Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Taking the bus, the train or the tram

I noticed a very interesting ad from MCD on the DART from the Springsteen shows at the weekend. They’ve stuck four of their summer outdoor shows together – the ones which are not selling, obviously – and are promoting them …

Wed, May 28, 2008, 10:22

   

I noticed a very interesting ad from MCD on the DART from the Springsteen shows at the weekend. They’ve stuck four of their summer outdoor shows together – the ones which are not selling, obviously – and are promoting them under the banner of ‘use public transport to get to the show’. That’s the connection they’re using to advertise the Boyzone, Radiohead, Prince and Linkin Park shows together on the same poster.

Leaving aside that there’s still a bit of a walk involved if, say, you’re getting the DART to Prince at Croke Park from either Clontarf Road or Connolly Station, it’s noticable how public transport have become so prominent in the rock’n'roll despatches these years. Whether it’s Radiohead encouraging their fans to use public transport to get to the shows (though it would help if they’d have the gigs on in easy-to-access city centre venues rather than the ‘burbs – and this applies as much in the United States as Ireland) or Oxegen promoting their green side, encouraging eco-friendly travel options have become the way of the walk.

But you have to wonder if this really has any effect on gig-goers. Ireland’s public transport infrastructure is far from world-class, mainly because successive adminstrations have been so car-friendly in their planning, that taking the bus or train is often just not an option. They may get you within 30 minutes of the venue, but only if there are no delays, hold-ups or strikes by langers taking the hump over something or other in Cork.

Yet there is definitely a demand for this. A few people on one of the Crazy Ol’ Tom (™ On The Record) threads have already posed questions about getting public transport to the Phoenix Park, for instance, and the Dublin Bus/Bus Eireann coaches to gigs always seem to be heavily subscribed. It would be interesting to know just how much public transport plays in deciding if people go to gigs or not. It’s probably down the list compared to price and line-up, but does it even come into the equation?

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