Una Mullally

Society, life and culture on the edge

Your Phoenix Park aftermath round-up

The column inches dedicated to what happened at Swedish House Mafia and Co. are longer than the queue for the portaloos at Florence + The Machine, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing more to read about it. Jim Carroll focuses …

Wed, Jul 11, 2012, 11:55

   

The column inches dedicated to what happened at Swedish House Mafia and Co. are longer than the queue for the portaloos at Florence + The Machine, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing more to read about it.

Jim Carroll focuses on the micro of security, admissions and licensing procedures this morning.

Over on State, Phil Udell write about the problems with large scale live music events in Ireland right now.

Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick calls for a ban on Phoenix Park gigs. *eyeroll*

Brian Hayes says the idea of banning gigs is a simplistic view.

There are loads of letters in the Irish Times today on the issue.

 

Going back to what I wrote earlier in the week, I believe the primary issue and cause is the excessive and voracious appetite for alcohol amongst a chunk of teenagers and some people in their early twenties coupled with easy access to stimulants. It doesn’t matter what the gig is if the demographic is 17-25. Consuming booze, pills, cocaine, MDMA and mephedrone to get absolutely mad out of it as opposed to the responsible consumption of all of those things (the argument about whether you can responsibly consume anything from vodka to cocaine is another one, but the fact is all of these drugs are consumed widely so let’s deal with it), leads to reckless behaviour. If you don’t give a crap to begin with before you’re even wasted, if violence is par for the course on a night out, and if a good time is measure by how wrecked you and your mates get and what level of carnage ensues, then good things are not going to happen when you mix thousands of people with variants of that attitude in one space.

In terms of tighter searching procedures – if you really want to get something into a gig, you can. People can get knives and drugs into prisons and through airports when they really want to, never mind into a concert venue. Are security or gardai meant to ask women to take off their bras in order to unearth pills or wraps of coke and MDMA? Are guys meant to drop trou to show they don’t have a bag of weed in their jocks or a ceramic knife (which wouldn’t set off a metal detector) strapped to their leg? What about glass bottles? I brought in a glass bottle of rum to Body & Soul (which I wasn’t meant to) but that doesn’t mean I felt compelled to lob it at someone during Gold Panda. Yes, you can have stricter searching¬†procedures¬†and might catch something you didn’t when searching was more lax. But are we really asking for a situation where every gig goer is treated like they’re going on a visit to Portlaoise Prison? One of the frequent praises of festivals such as Electric Picnic you hear is “it was great, the security was really relaxed.” The horse has already bolted if someone has decided that they’re going to cause hassle, or decided that they’re going to get so wasted that hassle might be a product of their own consumption. We should be talking about how to stop people making those decisions in the first place.

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