Music Festival news

Music Festival news, Marlay Park, Electric Picnic, MCD, Festival Republic, Dun Laoaghaire Rathdown County Council

As we prepare for Robbie Williams in Aviva and Bon Jovi in Slane, we must ask what is happening with the Marlay Park and Electric Picnic music festivals.

As noted here last week, MCD and their best buddies at Festival Republic have lodged a licence application with Dun Laoaghaire Rathdown County Council for two multi-stage concerts at Marlay Park on August 3 and 4.

The full application is now online, but details about the two day event or series of shows are a little sketchy. For instance, there is no indication if the acts will be dance, metal, pop or rock, all of which would draw significantly different audiences. Indeed, the application was initially supposed to be for three concerts from August 3 to 31, but this was amended in pen to read 3rd and 4th August before being submitted (page 1 of application) on May 24 last.

What we do know are that the proposed concerts will have three stages – one main stage and two tented stages – and the capacity of the event will be 30,000 per day. Gates will open each day at 11am and the concert will run from noon to 11pm. Per the application, the audience profile is “likely to be predominantly in the age group 18-35 years”.

The rest of the application consists of a detailed event management plan with a traffic management plan, security proposals (again, UK-based companies SLS and Specialized Security are the contracted security companies), health and safety regulations, draft drawings of the site layout and other elements.

Since we wrote about the second planning application for Marlay Park last week, we’ve heard a lot of speculation (and please note that it really is just speculation at this stage) about what might be happening that weekend. One of the most intriguing pieces of speculation involves the promoters moving Oxegen, which is due to take place the same weekend in Punchestown Racecourse, to south county Dublin.

OTR understands from industry sources that Oxegen has been performing very poorly in terms of ticket sales to date. This might explain why the Marlay Park application features a much lower capacity than the 50,000 sought for Punchestown Racecourse (which itself was a 37.5 per cent reduction in capacity from Oxegen’s heyday). Of course, were Oxegen to move to Marlay Park and benefit from the fact that a lot of the site build will already have been done for Longitude (and also reduce the costs associated with setting up in Punchestown), it would have to be a non-camping festival.

The question now is when will the promoters show their hand regarding what is planned for Marlay Park on that weekend. You also have to wonder if the residents around Marlay Park are happy to give the nod to an event without knowing who will be playing. Maybe they need to give some of their local reps a call or make a submission to the council by the end of the month.

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