Are fans reach­ing the limit with­sum­mer­con­certs?

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

This may be the sum­mer when Ire­land’s love af­fair with the out­door show be­gins to wane.

While shows are still be­ing added – The Killers are the latest act to an­nounce an Ir­ish visit this sum­mer – the sold-out signs are not go­ing up with the same fre­quency as in pre­vi­ous years.

Both Bruce Spring­steen and Ce­line Dion have sold out their re­spec­tive Dublin shows, while two of the three Lenny Co­hen dates are al­ready shut-outs. But there are still tick­ets on sale for Ra­dio­head, Boy­zone, Prince, Neil Young, Eric Clap­ton, Neil Di­a­mond, Iggy Pop, Bon Jovi and many oth­ers.

There will also be some no­table no-shows this sum­mer. The Mid­lands fes­ti­val will not be re­turn­ing to Co West­meath, and there is no word yet on Gar­den Party, though the one- day Love­box event is ex­pected to take place in July at Malahide Cas­tle.

This week, the pro­mot­ers of the Beach Party in Portrush, an event which saw Fat­boy Slim and Base­ment Jaxx per­form in pre­vi­ous years, con­firmed that the fes­ti­val would not be hap­pen­ing in 2008. Pro­moter Gary McGuigan blamed this on “a lack of some­thing ap­pro­pri­ate in the short pre-sum­mer sea­son win­dow in which it is pos­si­ble for us to utilise the site”.

The signs are that de­mand for out­door events may have lev­elled off, with au­di­ences be­gin­ning to ques­tion both high ticket prices and un­in­tic­ing bills.

For ex­am­ple, much of the crit­i­cism from fans di­rected at this year’s Ox­e­gen and Elec­tric Pic­nic fes­ti­vals fo­cused on the bills. Tick­ets are still on sale for both events.

It’s not just in Ire­land that au­di­ences are be­gin­ning to baulk at ticket prices. Last sum­mer, for ex­am­ple, a five-con­cert se­ries took place in New York’s East Hamp­tons fea­tur­ing Prince, Billy Joel, Dave Matthews, Tom Petty and James Tay­lor.

The cost of tick­ets was $15,000 and the pro­mot­ers hoped it would ap­peal to well-heeled con­cert-go­ers. But that po­ten­tial au­di­ence went else­where or blagged their tick­ets for free. The pro­mot­ers ended up nurs­ing huge losses and the event has been canned.

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