Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Time to stop talking about the Phoenix Park and do something instead

It was a classic Irish summer news story. Last weekend’s trio of shows in the Phoenix Park created headlines which had nothing to do with the fluff and froth which usually accompanies mainstream media music coverage. When the news desk …

Fri, Jul 13, 2012, 09:09

   

It was a classic Irish summer news story. Last weekend’s trio of shows in the Phoenix Park created headlines which had nothing to do with the fluff and froth which usually accompanies mainstream media music coverage. When the news desk rather than the showbiz desk are directing operations, there’s a different emphasis to the story.

All the elements for that classic were present and correct: open-air live concerts, atrocious weather, some nasty crimes, a couple of thousand young people, the biggest live music company in the country, drink, drugs and three Swedish DJs playing bland pop music.


Standard photo of festival punters in non-agricultural wellies walking through a muddy field

Mix ‘em all together and you’ve a story to keep newspapers, radio shows and online gasbags in clover for a week. One can only imagine the new angles which will be explored in this weekend’s media.

But let’s hope this story doesn’t simply get filed away until the next time something like this occurs. It’s not enough that we merely tut and sigh over the issues which arose as a result of last weekend’s concerts, from the big picture stuff about Irish society’s abusive relationship with alcohol to the questions promoters MCD need to answer about their management of the event. We actually need to do something which goes against every kernel of being Irish: we need to stop talking and take action.

It suits all the vested interests (and there are many) for the talking to go on and on, but wouldn’t it be amazing if some steps were taken as a result of all this? One such move would be to make the licence application process for big outdoor events totally transparent, with proper public meetings and consultations.

It may be easier to avoid the issues and demonise dance music fans than do something like this, but it would be far better to be adult about all of this and take some long overdue action.