Paint the Town Black! That’s the exhortation from Guinness for Arthur’s Day, on which 500 free gigs are being staged across Ireland: a great excuse – if one is needed, says Irish Ferries – for an autumn break.
Named after the brewery’s founder, Arthur Guinness, the day – 27 September 2012 – is an opportunity to party along with Fatboy Slim, Ellie Goulding, Tinie Tempah, Amy McDonald, Mika, Texas and a host of other artists at 500 free gigs laid on across Ireland.
This year, Arthur’s Day is expanding well beyond its roots in Dublin’s Temple Bar, to every corner of Ireland, with live music in local pubs from Derry to Dingle. A list of events can be found at Guinness.com *
At this stage, which artist appears at which venue is under wraps, with votes being cast for the locals’ favourite pubs. The most popular – no matter how small or remote – will host one of the star names on 27 September. Hundreds of pubs have already confirmed other artists, so wherever you are in Ireland on the day, you’ll have a great time.
Get there with Irish Ferries. Fares to Ireland at the end of September start at £79 one-way for a car and driver, with additional adults £26 each way. Combined train and foot-passenger tickets – RailSail – start at £32 return.
Alternatively, a self-drive package with Irish Ferries Holidays costs from £174 per person for a three-night stay in Dublin and includes return ferry crossings for the car. Plus, 10 per cent discount on entry into the Guinness Storehouse attraction, food and purchases from the shop there. This package is based on two sharing a room (on B&B basis) at the Regency Hotel which is close to the city centre, has free parking and good public transport connections, plus a pool and leisure centre.
Irish Ferries sails from Holyhead in North Wales to the heart of Dublin four times a day, with the fastest crossing as little as one hour 49 minutes (on the Dublin Swift). There are two sailings each day from Pembroke in South Wales to Rosslare in County Wexford.