The Craic Fest, March 12 - The Mercury Lounge

The Craic Fest is the long running (now in its 18th year) annual festival of new Irish film, comedy and music. Since its foundation it has excelled at introducing important new filmmakers, bands and performers to the United States, and this year will be no exception.

The Rubberbandits, which started as the anarchic sketch group behind the “Horse Outside” viral video but have subsequently grown into a major cultural phenomenon, will headline the music part of the bill, playing tracks from their new album and pretty much guaranteeing that this year’s Craic Fest will be another crowd pulling sell-out (so best book your tickets soon).

Craic Fests aren't just fun nights out after all, they're come-as-you-are dress rehearsals for St. Patrick's Day and an important expression of Irish and Irish American talent and participation in New York life.

Also scheduled to perform on the music night is the Mighty Stef, an alternative rock group from Dublin, originally formed by songwriter Stefan Murphy as a solo-project but which has since become a critically acclaimed Irish band.

Their latest album Year of the Horse is filled with songs of redemption and rock and roll glory. Expect swaggering riffs and a gift for storytelling to match anything by Nick Cave or LCD Soundsystem.

Also appearing on the night will be the Smithy Blues Band. Headed up by Navan-based blues musician Paddy Smith, his life began to turn around after a brief stint in a prison cell with one of America’s main drug dealers a few years back, after one bar fight too many.

Now, having battled the twin demons of alcoholism and tragedy, he’s on the brink of new musical success and you'll hear the sound of redemption and hope between all the blue notes on the night.

The Hundred Hounds are also musical guests. Their sound is ‘70s-inspired rock featuring members of celebrated Brooklyn bands Mr. Bungle, Mr. North, Walking Shapes and the Last Royals.

Presented by Stella Artois and Castle Brands, expect drinks promotions and a lively stage set. The Craic Music Fest will be held at the Mercury Lounge, 218 Houston Street. For more details and to book tickets visit or Call 917-373-6735.

Waking the (New York) Feminists

When Ireland's national theater The Abbey programmed a new festival exploring the legacy of 1916 called Waking the Nation, they somehow forgot to include a substantial contribution by Irish women.

The outrage that followed gave birth to Waking the Feminists, a movement set up by Irish theater makers seeking equality and open to both genders.

The inaugural Waking the Feminists meeting in New York will be held on Monday, February 29 at the Irish Arts Center in New York at 7 p.m., overseen by New York-based Irish playwright Lisa Tierney-Keogh, who has been closely involved with the movement since its inception.

The purpose of this event is to gather all interested artists and theater-lovers to discuss how the principles of the Waking the Feminists movement can be used to create change in New York. This meeting will follow on from a scheduled event held on Sunday the 28th at Fordham University in support of Waking the Feminists.

After Marriage Equality In Ireland Discussion

The recent marriage equality referendum in Ireland was a transformational and historic cultural event, making the Republic the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through a vote.

This week the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, in partnership with the Queens College Irish Studies Program, will host speaker Quentin Fottrell, the Irish columnist, author, journalist and critic, to convey the background, buildup and aftermath of the vote in the historically Catholic country.

The discussion will revolve around the referendum and contemplate the future implications for marriage equality across all of Europe.

Fottrell was the Irish correspondent for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal from 2003 to 2011 and is currently working as a journalist in New York. The discussion will be held at the Graduate Center, CUNY, Room 9207, 365 Fifth Avenue on February 11 at 7 p.m.