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New Year’s Festival Dublin | Close Out the Decade with a Bang

New Year’s Festival Dublin is back and bigger than ever, expanding to two days to help ring in 2020 with style.

Speaking to Travel Ireland Magazine, Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development for festival organisers Failte Ireland, said: “Since we’ve been doing this, we’ve been trying to make every year better as we go along. What we’re doing this year is having a big moment at midnight but then also we’ll celebrate more on New Year’s Day”

“We’re very conscious of visitors who come to the city that they’re here for a couple of days. It’s important to have things on and programme New Year’s Day as well.”

On December 31, the Irish capital will shine bright with the Liffey Lights Midnight Moment, as well as its family-friendly equivalent, the Liffey Lights Midnight Moment Matinee. Both are making a highly anticipated return this year and are free to attend. However, tickets need to be booked in advance for the matinee at nyfdublin.com.

For the Liffey Lights Midnight Moment Matinee, families and friends of all ages can ring in the new year together with entertainment starting at 6pm leading to the earlier countdown spectacle at 7pm. Kids can watch in delight and amazement as laser lights and aqua beams dance in perfect rhythm with music.

“Everyone thinks of New Year’s Eve as that midnight moment,” says Carroll. “What’s special about Dublin is that we have a matinee earlier in the day for families. It’s really important that they – because they can’t go out at midnight if they have young kids – be included because it’s still a celebration.”

Later, one can celebrate the final moments of 2019 with a bang under a canopy of sparks with the Liffey Lights Midnight Moment. This lighting spectacle will be performed against the backdrop of the Custom House. It features up to 100 aqua beams, lasers and search lights dancing across the night sky, performing in time with original music created especially for the countdown event. This will start at 11.30pm with excitement building to a crescendo as the clock strikes midnight.

In terms of music on offer, the festival is putting a spotlight on Irish music with Co Down rockers Ash and Co Kerry four-piece Walking on Cars. This is alongside Dublin pop-star Aimee and Fermanagh-based country singer Lisa McHugh.

Speaking to Travel Ireland about headlining, Paul Flannery – bass guitarist for Walking on Cars – said: “We’ve done the festival a few times before and to be asked to come back as a headliner is a great compliment. We are flattered.” His bandmate and pianist for the group Sorcha Dunham added: “The Irish music scene at the moment is just unbelievable. There’s so many amazing artists. It’s good to have this at the end of the year to celebrate Irish music all in one place.”

Aimee also expressed delight at being selected to perform: “I’m so excited. I don’t think there’s anything better that I could do to ring in the new year.” Speaking about the opportunity the festival is giving homegrown artists to showcase their work to wide audiences, the singer stated: “The fact that so many Irish acts are coming out of the woodwork is putting us on the map now again. We’ve so many talented musicians so it’s great that tourists will be able to see that.”

Originally hailing from Glasgow, Lisa McHugh told Travel Ireland she is very excited to spend New Year’s in the capital. “This is my first time performing such a huge calibre gig in Dublin City Centre. Dublin is always up for a party. I can’t wait.”

“When you mention Ireland to anyone abroad, they say: ‘Oh I love going to Dublin. It’s a great night out.’ Gigs like this are important to keep those people coming back and bring new faces. People want to ring in the New Year and make it a real enjoyable experience. I think it’s a great idea and I’m just delighted to be a part of it.”

Tickets to the Countdown Concert (which include entry to the Liffey Lights Midnight Moment event) are priced at €36.90. They are on sale from nyfdublin.com.

People can also kick-start 2020 with a free family-friendly New Year’s Day Concert in Temple Bar from 3pm to 8pm. The gig will feature performances from some more of Ireland’s finest musicians including Brian Deady, Kila, Luz and Wyvern Lingo (pictured).

Speaking to Travel Ireland, Carroll says about the second day of the festival: “It’s really very much about the international visitors so that there’s something on for them. But obviously we’d hope Dublin people may want to start the new year not necessarily sitting on the coach but actually being out and about in their city.”

For additional information on all other NYF Dublin events, visit nyfdublin.com.

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