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Guinness will celebrate its 250th birthday with a worldwide series of Arthur’s Day events on Thursday.
Starting at 5:59 p.m. – or 17.59, according to most Guinness drinkers – when the first pint was brewed by Arthur Guinness himself, the unofficial national beverage of Ireland will kick off an array of musical and cultural celebratrions.
Ireland, of course, will be the center of the international celebrations.
Throughout the day, musicians like Tom Jones, Kasabian, Natalie Imbruglia and Kelly Rowland will perform at the St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, the home of Guinness.
The artists will then hold smaller sessions in 33 locations in the capital – including the Academy, Tripod, Whelan’s and Vicar Street. Their performances will be broadcast live in 4,000 pubs across Ireland through a specially arranged Sky television satellite feed.
Guinness celebrations will also occur in New York, Lagos in Nigeria, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Big acts like the Black Eyed Peas, Noah and The Whale and Estelle will perform around the globe, with a total of 130 performances and 60 hours of live music to take place over the course of the Irish beer’s birthday.
The Arthur Guinness Fund, which will help raise funds for “social entrepreneurs” attempting to develop innovative projects across Ireland, has been set up to mark the celebration.
Guinness is donating $8.8 million to the fund, and proceeds from ticket sales at main events during "Arthur’s Day" will also contribute to the project.