Dockland makeover Points to busy future for live music
A prediction for 2009? Expect to see less and less single-artist outdoor shows on the summer gigging schedule.
While you might think this has something to do with the weather or the recession (or both), the real reason for this change will be down to The 02, the new name for the Point in Dublin.
Since that venue closed last summer and got the builders in, Irish promoters have had to find other venues for their bigger shows.
These replacement venues have been both imaginative (last winter’s erection of large marquees in Dublin 8 by MCD, Aiken Promotions and POD Concerts) and horrific (the RDS indoor arena is a shed better suited to showcasing new agricultural equipment than live music).
It’s safe to say, then, that the arrival of a venue such as The 02 in Dublin will be warmly welcomed by the Big Three promoters.
For a start, it means that there will finally be another Irish venue on a par with Belfast’s excellent Odyssey, which will allow arena acts to play more than one Irish show on their tour.
But many shows which are currently held outdoors may also end up in Dublin’s docklands.
While there will always be acts such as Bruce Springsteen, where demand warrants an outdoor venue (as well as the likes Metallica who will be touring with a full outdoor production set-up), there are also many shows which promoters will be happy to see going indoors.
The availability of a venue with a capacity of up to 13,000 means promoters will be able to avail of reduced venue and production costs when it comes to these shows. With The 02, there will be no need to rent a few acres of land and build a stage every time Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Lenny Kravitz or Leonard Cohen comes to town. The venue will also ensure plenty of repeat visits from acts who would normally only get to fit in an Irish show every few years. Of course, depending on the act, this might not be such a good thing.
Outdoor man: James Hetfield