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On a Wednesday in early April 2018, starting at about 21:00, the pub Ryan's at Camden Street in Dublin was tightly packed with young local party-goers, all dressed properly for the occasion. The queue in front of the pub was very long. According to the Facebook page of Ryan's, there was live music (The Buggy Boys was playing).

Oddly enough, the day after (Thursday night) at about the same time there was no crowd there, and the bar (and the entire surrounding streets) looked almost empty, even though everything was open.

On the second day after (Friday night) at about the same time there was no crowd there, and the bar (and the entire surrounding streets) looked almost empty, even though everything was open. I also checked out the Temple Bar and O'Connell Street area, and although there were many crowded pubs and clubs there (some with live music), the liveliness, the vibe and the elegant attire (clothes, shoes, makeup, hairstyle) of partygoers I've noticed on Wednesday night was completely missing.

What is the reason that a Wednesday night in that area of Dublin and that bar in particular is much more lively than a Thursday night or Friday night?

I'm asking this as a tourist without any local clubbing or nightlife experience in Dublin.

  • was there live music mentioned on the FB page on the slow Thursday night? – Kate Gregory Apr 6 '18 at 15:36
  • @KateGregory: The Facebook page mentions The Buggy Boys playing on a couple of previous Wednesdays this year, but only Wednesdays. No ther live music mentioned on any other days. This can be a distinguishing factor, but I find it hard to believe, because the crowd size difference was so huge. – pts Apr 6 '18 at 16:10
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If pubs have an "event" such as live music or a quiz for example, it is often mentioned online, on flyers/posters in that pub, and maybe in other places too. Just keep your eyes (and ears) open while wandering around the city.

In my experience, live music in pubs is not hard to find in Dublin, or many other places in Ireland.

  • Where should I be wandering around, in addition to Camden Street? – pts Apr 6 '18 at 18:24
  • Please note that the information which I can get online (e.g. pub X has live music tonight, pub Y has a quiz night tonight) is close to useless for me. I'd like to find a place which is so lively and packed with party-goers having great fun as Ryan's was on Wednesday. Where can I find this info online? – pts Apr 6 '18 at 18:27
  • Thank you for trying to help! Unfortunately you haven't answered either of my questions yet, so I'm not able to accept your answer. – pts Apr 6 '18 at 18:35
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    Thought I was being helpful. On my visit to Dublin a few years ago, I had no problem finding pubs packed and lively, some with live music; and that was from just wandering around the city centre. – Nick Apr 6 '18 at 18:50
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    @pts You are asking the impossible. No one can predict with certainty when a certain establishment will be packed or not. There are an infinite number of variables ranging from the weather to sports events on television to transport availability; all the reliable ways of getting people in the door are already being tried by the owners of those establishments. It's all part of the adventure of going out on the town, – choster Apr 6 '18 at 23:19
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From having been in Dublin a few times, I agree with the other answer that wandering round the popular area will give you the best 'packed to the gills' pubs.
To find which areas are the most popular at this time I would look up the online events, if there are three places advertising in the same street, it is a good bet there is more going on.

I also used printed guides (if was a few years ago) and the Lonely Planet information was (then) spot on. These days I would go to their site, and maybe forum, to see what they have on Dublin.

And ask around. Hotel and hostel staff are mostly aware where the good places are. Tourist information offices have the information and random student aged youngsters on the street (look for clothing styles you would expect in your favorite clubs) can be good sources of information as well.

  • Great tips, thanks! I did the wondering around on Friday, and I discovered many packed pubs (some with live music), none of them having the liveliness and vibe I was looking for. I'll try the other tips next time I visit Dublin. – pts Apr 7 '18 at 9:28

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