Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The early bird gets the Glastonbury tickets

All eyes are on Glastonbury as tickets go on sale for the 2014 festival in October, but what about the Irish contenders?

What you'll be staring at next June

Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 09:53


As first noted for posterity in John Ray’s collection of 17th century English proverbs, the early bird catches the worm. Fast forward a few centuries and the early bird tells us a lot about the live music scene.

In three Sundays’ time, your favourite social media timeline will be full of people going on about their success or failure in the tombola for next year’s Glastonbury Festival. The tickets go on sale on Sunday October 6 and, if previous on-sale dates are anything to go by, all 135,000 tickets at £210 a pop will be snapped in jig-time, long before any acts are confirmed for the event.

The festival has earned its stripes. Over the years, almost every act who matters has played there. Over the years too, the event has changed course and direction many times and its success probably provides the momentum behind the current popular fad for festivals.

At the same time as Glastonbury goes on sale, there’s not a peep out of the big two Irish events about next year’s plans. Once, early bird tickets were up for sale on Ticketmaster as soon as the circus left Punchestown or Stradbally, but it’s much different now.

In Oxegen’s case, the 2013 festival’s failure to attract the 50,000 audience which the organisers expected when the event was announced in April will have a huge effect on next year’s plans. There’s definitely an audience for the new Oxegen, but it’s far from the 80,000-plus which the festival attracted in its hey-day.

For the Electric Picnic, there’s the ongoing court case between joint owners Festival Republic and John Reynolds’ POD Concerts to occupy the mind. There’ll definitely be a 2014 Picnic, but it remains to be seen what it will look like. No sign of early birds in either case, then.

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