Marquee gigs set to be annual event

THE Live at the Marquee concert series, which could have injected up to €10 million into Cork’s economy, could become an annual event.

As Christy Moore supported by Freddie White brought the curtain down on the three-week concert series last night, promoter Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions said talks will start within two weeks with a view to pitching the luxury 5,000-seat capacity marquee in Cork again next year.

"From a business point of view, the festival was very successful," Mr Aiken said.

He was also involved in the promotion of the Andrea Bocelli concert watched by a 10,000 crowd in Cork's Collins Barracks on Friday night.

Mr Aiken said he sold nearly all of the 60,000 tickets for the marquee's 15 concerts almost 60% of sales were from the greater Munster area.

It resulted in an influx of up to 25,000 music fans into Cork since June 30.

"We had some 50,000 people at a concert we ran with Elton John and Billy Joel in Croke Park five or six years ago and the benefit to the economy was put at £5m at the time. Five years on I would put that benefit at €8m to €10m," he said.

He praised city officials, gardaí and local organisations for their support.

"We had a great experience in Cork. It's a good city to work in, it was a breath of fresh air," he said.

"We didn't have one incident. Not one person had to be removed from the marquee, we didn't have one complaint, no-one asked for their money back.

"We had beautiful weather, security was low-key. All in all, it turned out to be a great festival," he said.

The Showgrounds-based concerts started on June 30 with former Beach Boy Brian Wilson. Diana Ross, Dwight Yokam, Al Green, Van Morrison, Nick Cave and Tommy Tiernan also headlined over the last three weeks.

Mr Aiken said Bob Dylan and Neil Young would be on his wish-list if he gets the go-ahead for a marquee series in Cork next year.

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