The 1980s is widely regarded as a decade that is home to some of the best music ever produced. An era with undeniable style, flamboyance and attitude. Check out some of the upcoming events in 2020 that are sure to take you on a trip down memory lane. There’s something for everybody with Pop, Rock, R&B, Ska and even Musicals to choose from.
Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot
9, 10, 11 & 12 of April 2020
Paul Heaton is one of the UK’s most successful songwriters with over 15 million album sales under his belt. He first came to public attention in the early ’80s as the front man of Hull-based indie poppers The Housemartins, who are best known for their third single Happy Hour and their No 1 acapella Isley Bros cover Caravan Of Love. In ’88 Heaton formed The Beautiful South, who released 10 hugely successful albums – from 1989’s Welcome to the Beautiful South to 2006’s Superbi. Jacqui Abbott was lead vocalist for some time in The Beautiful South and she sang many of their signature hits including Rotterdam and Dream a Little Dream. You can catch the dynamic duo at Leisureland in Galway, Dublin’s 3Arena, Belfast’s Ulster Hall or the Gleneagle INEC Arena in Kerry.
I’ve Got Love For You 1980’s – Olympia Theatre
7 of May 2020
Get ready for a real “Throwback Thursday” as I’ve Got Love For You 1980s comes to Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on Thursday the 7 of May 2020. Travel back in time as live band ‘Electric Dreams’ perform a multitude of decade defining chart-toppers from artists including Wham!, Madness, Bon Jovi, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, The Weather Girls, Duran, Duran, Culture Club, Soft Cell, The Human league, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and many more!
Biggest 80’s/90’s Disco – SSE Arena
23 of May 2020
The Biggest 80’s/90’s Disco makes a return to the SSE Arena, Belfast after a bumper show last year. 80’s acts that will be performing on the night include German star’s Boney M who who were prominent in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, French pop duo Ottawan who will bring some Disco to proceedings and renowned Modern Talk tribute act Modern Talk Reloaded. You can also add some 90’s nostalgia to the mix with a whole host of acts performing all your favourite hits from another iconic era.
Lionel Richie – St Anne’s Park & Ormeau Park
6 & 7 June 2020
Lionel Richie began his glittering career as a member of the funk and soul band The Commodores in 1968 before launching his solo career in 1982. He went on to release a series of anthems and ballads that have become synonymous with the 1980’s yet have managed to stand the test of time. Richie’s career has seen him rack up sales of more than 100 million albums, 22 top 10’s, five Grammys, an Oscar for Best Original Score, a Golden Globe and a host of other awards. A mainstay in popular culture, his music has transcended generations around the world. He comes to Dublin’s, St Anne’s Park on Saturday the 6 of June & Belfast’s Ormeau Park on Sunday the 7 of June to perform his extensive catalogue of timeless hits including All Night Long, Hello, Easy, Dancing On The Ceiling, Say You Say Me, Lady and many more.
Duran Duran – St Anne’s Park
7 of June 2020
One of the most successful and iconic groups of the 1980s, Duran Duran were a part of the new romantic movement yet they managed to stand out from the pack with a distinctive style and sound more recognisable and individual than many other new romantic groups. Along with their music, Duran Duran were also renowned for their polished music videos and are seen as trailblazers in this regard. They were very much at the forefront in the beginning of the music video era catapulting them to even greater heights. Classic songs such as Girls on Film, Wild Boys, Hungry like the Wolf, Rio and Save a Prayer were all accompanied by iconic videos. In 2001 Duran Duran reformed and in 2004 they completed their hugely successful Astronaut Arena Tour, which saw the band perform to sold out crowds for 17 nights, including a five-night residency at London’s Wembley Arena. They follow Lionel Richie by performing at Dublin’s St Anne’s Park on Sunday the 7 of June.
Smokie – Royal Theatre & Event Centre, Gleneagle INEC Arena & Vicar Street
30 of May, 6 of June & 17 of October
Smokie celebrated their 45th Anniversary last year, with a world tour, which saw them visit 3 continents and brought that distinctive Smokie sound to 19 countries around the globe. A group that were prominent in the 70’s, 80’s & the 90’s, they have revelled in the challenge of bringing a new freshness and vigour to Smokie hits that have become classics of pop. Songs like “Something’s Been Making me blue” “I’ll Meet You At Midnight”, “Don’t Play Your Rock ‘n’ Roll To Me” “If You Think You Know How To Love Me” “Livin’ Next Door To Alice” “Wild Angels” “Oh Carol” “Needles and Pins” “Have you ever seen the rain” “Mexican Girl” “For a few dollars more” “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” and indeed, many more. All of which were Top 10 entries around the world, went on to become radio staples and gave Smokie their ticket to travel the globe for the past 30 years. The Greatest hits show will feature every single hit record Smokie have had and will give you a sample of some current albums they’ve made and which have been big chart hits for them in many European countries.
Guns N’ Roses – Marlay Park
27 of June 2020
Formed in 1985, Guns N’ Roses injected unbridled, unrivalled, and unstoppable attitude into the burgeoning Los Angeles rock scene. Their 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction (the best-selling U.S. debut ever) solidified them as rock n roll juggernauts, moving 30 million copies globally. Over the course of the past decade, Guns N’ Roses have performed sold out shows and headlined festivals worldwide. Regarded as one of the most important and influential acts in music history, they continue to set the benchmark for live performances connecting with millions of fans across the globe. Since reuniting in 2016, Guns N’ Roses have gone on to sell over 5 million tickets worldwide. They come to rock Dublin’s Marlay Park on Saturday the 27 of June 2020.
The Specials – Trinity College, Dublin
4 of July 2020
Expect fireworks on the 4 of July as The Specials get set to light up Dublin as part of the Trinity Summer Series. With seven consecutive UK Top 10 singles between 1979 and 1981 including ‘Ghost Town’, The Specials managed to churn out music that captured the feeling of the times and help define an era. They have recently released their new album “Encore”, their first studio album of original songs since 1998’s Guilty ’til Proved Innocent!, and their first new material with vocalist Terry Hall since the aforementioned ‘Ghost Town’. Influential, important and exhilarating live, they are an eclectic ensemble that combine an electric mixture of ska, punk & reggae. Seven hit singles including two number ones, two hit albums and a string of sell-out tours. They’ve been everywhere from Top of the Pops, Radio One, nightclubs & even school disco’s.
Dirty Dancing – Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Gleneagle INEC Arena & Royal Theatre and Event Centre
20 of July – 1 of August, 8 – 12 of September & 22 – 26 of September 2020
Not only were the the 1980’s an awe-inspiring period for music, it was also a fantastic time for film, spawning countless iconic movies across several respective genres. Here we get the best of both worlds. Released in 1987, Dirty Dancing has gone on to become one of those era defining movies with an unforgettable soundtrack to boot. The stage production has proved to be a worldwide smash and has been seen by millions across the globe just like the movie. Two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds, come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. Featuring the hit songs, including Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, Do You Love Me? and the heart-stopping (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life. You can relive the story of Baby and Johnny at Bord Gais Energy Theatre as it stops off in Dublin from the 20 of July until the 1 of August, Kerry’s Gleneagle INEC Arena from the 8 – 12 September or Mayo’s Royal Theatre and Event Centre from the 22 – 26 of September.
The Greatest Love Of All – Gleneagle INEC Arena & Vicar Street
4 & 5 of September 2020
Spectacular South African songstress Belinda Davids stars as the late, great Whitney Houston in the critically acclaimed tribute production The Greatest Love Of All. Join her as she takes you on a joyous journey through Whitney’s greatest hits accompanied by a live band. This fantastic production makes two stops on Irish soil, you can witness the wonder of Whitney at the Gleneagle INEC Arena on Friday the 4 of September or Dublin’s Vicar Street on Saturday the 5 of September.
Simply Red – 3Arena
13 of October 2020
Releasing their debut album ‘Picture Book’ in 1985 along with the single ‘Money’s Too Tight to Mention’, Simply Red then went on to take the latter half of the 1980’s by storm. Seminal moments include the release of their number 1 smash hits ‘Holding Back The Years’ in 1986 and their cover of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’ in 1989. They will stop off at Dublin’s 3Arena to perform all of their classic hits on Tuesday the 13 of October 2020, a show you simply cant miss!
Jason Donovan – Olympia Theatre, Ulster Hall & University Concert Hall
6, 7 & 8 of November 2020
Jason Donovan burst onto the scene in the late 80s as Scott Robinson in the hit Australian series, ‘Neighbours’. Jason’s vocal career began in 1988 when he released Especially for You with Kylie Minogue and a debut solo album, Ten Good Reasons. Following the release of his second album in 1989, Jason became the biggest selling UK and European artist. In the same year he was voted Best Male Singer and Britain’s Best Album at the Smash Hits Awards. He has performed internationally to sell-out audiences of thousands and now he comes to Ireland for a trio of performances playing Dublin’s Olympia, Belfast’s Ulster Hall & The University Concert Hall In Limerick.
Check out our playlist to gear yourself up for the fantastic array of 1980s influenced events taking place in 2020.