Bloomsday Festival

The James Joyce centre are yet again presenting an action-packed schedule of food events, walks, talks, music and more for this year’s Bloomsday Festival. The festival takes place from the 11th – 16th June.

In the final chapter of Ulysses, Molly Bloom reflects “I wouldn’t give a snap of my two fingers for all their learning why don’t they go and create something”. This year the festival is marking the 100th anniversary of the serialisation of Ulysses in The Little Review by toasting that spirit of creativity.

If you fancy a night at the theatre, then look no further than the return of the Abbey Theatre’s production of Ulysses. Or why not jump into bed with Molly at Bewley’s Café Theatre? In Ulysses “there’s music everywhere”, so the festival will feature Ulysses Extended: A Musical Score by celebrated composer Stephen Gardner on June 13th. Musician Séan MacErlaine joins dancer Áine Stapleton and illustrator Sarah Bowie to discuss Joyce, Art and Inspiration on a creative panel on June 11th.

Visually, there’s an exhibition of new prints by Frank Kiely inspired by Joyce’s Dubliners. Artists from different disciplines have been on the streets of Dublin since February seeking traces of Joyce’s multi-layered novel. See what they’ve created at the Drawing on Joyce exhibition.

You have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Bloomsday Breakfast with optional grisly bits in a host of iconic locations across the city. Earlier in the week, why not join in a Joycean Food Trail for a contemporary twist on the food of Ulysses or, on the big day itself, partake of Afternoon Tea at the James Joyce Centre, serenaded by Joycean sirens Sinead Murphy and Darina Gallagher.

The signature Bloomsday Readings event takes place in Wolfe Tone Square, hosted by novelist Peter Murphy. If you’re looking for a Bloomsday pilgrimage, you can choose between bespoke bus tours and diverting walking tours. If you don’t want to cross Dublin without passing a pub, then check out the Joyce of Whiskey tour or our Joycean Pub Crawl.

Is Bloomsday all about dressing the character? Find out why and how at our Fashion Workshop on June 12th or create a character from Ulysses at the Dublin Body Painting Jam on June 16th. You might glimpse them as their wandering parade passes through the city.

You can also get into the ‘midsummer madness’ atmosphere with the Poetry Brothel, this year themed as a bawdy Bloomsday eve midnight mass on June 15th.  This year also sees the introduction of Bella Cohen’s Bloomsday Blowout on June 16th, a literary salon with extra O! The packed Bloomsday Fringe programme this year also promises “real Irish fun without vulgarity.”

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