On Tour: Seeing a Gig Abroad

At first there’s disappointment. Your favourite band is embarking on an international tour and your city isn’t in the lineup. Or worse, they are coming but it’s already sold out.

But then, an idea strikes you. Gig holiday.


Bell X1 at Bush Hall in London. Whether emigrants or visitors, half the room was Irish 🙂

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of checking the tour dates of a band you really like and picking a city to travel to and see them live.

What appears on the face of it as a simple list of cities and dates in fact is a travel map in waiting probably spanning half of Europe and in each case featuring a great night’s entertainment that you can bank on before you even book.

Over the last decade or so, I’ve had some great ones. U2 in the south of France. The Arcade Fire in London. Radiohead and REM at Glastonbury.

Last month’s acoustic set by Bell X1 at London’s Bush Hall was another sub-category of the genre. Seeing an Irish band you like while living abroad. Dozens of Irish heads and voices were to be seen and heard at the concert, most of them probably living in London. For that evening, Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush might just as easily have been on Wexford Street, Dublin.

But while an expat gig of this sort is not something you do on a whim, as a weekend break abroad from Ireland, a gig holiday simply writes itself. Pick a city where your favourite act is playing that you’re interested in visiting, book flights and accommodation and you’re all set for a great trip.

What’s the coolest gig holiday you’ve been on? Let us know in the comments below.


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