Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Festivals by the sea, the Lee, the Lagan and the Liffey

Typical: you wait weeks and weeks for news of some summer festivals to come along and then several appear all at once. This week, promoters behind such events as Future Days, the Cork Midsummer Festival, Belsonic and Cois Fharraige announced …

Fri, May 16, 2008, 09:28

   

Typical: you wait weeks and weeks for news of some summer festivals to come along and then several appear all at once.

This week, promoters behind such events as Future Days, the Cork Midsummer Festival, Belsonic and Cois Fharraige announced their plans for the coming months.

Future Days, a co-promotion between indie promoters Foggy Notions and Forever Presents, will see Dan Deacon, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Low, Jape, Matmos and others performing in Dublin from June 12th to 15th.

The Cork Midsummer Festival will feature a diverse range of acts making a stand in the Spiegeltent by the Lee, including Faust, The Fall, Stanley Super 800 (playing a country and western set), Hunger Mountain Boys, Camille O’Sullivan and many more.

Belsonic will see The Flaming Lips, The Zutons and others plays in the middle of Belfast in August, while Cois Fharraige re-appears on the Clare coast from September 5th to 7th.

At this stage, it seems that 2008 will match and may even top last summer’s seventysomething tally of outdoor shows and music festivals.

This summer trend is in line with a rapid mushrooming in live activity in general in Irish venues in the past number of months. Unlike 10 years ago, most international acts now touring include an Irish date or two on their itinerary.

Yet there are signs that the downturn in the economy is having an effect on the spending patterns of music fans.For example, it’s noticeable that there are a considerable number of slow-selling shows by big acts who would have sold out their shows weeks in advance a few years ago.

At the time of writing, tickets are still on sale for Irish shows by such big hitters as Radiohead, Prince, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Lenny Kravitz, Boyzone, Westlife and Muse.

It would appear that Irish music fans are now looking for value for money.

After all, why pay €70 for Radiohead when you can see three or four shows at a festival for the same price?