As sound checks took place yesterday before tonight’s opening gig by Faithless, concert promoter Peter Aiken said as long as thousands of people keep coming to see gigs at the Marquee, he will continue to stage the event in the city’s docklands.
The first Live at the Marquee took place in 2004 after which Mr Aiken committed to staging the event for the next four years.
But as dozens of stage crew worked in torrential rain yesterday to put the finishing touches to the 5,000-capacity venue, Mr Aiken said it was his intention to continue the series beyond 2009.
“The people of Cork have voted with their feet. It is our intention to keep staging this event for the foreseeable future,” he said.
More than 70,000 people are expected to attend 15 gigs over the next three weeks generating up to €10 million for the city’s economy. Headline acts include tonight’s opener by Faithless, Duran Duran, Antony and the Johnsons supported by Martha Wainwright, The Who, Podge and Rodge, Bell X1, Status Quo, Flaming Lips, 50 Cent, Madness, Christy Moore, Elton John and Lionel Richie.
Christy Moore was the first act to sell out again this year. The Who, 50 Cent, Elton John and Lionel Richie have also sold out.
A limited number of tickets are still available for the other gigs.
Mr Aiken also hinted that rock legend Neil Young could be among the headline acts next year.
Meanwhile, water pumps were brought in yesterday afternoon to clear large puddles from some areas outside the concert venue but inside the vast marquee was completely dry.
An extended tented bar area has been erected just outside the concert venue and there is parking for several hundred cars on the site.
The stars will be able to relax in luxury ensuite trailers — complete with deep-pile carpet, comfy leather suites and modern art on the walls — in a secure VIP area to the rear of the stage.
Decking, patio furniture, bamboo fencing, hanging baskets, potted plants and fresh flowers were being put in place yesterday.
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