Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Bands out, builders in as venues close

Acts seeking to strut their stuff on a stage in Dublin in the coming weeks face a limited choice due to the temporary closure of some key venues. Both the Temple Bar Music Centre and Whelan’s are currently undergoing extensive …

Fri, Aug 10, 2007, 09:52

   

Acts seeking to strut their stuff on a stage in Dublin in the coming weeks face a limited choice due to the temporary closure of some key venues.

Both the Temple Bar Music Centre and Whelan’s are currently undergoing extensive refurbishment, while the Point Theatre is set to close at the end of this month for a massive overhaul which will see it doubling its capacity.

When the Temple Bar Music Centre re-opens in mid-to-late September, it will have both a new look and new owners. The revamp of the building will increase the venue capacity to 750 people with the dividing wall between the venue and the bar disappearing, an extended balcony, a relocated sound desk, new seating system and a brand new PA.

Long-standing venue owner Paddy Dunning will be joined at the helm of the decade-old Temple Bar fixture by POD Concerts boss John Reynolds and ex-Rí-Rá co-owner Eoin Foyle.

The most popular venue on Wexford Street also has the builders in at present. When Whelan’s re-opens in mid- September, the tidy-up will see a small bump in the main room’s capacity to 450 people.

The major change, however, is the creation of a new 120-capacity venue on the first floor where the band dressing- rooms, upstairs toilets and offices are currently located.

At the front of the building, the bar will be extended and the smoking area moved to the first floor, while new dressing-rooms are being built on a second-floor level with direct access to the stage. The changes will make the common sight of bands pushing their way through a crowded bar en route to their dressing-rooms after a show a thing of the past.

The most significant venue transformation in the capital city will get under way next month. The Point will close its doors for 14 months after the European super bantamweight bout between Bernard Dunne and Kiko Martinez on August 25the. When the venue re-opens, it will do so as a 14,000-capacity Roman-style amphitheatre.

The new Point will be part of the €800 million Point Village development which involves a giant shopping centre, hotel, car park and cinema complex.

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