The Dublin Summer Season - City Spectacular, Festival of Curiosity, and Mission to Mars

In Dublin, we're spoiled for choice over the summer when it comes to festivals.  We do our best to sample them all and managed to check out City Soul Picnic and the Festival of Curiosity in a single day.  City Soul Picnic was conveniently located in Merrion Square and started about midday.  We caught the tail end of a performance by Moo.
It was sprinkling lightly but we didn't let that ruin the fun!
While we were there, we bought a raffle ticket for a good cause.  For a fiver, we were entered to win one of these fabulous art guitars and the money went to support underprivileged children learning a musical instrument.
Next up, we caught The Blood Red Mountain Band.  All the acts had a folksy bluegrass vibe - our favorite...
Here are some sample clips from the gigs we saw.
We then popped over to Trinity College for the Festival of Curiosity.  Meant to promote an interest in science, various displays and demos were set up on-campus.  They ranged from a sculpture artist who worked in metal...
...to a pedal-powered ducky.
I know I'm always curious about robots, especially those that are larger than life.
The Festival of Curiosity extended all the way out to Smock Alley Theatre where potential 'Marstronaut' Joseph Roche was giving a talk about Mars One and why he signed up for what could be a one way ticket to The Red Planet.  Dr. Roche is the only Irishman still left in the running to go on this ambitious voyage in 10 years time.  A reality TV style competition will be used to generate the funding to send people on this one-way trip to Mars.
We had to high tail it out of the talk a few minutes early when we received a phone calling saying I'd won one of the art guitars at the City Soul Picnic and had 30 minutes to get there to pick it up.  Sweet!  We'd definitely earned the calories in our beer after that rushed walk back to Merrion Square!

We spent that evening at Whelan's where more free music was in store as part of the Whelan's Bluegrass Country Roots Festival.  Various folk and country music performances were on all over town as a consolation prize after the five Garth Brooks concerts in Croke Park were cancelled due to resident complaints and frankly some diva behavior on the part of Mr. Brooks (the city officials and local residents were going to bend the rules and allow three concerts but Brooks came back with 'it's all or nothing!'  Looks like nothing it is...)  We could care less about Garth Brooks but appreciated the high quality music around town that resulted anyway.  We saw the Handsome Boatmen...
and One Horse Pony.  One Horse Pony are the band in residence at Whelan's but this was their first time on the Main Stage.  They were so excited to be there and the energy was simply amazing - great gig!
I even recognized the bass player from a performance we'd seen in Cork a few months back (Pixie and the King).  Apparently, he plays with about five different bands in Cork.  It's nice to be in demand, I suppose.

The Prairie Dawgs took the stage to finish out our evening with some bluesy riffs.

Here are a few clips to give you a flavor of the music on offer.
Our day was packed with festivals but full of fun.  Can't wait to do it again next year.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: The Dublin Summer Season - City Spectacular, Festival of Curiosity, and Mission to Mars
The Dublin Summer Season - City Spectacular, Festival of Curiosity, and Mission to Mars
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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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