And when Páirc Uí Chaoimh is redeveloped, Mr Aiken said he hopes to stage at least one major act there yearly.
Speaking ahead of last night’s Cliff Richard gig, which opened the 10th Live at the Marquee summer concert series, Mr Aiken said he did not think for a moment back in 2005 — when the event debuted as part of the city’s Capital of Culture celebrations — it would still be going strong a decade later.
With a record-breaking 23 shows lined up between now and July 15, Mr Aiken said there was still strong demand from world-class artists who wanted to play, and from music fans who wanted to attend an 11th Live at the Marquee event.
“Even though there’s a World Cup, I could have staged 33 shows over two months this year,” he said.
“It’s just the amount of people who want to play it. I spent as much time this year telling people who wanted to do it, why they couldn’t do it, because I can’t have too much of the same thing.
“I had to explain to their people that we could do it next year.”
He is still planning to record a Live at the Marquee album featuring highlights from some of the top acts to perform over the last decade, including Nick Cave, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, and Elton John.
“I just have to get somebody to project manage it for me,” he said. “It’s definitely going to happen. It just got so busy this year with Garth Brooks and everything, I just couldn’t give it the time it deserved. But it will happen, maybe in the 11th year.”
Hoteliers and publicans are now gearing up for a bumper six weeks, as Live at the Marquee coincides with the staging of the Irish Open golf tournament at Fota.
The Clarion Hotel’s marketing manager, Raymond Kelleher, said this month brought the hotel’s strongest Live at the Marquee-related bookings in a decade.
“There is such a huge lineup, spanning a longer period than normal, it’s given us a huge boost to the start of our summer,” said Mr Kelleher.
“It’s definitely going to be our best June. We’re not quite full yet — there are a few rooms left — but the whole city will see a benefit from these events.”
Organisers of the Live at the Marquee festival got the cliffhanger start they were looking for last night as Summer Holiday arrived with a bang — or rather the man who made the song famous did.
The third biggest selling singles artist in UK history, Cliff Richard took to the stage of a sold-out Marquee for the first concert in a packed six-week programme.
Like old wine, Richard may not be brought out that often, but he’s well preserved and delivers a champagne performance.
We can be as cynical as we like about the Peter Pan of pop but Cliff was just brilliant — velvet voice, sexy hips, and well able to deliver.
His polished, power-packed show of rock ’n’ roll, pop, and ballads had plenty of energy and a snappy backing band. It’s hard to believe, given his movement and voice that, at the age of 72, and more than half a century on from his first hit, he is still capable of giving an audience what they want. Opening with ‘My Kind Of Life’, it was hit after hit after that, with ‘Dreaming’, ‘Livin’ Doll’, ‘Poetry In Motion’, ‘Sealed With a Kiss’, ‘The Twelfth of Never’, ‘Summer Holiday’ and ‘Congratulations’. But what else you would expect from an artist who has just released his 100th album? Pure entertainment.