s most exciting festivals and an undoubted highlight of the city’s cultural calendar. Established in 2003, London Mela was an immediate hit, attracting 60,000 revellers to Gunnersbury Park in Ealing in what proved to be one of the biggest and boldest celebrations of South Asian culture outside Asia itself. Twelve years later Gunnersbury Park is once again set to be transformed into a vibrant platform for the very best in South Asian music, dance and visual art as Mela returns to for another inspired celebration of Asian culture in London. Spread over nine zones, Mela promises something for everyone – there’ll be a diverse musical line up featuring everything from classical Asian music to the latest urban acts, dance, comedy and Asian street theatre plus a mouth watering array of food stalls touting authentic Asian cuisine. A spectacular firework display will bring the day’s festivities to a suitably spectacular finale.
The second week of August looks set to test the mettle even the hardiest of beer drinkers. While West London sees the return of the Great British Beer Festival the East End welcomes its younger, dare we say slightly hipper, counterpart – the London Craft Beer Festival. Taking place in Bethnal Green’s Oval Space, the London Craft Beer Festival sets out to celebrate the very best of Britain’s independent brewing industry by hosting eighteen of the country’s finest brewers including The Kernel Brewery, Redemption, Camden Town Brewery, BrewDog and Redchurch Brewery, who’ll collectively present 60 superb beers for your delectation. Small glasses are the order of the day, giving you a chance to try as many different beers as possible – all covered by the entrance price. It’s a great chance to sample the finest tipples currently emerging from Britain’s rejuvenated brewing industry accompanied by an excellent live music line-up that includes DJ Yoda, Ghostpoet and Artful Dodger.
The highlight of the beer enthusiast’s calendar is returning to London’s Olympia this summer and promises a bigger and better celebration of British booze than ever before. Just as the capital’s brewing craze shows now sign of slowing down, so too the Great British Beer Festival – the biggest festival of its kind in the UK – continues to go from strength to strength, reflecting the enormous breadth of the buoyant brewing industry with an amazing array of tipples from Britain and beyond. This year’s festival promises over 900 beers, ciders, perries and ales, so every imaginable shade of amber nectar is certain to be present. As ever there’ll be plenty of musical entertainment on hand to ensure a festive atmosphere, plus plentiful pub grub and traditional games. And for those who seek enlightenment GBBF is never short of opportunities for the discerning hop fancier to expand their knowledge – this year’s tutored tastings include Champion Beers of Britain with Roger Protz and London’s Best Beer, Pubs and Bars with Des de Moor.