Cork received a cash injection of in the region of €35m over the last four days as tens of thousands of revellers headed to the city for the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.
The festival is one of the most iconic events of its kind on the national cultural calendar.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney has paid tribute to the lasting power of the festival which has humble origins as a substitute for a cancelled Bridge tournament at the Metropole Hotel in Cork city.
The festival was the brainchild of Jim Mountjoy, the then Metropole’s marketing manager, way back in 1978.
Over the years the festival has featured a galaxy of greats including Ella Fitzgerald, BB King, George Shearing, Art Blakey and Mel Torme.
Mr Coveney believes that the festival is a unique offering in Cork.
"The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is big business for the hospitality industry in Cork and gives the city a significant boost.”
Meanwhile, Aaron Mansworth from Trigon Hotels, who curate the legendary Festival Club at The Metropole Hotel, said the festival continues to be the busiest weekend of the year for the hospitality industry.
Fans of swing, funk, groove, blues and dixieland were well catered for at the Metropole over the weekend with an exciting mix of Irish and international acts.
Michael Lyons from Guinness/Diageo said the team at Guinness has been working diligently with hoteliers, publicans and Fáilte Ireland over the past few months to create a fantastic experience for visitors to ensure they continue to return each year.
“I’m delighted to say that it has been another amazing weekend. We had a fantastic start with the Blaze of Jazz Parade on Friday, which brought thousands into Cork, and the city was bursting with jazz in every venue and street corner for the remainder of the weekend.
“We had loads of sold out gigs, and all the bars, hotels and restaurants were incredibly busy, so it was a bumper year all-around."
This year’s festival hosted an array of top international acts, including Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Kurt Elling, The Big Brass Band Explosion, Dr Linley Hamilton Quinteet, Fred Hersch Trio, Mica Paris and Spyro Gyra.
Thousands also enjoyed the Blaze of Jazz Parade through the streets of Cork, impromptu on street performances and marching bands throughout the city.
Every nook and cranny of Cork City came alive to the sounds of over 1,000 music and creative artists from more than 20 countries.
This year’s festival hosted free gigs and entertainment in over 70 city venues from pubs, hotels and restaurants to galleries and public spaces.