Concert promoter says it will be difficult to replace Live at the Marquee site

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Concert promoter Peter Aiken admits that he will find it difficult to find a replacement site for Cork’s Live at the Marquee series once the land is developed for accommodation.

Mr Aiken was speaking at the launch of this year’s Leeside lineup, along with the Rod Stewart concert which will take place next week at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The 4.6-hectare riverside site that hosts the Marquee - formerly the site of the Ford depot - was last year sold to Glenveagh Properties PLC in a deal reported to be worth in excess of €15 million.

Plans to eventually develop hundreds of homes on the site have cast some doubt over the long-term future of the Marquee series unless an alternate location is found.

“It is on a good site, there’s no doubt about it,” Mr Aiken said. “I remember Paul Simon’s manager telling me that, no matter what, I should hold onto that site.

Whatever it is about that area, I remember Springsteen, when he was driving down to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, loved the trees and area. It is a good area, it’ll be hard to find somewhere as good as that.

"It has a hard surface and no grass, and I know they’re already working on that site but it still could be a couple of years away. As promoters you’re always looking to next year rather than in two years’ time,” he said.

Mr Aiken said the Rod Stewart concert will have a capacity of 35,000 - lower than Ed Sheeran’s show last summer due to the space that will be taken up by the seating provided on the pitch next weekend. He said around “32 or 33,000” tickets have been sold so far.

Gardai will be announcing the traffic management plan for the concert in coming days, but those attending have been advised that Páirc Uí Chaoimh will open to ticket-holders from 6pm, with the Scottish singer due onstage at 8pm sharp.

Mr Aiken also revealed how he unsuccessfully attempted to convince Dublin hip-hop duo Versatile to add extra dates to their June 21 Marquee show, which sold out in less than an hour.

“Versatile will be a fairly full-on show,” he said. “I wanted them to do three nights, but they wouldn’t do it. They’re just starting out, but they definitely have a plan as to how they want to do their career, even though I told them they could do three shows, they only wanted to do one.

"They want to do it right, that’s their attitude, no matter how hard I pushed them on it, I couldn’t persuade them, even though they’re young fellas, they definitely have their own view on how they want to do things,” he said.

The launch of the concerts was held in the River Lee Hotel yesterday, where Damien Dempsey played a number of songs to guests.

The Dublin singer-songwriter will play the Marquee in support of Aslan on the first night of the series on June 8, while Hall & Oates will bring this year’s offerings to a close a month to the day later on July 8.

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