It’s that time of year folks! Midnight kisses, big balls dropping in NYC, the smell of Moet filling the air, and the most beloved of all countdowns. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Happy New Year! This year, what better place to share the feeling than Dublin City.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan T.D, officially launched the New Year’s Festival Dublin. Now in its third year, the three-day citywide festival will be bigger and better than ever with an amazing programme spanning three days from the 30th December 2016 to the 1st January 2017.

Gather together in the heart of the Dublin with your family and friends as the city comes alive for fun filled New Year’s festivities. Bringing together some of the country’s best talents, NYF Dublin offers you a host of free and family friendly activities and events guaranteed to engage, entertain and excite!

Participants in this year’s festival will be able to ring in the New Year at the 3Countdown Concert at St. Stephens Green South,witness the incredible Sky Dance at the Custom House, a spectacular aerial outdoor performance by Fidget Feet, taking place on New Year’s Eve, watch in amazement over 3 days as the Custom House comes alive with the Luminosity 3D animations and continue the New Year’s celebrations by kick starting 2017 in style at the free 3New Year’s Day Concert at St. Stephen’s Green. Other free events include the NYF Dublin music trail, walking trails, pop up street performances and amazing cultural events throughout the city.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr, spoke of the variety of the New Year’s Festival Dublin programme:

 “I am really looking forward to the 2016 NYF Dublin which is one of Dublin City’s annual headline festivals.  There are many free family-friendly events that will appeal to old and young, locals and visitors alike.  Dublin City Council are delighted to continue the partnership with Fáilte Ireland that has allowed this Festival to grow into one of the major Dublin festivals in the calendar.  I encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the festivities in the unique atmosphere of the City Centre as we count down to 2017.

Speaking at the launch Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan T.D., said:

2016 has been another great year for Irish tourism and with our New Year’s Festival, we have a great opportunity to end it in style. While still a relatively young festival, Dublin is certainly punching well above its weight and developing a strong reputation as a destination for New Year celebrations.  Through Fáilte Ireland and Dublin City Council, our capital city now has an event to be proud of and with the range of entertainment and events on offer expanding year on year, I am confident that all those who take part in the New Year celebrations will be suitably impressed.”

 Stressing the importance of the festival, Keelin Fagan, Head of Dublin with Fáilte Ireland, said:

Going from strength to strength over the last few years, NYF Dublin is proving to be a huge draw with last year attracting over 20,000 international visitors. This year the theme is ‘More than a Midnight moment’  and  there is a wide range of new & exciting  events over the three days such as the New Year’s Day  concert and many free arts, cultural, and pop up events taking place all over Dublin. Once more, we look forward to welcoming many local and international visitors to Dublin at the end of this year”

The NYF Dublin Festival is an initiative by Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Dublin City Council and produced and promoted by Holohan Leisure and MCD Productions.

The Programme includes:

Luminosity – December 30th, 31st & January 1st at the Custom House

Luminosity will spectacularly transform the Custom House into a magical story with stunning 3D Light projections. Watch one of Dublin’s historical landmark buildings magically change before your very eyes each evening!

3Countdown Concert – December 31st at St. Stephen’s Green

Ring in the New Year at the 3Countdown Concert at St. Stephen’s Green South with a star studded line up that will rock the city into 2017! Featuring Walking On Cars and special guests The Blizzards, Brian Deady & Little Hours. Tickets priced €27.90 incl. booking fee are on sale now from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide and

Event – Subject to licence.

Sky Dance at the Custom House – December 31st at the Custom House

Witness an incredible spectacle by Fidget Feet with a jaw dropping FREE aerial outdoor performancetaking place on New Year’s Eve at the iconic Custom House building. Watch in wonder as aerialists and abseilers integrate with Luminosity and fly across the building and overhead. Don’t miss out on this magical moment with family and friends!

Stay tuned to for more details!

3New Year’s Day Concert – January 1st at St. Stephen’s Green

Come and celebrate the start of the year with the soulful Dublin Gospel Choir and The Garda Band! Drop into the free family concert at St. Stephen’s Green South from 2pm and enjoy afternoon entertainment!

Photo Credit: Ste Murray

The Dublin Gospel Choir are probably the only act in the world to collaborate with artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Damien Rice, Rod Stewart, Outkast, Take That and Kodaline! Over the last 20 years, they have amazed audiences all over Europe with a brilliantly adaptable repertoire of songs. Their annual slot at Ireland’s internationally-acclaimed boutique festival Electric Picnic is now legendary. While they are best known for their gospel, soul and RnB repertoire their creative interpretation of contemporary pop and rock numbers raise the roof and leave their audiences shouting for more.

The Garda Band have thrilled audiences worldwide having performed at many international events and are set to entertain all ages again on New Year’s Day in Dublin. The Garda Band has represented the country on a number of occasions at police festivals and concerts in Switzerland, Germany and Northern Ireland and have a long association performing at Ireland’s rugby and soccer internationals, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin and the Rose of Tralee Festival.

Ré  with  Tunes in the Church-  30th December  at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Come and see some of Ireland’s most innovative and decorated musicians in the spectacular setting of Dublin’s famous 12th century Cathedral.  Ré star studded line-up includes the hugely talented Dublin piper Maitiú Ó Casaide and Eithne Ní Chatháin (Inni-K), a highly celebrated traditional singer and fiddle player. Founding members of the Hothouse Flowers, multi instrumentalists and singer Liam Ó Maonlaí and revered songwriter Peter O Toole will be joined on stage by Brendan Begley an outstanding singer and accordionist as well as Gary Hastings, one of the finest flute players in the country who will also be joined by Seamus Quinn an acclaimed fiddle player.Guaranteed to be one of this year’s festival highlights!

Tickets on sale now from Ticketmaster.

Sunday Assembly  in partnership with First Fortnight, 1st January at Christchurch Cathedral 

Sunday Assembly is coming to Dublin to make sure that your New Year gets off to the perfect start. Bring your New Year’s dreams, hopes and resolutions or whatever else you have with you for an evening of pure singalong classics, incredible talks and 100% celebration of life.  Hosted by Sanderson Jones (Radio 4, BBC, CNN) with music from Paddy Cullivan (Late Late Show), the Mellow Tonics Choir join NYF Dublin and First Fortnight for an inspirational evening of music, comedy and poetry in the magical, spell binding surroundings of Christ Church Cathedral.  Other First Fortnight events in partnership with NYF Dublin include Co-Motion and Hello Myself.

Lingo NYF poetry slam and Tongue Fu -30th December at Magistorium on South Anne Street.

Join us for the epic Lingo NYF Poetry Slam where top poets compete for the slam champ title. Hosted by comedian Colm O’Regan, the Slam will see top poets battle it out on the open mic.  This high-energy event, described by critics as  “must-see,” is an eclectic mix of everything from the comical to the contemporary, Poetry Slam in conjunction with LINGO fest (Ireland’s first and only spoken word festival) will bring some of Ireland’s best and most exceptional spoken word performance to the live stage. Love the Spoken word?  Then Tongue Fu is the gig for you…A riotous experiment in live literature, music, and improvisation. After sell out gigs at Dublin’s Lingo Festival and Galway’s Cuirt Literary Festival, it’s clear that they have already whetted the Irish appetite. Witness some of Ireland’s top performance poets and slam champions perform to sublime improvised soundtracks from the genre-defying Tongue Fu band.  Always unrehearsed, frequently surprising, sometimes poignant and often hilarious – this is an event not to be missed.

Other highlights over the three days include breakthrough artists Mura Masa and Bonzai at District 8 on December 30thThe NYF Dublin Music Trail, pop-up street performances, buskers and fire performances, unusual walking tours, FREE Sean Nós Dancing Workshops, a daytime Seisiún inpartnership with TRADFEST, a Dublin screening of In Between Silence in Christ Church Cathedral, a life drawing class turned cabaret extravaganza and look out for many other cultural projects throughout thecity  as well as many, many more events