Four Days & Nights of Deadly Adventures
Bram Stoker Festival celebrates the legacy of one of Ireland’s most beloved and iconic writers and is now firmly established as one of Dublin’s largest arts festivals, with more than 67,000 people attending festival events in 2023.
The festival draws inspiration from Stoker, his life, his work, the Dublin of his time and celebrates the Gothic, the supernatural, the after-dark and the Victorian. Over the years, we’ve presented major outdoor spectacles and installations; intimate experiences on hallowed grounds; world premieres of new scores for classic films and award winning theatre productions; outdoor circus at night in dark, foreboding forests; comedy in nightclubs; choral ensembles in darkened libraries; food tours where participants dined on custom menus; elaborate banquets in sacred crypts.
We’ve taken over cathedrals, parks and squares; entertained thousands of Dubliners and visitors with parades, fire gardens and illuminated, water-based installations; delved into Stoker’s literary impact, dissecting everything from his life and city to his work as a critic and entertained little monsters with kid-friendly discos, workshops, face-painting, performances and more at Stokerland and beyond.
In 2024, you can expect more deliciously dark treats on the streets and in venues across Dublin over the October Bank Holiday Weekend.
Dublin City Council Bram Stoker Festival is produced by Schweppe Curtis Nunn Ltd.
Bram Stoker is one of Ireland’s most revered and celebrated authors, and Bram Stoker Festival celebrates his legacy, his works and his impact on literature and pop culture.
Born in 1847, he was famously sick throughout his early childhood and he could not stand or walk until he was seven. However, he outgrew his weakness to become an outstanding athlete and football player at Trinity College (1864–70) in Dublin, where he earned a degree in mathematics.
After 10 years as a civil servant at Dublin Castle, during which he was also an unpaid drama critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, he became friends with Henry Irving and, from 1878 until Irving’s death 27 years later, Stoker acted as Irving’s manager, moving to London with his wife Florence Balcombe. Turning to fiction late in life, Stoker published his first novel, The Snake’s Pass, a romantic thriller, in 1890. His masterpiece and most celebrated work Dracula appeared in 1897. The story is that of a Transylvanian vampire who, using supernatural powers, makes his way to England and there victimizes innocent people to gain the blood on which he survives. The immensely popular novel enjoyed equal success in several versions as a play and as a film, and has never gone out of print.
Stoker loved to record snippets of overheard conversations in his journal, and detailed a Dublin soaked in sardonic humour, strife, comedy and surreality
Stoker’s first published book was a guidebook for civil servants, which was the to go-to read for new civil servants until the mid 1950s
In 1882, Stoker attempted to rescue a man drowning in the River Thames by leaping into the river… unfortunately, the man was not resuscitated.
He founded the Dublin Sketching Club, was a keen athlete and served as President of the Trinity College Historical Society
Stoker’s wife, Florence Balcombe, outlived her husband by 25 years, previously dated Oscar Wilde, and became embroiled in a legal dispute with the producers of Nosferatu – a fascinating person in her own right, much has been written about her and her life.
Stoker was witty and charming, popular in society and and was said to part dancefloors during glittering balls of the age when he took to the dancefloor, such was his skill!
You’ll find these and even more lesser-known facts in The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker, edited by his great grand nephew, and regular festival participant, Dacre Stoker.