Clubbing in Dublin has always been a matter of great dispute. It’s like marmite: some love it, others hate it. It all depends on your attitude; Do you let the €12 entrance fee (plus drinks) and the 2am closing time get you down? Or are you content with a heavy pre-drink and a few hours of boogying, while still getting home early enough to make it to your 9am lecture?
The way clubs are laid out in our city makes a pre-drinks more difficult to balance than one would first imagine. All the major clubbing hotspots in Dublin seem to be within a twenty-minute walk of each other and, unfortunately for most people, these discotheques all happen to be in the north and south city centres, where no one really lives. So, we seem to resign ourselves to a pre-drinks starting at 9pm, followed by a seemingly never-ending and, more importantly, very sobering Luas or bus journey into town. It’s either that or jumping off the Luas at Westmoreland to chuck up your guts and hop on the next one back home. The excuse is always something along the lines of “the Luas gives me motion sickness”, but we all know that you just went a little too hard to avoid paying €6 for a shot, which is an admirable attempt and nothing to be ashamed of, but not a prerequisite for a great night.
So, where’s the balance? Do you splash out on a taxi to the club or on drinks at a pub before going out? Unfortunately, both these options are very expensive and, having already paid at least €12 for a ticket, no expenses can be taken lightly. Perhaps you could sneak a bottle of that tasty nectar Buckfast to swig on the back of the bus or have just the one drink at a bar to de-sober yourself after the Luas. Or, god forbid, you go to Spoons.
“You could choose south city centre clubs like Tramline, O’Reilly’s or D2, where you’re more likely to hear a Katy Perry remix than anything that resembles Techno or House.”
Once this balance is struck, you are undoubtedly in for a good night. The next question is; where to? You could choose south city centre clubs like Tramline, O’Reilly’s or D2, where you’re more likely to hear a Katy Perry remix than anything that resembles Techno or House. If you’re really lucky, and I mean really lucky, they might throw on some Dizzee Rascal towards the end of the night. Many here (including me perhaps) believe this kind of old-school banger remixes, sing-your-heart-out tunes are what you really want to hear after a few swigs of that tasty Huzzar vodka we all know so well, or a fair few of the €1 “Bungalow” shots in O’Reilly’s. If this is you, I advocate these places to you. However, if you’re not one for sticky floors and an aura of teenage discos, I’d say head elsewhere.
Everyone seems more invested in the social side of clubbing than the actual clubbing.
You could venture a little further north along the river, and this club I will dedicate a whole paragraph to. Yes, you guessed it, the College haunt called The Workman’s Club. Going by many aliases, you may be confused if not versed in the lingo of the Arts Building student, so I’ll fill you in; “Workman’s”, “Works”, “Workies” or just “going clubbing” is, to some, the only place they’ll ever step foot in during their time at Trinity. Having been refused entry at the door for wearing trackies, I suggest you dash home and put on some more fitting attire for this fine establishment. Once you’re in your chinos or black tie trousers, you can enter the home of dyed hair, mullets, piercings in places that seem impossible to pierce and what seems like the entirety of DU fashion soc. However, this is not to say that Workman’s is not a fun night: recognising half the people in the smoking area from the smoking area just outside the Arts Building doors, the music is a refreshing change from the B.O.T.A style bops of the other south city centre clubs; a bit more funk and a bit more original. So, Workman’s Wednesdays are undoubtedly a place for making new course friends and having a great dance. However, be warned, do not get The Workman’s Club confused with Workman’s Cellar and, if you have bought the wrong tickets, just go home — trust me.
“Head north of the river to places such as Yamamori Tengu, The Grand Social, Index, Wigwam and Soundhouse, and you’re more likely to spend your time clubbing, rather than standing around and discussing your History of Art lecturer.”
Why does average techno have Dublin in a chokehold?
Head north of the river to places such as Yamamori Tengu, The Grand Social, Index, Wigwam and Soundhouse, and you’re more likely to spend your time clubbing, rather than standing around and discussing your History of Art lecturer. The music here will consist of a lot — and I mean a lot — of techno, but all in all a much better night out than one in Tramline. The DJs are, albeit very similar to each other, a nice change of pace and have their own mixes which you can really get behind and, more importantly, these clubs tend to stay open past 1.30am, so you are actually able to have a night, rather than an evening, out. In addition, the crowd here is friendlier: the people are there to enjoy the music and have a good time. You’ll find yourself caught up in their enthusiasm and having a great dance to some (after a few drinks) great techno!
Dublin is a pub city rather than a club city.
If you are not a fan of the sweat, crowdedness and constant standing but still want a night out, you could head to one of Dublin’s “club-pubs”. Removed from the cosy snugs of Mary’s Bar and Hardware and Mother Reilly’s, head to places like Bruxelles, Chaplin’s, Doyle’s, Ryan’s or Flannery’s for a great night out. They offer a fine combination of a nice pub, lovely outdoor area and dancefloor. Yes, the music may be similar to that of your Aunt’s fiftieth birthday bash, but wash it down with a pint of Guinness from an actual keg and you’re in for a really fun night of dancing, drinking and belting out the lyrics to Love Yourself by the Biebster, actions you’ll certainly regret in the cold light of day, but that are nonetheless fabulous at the time.
Everyone needs to stop sh**ting on nights out in Dub, they’re not that bad.
To finish off this article, as a fellow student of mine said, “Everyone needs to stop sh**ting on nights out in Dub, they’re not that bad” and I am inclined to agree. Dublin’s nightlife tends to get bad press, but there are usually a large variety of events that you can enjoy and, even if it isn’t quite the Berghain you were hoping for, you can still have a blast, really good drinks and a boogie.
On a personal note, I think the best nights out in Dublin are the live music performances. This city is full of up-and-coming musicians and bands, so head over to the Celt, Fibber McGee’s, the Grand Social and even (dare I say it) the Academy on gig nights and expand your horizons. Find your new favourite band that you can claim you “listened to before they were popular” and have a really, really fantastic time.