Trouble in the Park
Sir, – I hesitated to write about concerts in the Phoenix Park last weekend, as my issues seem small compared to loss of life. However, I walked a wide circle on Monday night, as I do most evenings. The park was littered with cans and bottles, not just on the main routes into the gig area, but also on every narrow path and byway from which concert-goers approached the stage. They were everywhere; thrown deep into long grass, scattered around the base of tree trunks. I am pessimistic about MCD managing to clean even a small portion of this widespread and grass-shielded detritus.
The acres of grassland reduced to mud will heal in a year or so. I slept soundly last night, following four nights of circling helicopters, passing sirens, bass speakers. Blackhorse Avenue is once again walkable for residents (as a twenty-something male I was hugely intimidated by the zombie crowds on Saturday; I would forgive anyone for spending the entire weekend hiding indoors). But I fear those cans will be there a long, long time.
These concerts were not public events. They were high-cost, high-yield music gigs benefiting private organisers and those with the money to pay for tickets. The public Phoenix Park is an inappropriate venue for a succession of such large concerts. Damaging the park at the time of the year in which it is most used and most appreciated as a green refuge by Dubliners is opportunistic and shortsighted. I hope is it not to continue. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Brian Boyd (Opinion, July 10th) appears to be living in a bubble of music snobbery where nostalgic rockers listen with sober, misty-eyed respect to the Stone Roses, while hordes of “yoofs” overdose on lethal combinations of alcohol and drugs at an “electronic dance show”, apparently egged on by the glamorising of drugs by “today’s electronic dance music”. Swedish House Mafia are a mainstream, popular group. A group that plays to 45,000 people hardly qualifies them as “underground”.
Mr Boyd appears oblivious to the fact that it is not one single, modern genre of music that encourages gig-goers to take drugs and alcohol. Perhaps he should listen to the Beatles’ 1966 hit Day Tripper or a more modern Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (1967) before he decides to condemn “today’s generation” for listening to covert hints to take drugs.
As a welly-wearer (not designer wellies unfortunately, to disappoint the article’s generalisation) who attended Sunday’s concert in the Phoenix Park, I would advise Mr Boyd to look to the Irish attitude to binge-drinking and problems with security and stewarding before he displays such prejudice towards dance music and its fans. – Yours, etc,