Skip to content
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal

24 new venues for your next night out... according to Ireland's best DJs

The club nights, gig venues and dancefloors where Ireland’s music lovers head for a bop.
Feb 7th 2018, 5:29 PM 13,890 6

23316516_1739778579427371_7372752106399079959_n Setting up the decks at Wigwam in Dublin 2. Source: Facebook/Wigwam

A FEW WEEKS ago, we asked Ireland’s bartenders where they like to go to unwind after a night’s work.

This week, we’re taking things uptempo, by checking in with some of the country’s leading DJs to find out the country’s best dancefloors, club nights and live venues.

Making plans for the weekend? Here’s where the country’s best DJs like to go for a bop…

Tara Stewart

Tara Stewart is a DJ and entertainment reporter with 2fm. You can follow her on both Twitter and Instagram at @tarastewartdj.

Here are Tara’s Dublin picks…

Some of my favourite places to go to include L’Gueuleton when Cian Murphy is DJing there. He does awesome house, R&B and disco depending on how he feels.

I love going to The George when Conor Behan is playing. He is my pop anthem DJ and I know I’ll lose my voice by the end of the night.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Fredd (@freddrdz) on

The George

Singalong Social is one of the best nights you’ll ever go to. Each month they pick a different theme where you go, get a lyric booklet and just belt out the bangers to your heart’s content.

Other club nights that aren’t as regular but are on every month or so include Trill, The RnB Club and any of Nialler9‘s nights.

Fergal D’Arcy

Fergal D’Arcy is a presenter on Today FM and regularly travels countrywide to catch new bands and dance acts.  He has played festivals like Electric Picnic, Oxegen and Indiependence.

Fergal has big love for the nightlife in Galway, Dublin and Kerry…

The Pulse in Letterkenny is one of the finest establishments I’ve ever been in. It has an incredible Funktion-One sound system in the main room, which has hosted some of the finest dance acts in the world including Eddie Halliwell, Jess Bloch and Bingo Players.

They are always eager to please the crowd and eternally reinvent the wheel with novel theme nights and a top class lights show that would shame a club in San Antonio Bay.

Pulse, Letterkenny

Roisin Dubh in Galway is the true home of the west of Ireland’s music scene having hosted Ireland’s biggest acts and earning international recognition from artists worldwide. From The Disconauts to Gavin James, it’s the home of Galway’s live sound and a hub for music country wide. Whether it be for a sneaky pint or a session of tunes and trouble, this is your venue.

Mike The Pies in Listowel is a hidden gem in the kingdom. Whilst being a smaller live venue, the acts this premises has boasted over the past year have been phenomenal – Otherkin, Fangclub, Stephanie Reaney, The Raglans.

If you’re down south and eager to enjoy a night of indie this is the perfect place to kick back and take in the tunage.

Aoife O’Neill

Aoife O’Neill is a DJ based in Cork. She runs Out of Space, Cork’s newest monthly club night, and will be hosting a monthly radio show of the same name on Dublin Digital Radio from February 14th.

Aoife lists some of her go-tos in Cork and Dublin…

With the recent addition of Plugd Records upstairs, The Roundy now hosts a huge variety of music gigs and club nights every weekend. It’s a great place to check out if you fancy a more low-key type of night with the best music and a friendly crowd.

Sunday Times in The Bowery has now become a music institution in Cork. Run by Barry, Colm and John, the lads’ no-frill approach and commitment to quality music has seen the night become one of the biggest and best in the entire country.

A highlight? When they open the roof and let the crowd dance under the stars.

Dip, Dublin

Dip is a party in Dublin run by Cait Fahy, Enda Rowan and Robbie Kitt. Hosted in various locations across the city, their parties have an electric atmosphere as they whip the crowd on the floor into shape with their music selections. 100% time of your life guaranteed.

Hosted in Yamamori Tengu, Out to Lunch is a club night that has brought some of the biggest names in underground music to Ireland. Over the last two years, their international guests have included Call Super, DJ Sotofett, Objekt, Sassy J and Lena Willikens. This is the club night for the music heads in the know.

Dublin: Marcus O’Laoire

Marcus O’Laoire is a DJ, comedian and chef based in Dublin. He is the resident DJ in Hangar and The Academy. You can keep up with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Marcus let us in on some of his Dublin favourites…

If you asked me to describe my perfect venue to go for a little dance in, the music would be loud, the walls would be sweaty, the ceiling would be low and it would be packed with moving bodies who are there to lose themselves in the music for a few hours.

If I’m going out, I love basement venues like downstairs in the South William, Wigwam (formerly the legendary Twisted Pepper) or Yamamori Izakaya.

There’s a certain magic about the crowd being literally in the DJ’s face that you can’t recreate anywhere other than a little rave cave, both as a punter or as a DJ.

Couple this with the strong lineups that the venues I’ve mentioned constantly have on rotation and you’re in for a good time. Whether you’re seeing heavy hitters like Optimo, San Proper and Dixon or locals like Billy Scurry, Boots & Kats or George Feely, you’re in for magic.

Hangar, Dublin

I’ll always have a big space in my heart for Hangar as well. It’s a balls to the wall warehouse with a big old void sound system that makes your diaphragm vibrate like a jackhammer. I’ve had some of my most memorable moments as a DJ playing there, among them a person from the crowd throwing me a taxidermied squirrel and shouting up, “Mate, that’s the party animal”.

DJ Deece

DJ Deece is Hidden Agenda’s resident DJ. He regularly gigs around the country and has dates forthcoming in Cork, Dublin, London, Belfast and others. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

DJ Deece favours Galway, Dublin, Sligo and his hometown of Kildare for a bop…

I’ve got a couple of places that I’ve really grown to love recently. My current favourite place to play in Ireland is The Blue Note in Galway. A small pub with a tiny dance floor tucked down the very back, this place is run by music lovers for music lovers. I play there any chance I get.

The Garden of Electric Garden & Theatre is a very close second in Galway. It’s actually quite a similar vibe to the Blue Note but on a slightly larger scale.

Blue Note

In Dublin, I’m really starting to fall in love with the basement of Wigwam again. I feel like people think that it has lost its magic sinc the old Twisted Pepper days, but it’s actually a better room now than it was then. Killer sound system in a dark room with a low ceiling – perfect. Always a a pleasure to play there.

Pygmalion is also a great spot to play records and has one of the best DJ booths I’ve played in. Always a very eager crowd in there with the floor often full as soon as they clear the tables.

Honourable mentions include The Workman’s Club in Dublin, which I will always love. Even though I play there every Wednesday, I’ll never be bored of it. Brú House in my hometown of Newbridge is a wonderful spot when they turn the upstairs in to a club. Newbridge is full of music lovers, and they always make the most of a big night in Brú.

District 8 in Dublin is the best big room club I’ve seen in this country, and is a must for lovers of loud dance music. Finally I have to mention Sintillate in Sligo (formerly HMV Soundgarden) for having one of the best atmospheres in the country. Sligo is like my second home at this stage!

More: Sean’s Bar in Athlone is Ireland’s oldest pub

More: The technicolour rock at the centre of the Waterford-Kilkenny rivalry

Send a tip to the author

Amy O'Connor


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a comment

    cancel reply
    Back to top