Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Expect a quiet summer in the fields

Sometimes, predictions do come to pass. Last summer at the height of the festival and outdoor gig season, On The Record made an educated guess that we’d see less and less gigs in fields in 2009. At the time, the …

Thu, Feb 19, 2009, 14:11

   

Sometimes, predictions do come to pass. Last summer at the height of the festival and outdoor gig season, On The Record made an educated guess that we’d see less and less gigs in fields in 2009. At the time, the main reason for thinkin this was to do with the opening of The 02 and how promoters would avail of the venue’s fixed costs and roof. Of course, we didn’t imagine the havoc the recession and credit crunch would have on the sector.

I’m sure Malahide Castle is not the only venue which will be missing rock’n'roll punters this summer. The north Dublin venue has become a regular host on the summer gigging circuit but this will change in 2009 as this report by Robin Kiely in the Fingal Independent confirms. While there may have been 11 shows at the venue in the last few years, it’s clear that the promoters may either moved indoors or have decided not to risk their cash.

(UPDATE Reader Sean D in the comments below queries why we’ve heard nothing about this year’s Green Energy shows, which are usually held over the May Bank Holiday weekend in Dublin Castle. Last year, these shows were announced in late January. Is this another one to add to the MIA list?)

Of course, promoting shows is a hugely risky proposition in the first place. We may rail and rant about the big promoters here time and time again, but we’re not the ones paying out huge advances for acts who may or may not do the business. Or even acts who’re hot today and stone cold tomorrow. Imagine, for instance, if you were a promoter thinking about doing an open-air show in Dublin in the summer with Chris Brown. You saw him selling 50k tickets in nanoseconds for the 02 and Odyssey and thought “bingo”. As Chris Brown turns into the new Bobby Brown, it may be a while before he’ll be selling out shows again.

Still, some people are optimistic and not just Team Brown. A few months ago, I interviewed Harry Crosbie for Cara magazine and he went on at great length about his plans for a big public square next to the 02 and Point Village. “By the end of 2009, we’ll have the Luas station and a big public square opened”, he said. “It’s the first square of its kind to be opened in Dublin since the 18th century. It will have free rock concerts, food markets, outdoor dancing, anything which pulls punters down.” The ad went into the papers last week seeking suitable designs for this plaza. Sounds to me like the ideal site for the revolution.