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Old 10-05-11, 06:42 PM   #1
Irina
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: New Orleans
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Wink Pitches in Dublin and Galway (sept 2011 update)

I was in Dublin for 5 days in mid-september and it rained all the time, so I ran away to Cork (the only sunny place in the whole country at that time) and then went to Galway for the second weekend- which was a HUGE MISTAKE, because it turned out that Dublin and Kerry football teams were playing in a final match in Dublin... I did not pay attention to football schedule and missed the whole thing, what a shame! Which brings me to #1 pitch in Dublin in 2012 - THE FOOTBALL STADIUM ON THE DAYS OF THE MATCHES. (they do not use word "games" in Ireland, and do not even think of calling it "soccer", you'll offend natives' feelings, soccer is a milder version of Euro-football, it's considered not as manly as real football...) So, "The Dubs" won national championship after 16 years of obscurity - next summer the whole area around the stadium will be one huge party! The schedule for qualifying matches will be available in advance - if you plan to work in Ireland in 2012 - go entertain Dubs' fans, learn their tunes, lingo, wear their colors (light blue and dark blue), it's gonna be a lot of fun and money! Great gig for face-painters and balloon twisters, tonns of kids at these matches, and I am sure musicians and circle shows will do good too with all the foot traffic around the stadium. After the match starts - head to 'touristy places" (locals will be glued to TVs anyway) - and that's Grafton Street and Temple Bar (it's not just one bar, but about 10 blocks area with bars, restaraunts, shops, galleries etc) Temple Bar is packed at night, but there are some people there also during the day, mostly mature folks interested in traditional music. (At night it is mostly college crowd). Daytime pitches are: Grafton Street (expensive shops), Henry Ave (chain-shops) and Talbot Ave (1-2 euro shops). (I guess your earnings will coincide with that...but Talbot is packed wall to wall!) Henry and Talbot go perpendicular to Connoly from the Irish Needle on both sides, they are wide pedestrian streets , and I saw all kinds of street performers and street artists there, awesome pavement artist right on the corner of Connoly and Talbot! If you entertain kids or prefer park settings - The Stephens Green in the end of Grafton st is a nice park with kids playground, and you can also swing to Phoenix Park Zoo and check the situation there (I did not have time to go look, it's far from Center)
You do not need a permit to street perform in Dublin, but there is a vendors' license required for traders and street artists - if you sell tengable objects for set price you must have one (they gave me a phone for vending office when I asked about it in City Hall, but I lost it)... I also asked Garda (police) if i need a license to face-paint, they told me "Yes, but we won't check it, go have fun" (we were talking about football matches). All musicians in Temple Bar sell CDs without a lisence...so, it is really up to Garda...To be on the safe side you can try "Free CD with 10-15 Euro donation" sign...- this gets you out of "Tangable goods for set price" trap.

Galway is a fantastic city for arts, music, sightseeing, but there are not as many people as in Dublin....it is pretty small! If you want to make money - stay in Dublin. But Galway is a must if you are traveling in Ireland and want to enjoy yourself and hear huge variety of music and see other buskers! The main pitch is Shop Street - whole bunch of buskers there: mostly musicians and some mimes. There is also area on the river where people stroll and take pictures of the pretty scenery, there are some shows there. The most interesting busking show I saw in Galway was Chrissy, the slack-rope walker - she puts the rope between the trees on Corrib river and walks on it in meditation, with her hands in the air and her white dreads flying around...and she wears all white clothes and looks like Druid Priestess...I saw her from far-far away and just ran there to take pictures and chat with her, she was such an eye-candy and she creates an 'energy-bubble" around her which is sooo magical...I will post pictures on the Net when I get back to New Orleans and retouch everything, I am still traveling... I worked on Shop street for 2 days, Saturday was pretty good, and Sunday was totally dead (it was the day of the Big Match).

Most of music clubs in Galway are on the West bank, I loved Monroes's and Crane, but there are whole bunch of them, you can just stroll - like on Frenchmen street in New Orleans...just hide beer from cops, it's not allowed to drink on the street. Muddy Maher in Wood Quay is NOLA-style club specializing on American music, they are not far from Shop street.

The cheapest way to commute between Galway and Dublin is GoBus, it's 10 euro/4 hours, but it is a hard to find their stop in Dublin as they do not go to main bus station and just pick up people on the street - so google them and get map of their stops. They go every hour. In Galway it stops at the station in front of Tourist Office.

The biggest problem in Ireland is weather - it rains all the time and it is cold! I was there in september and it was 50-62F and very windy. So the busking season is pretty much limited to summer.

I apologize for my spelling and may be I got some names wrong - I do not have a map, so everything is from memory. Please correct me if I got something wrong. Peace yall.
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