Hit Machine Drummers


New Year Festival: A Very Dublin New Year

Custom House Quay during Dublin New Year Festival

Kodaline, light, aerial performers, brave water-tech and drumming mayhem: what to see at Dublin’s New Year Festival

It’s that time again: the year’s most anticipated night out, followed by a hungover vow to change yourself for the better, a gym owner’s favourite couple of weeks, the odd salad, and finally everything getting back to normal.

Dublin’s New Year Festival has been lighting up the city (literally) over the last few years, and has slowly expanded from mainly a big gig to a whole lot more. This year’s stars are massive Swords band Kodaline, who will be accompanied by Keywest and Hudson Taylor in an extremely local-leaning pop-fest lineup.

That core event is long since sold out, but there’s plenty of other stuff to explore, much of which is free, and spread out across December 31 and January 1. These events include several light displays (which are free ticketed events on the Custom House – register through Ticketmaster), acrobatics, smaller concerts, flyboarding and a host of pop-up performers.

We caught up with a few of the people involved to ask them all about what they do…


Carrying out acrobatic performances whilst hanging from oversized helium balloons seems like a wacky and potentially dangerous idea, but also a nice way to present gymnasts in a new way, against a bright background, and allow them to perform.

Heliosphere pioneered the concept. “Research, testing and practise,” were key, they say, adding “we research the science so an envelope of just the right size and which is light and strong enough to hold the helium, is used with enough ‘useful lift’ for the aerialist to fly but be manipulated from the ground safely by the crew without so much lift that they fly as well.”