Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

This year’s festival census sees smaller events march on

The census returns are in: there were 75 music festivals and outdoor shows held in Ireland this summer. Since 2007, an annual crowd-sourced headcount has been carried out on the On The Record blog to attempt to establish the number …

Fri, Aug 20, 2010, 10:01

   

The census returns are in: there were 75 music festivals and outdoor shows held in Ireland this summer.

Since 2007, an annual crowd-sourced headcount has been carried out on the On The Record blog to attempt to establish the number of festivals and one-off outdoor shows which happen here every summer.

While the census can’t and doesn’t claim to be 100 per cent accurate, the returns does provide a handy guide to the state of the sector.

What’s striking in the last two years is the steady, ongoing increase is the number of smaller events. Even though big cheese events like Oxegen and Electric Picnic continue to get the most attention by virtue of the size of audiences they attract, smaller events attracting 5,000 punters or less are certainly gaining traction.

The biggest decrease? That would be in the number of standalone outdoor artist shows in venues like Marlay Park and Malahide Castle. This is due to such shows moving indoors to the O2 to avail of fixed production costs (and avoid the vagaries of Irish summer weather) and also to a reduction in the number of heritage acts on the touring circuit this year.

But it’s not all beer and skittles for the small festivals. Two events which were due to be held in August – the three-day Indie’Go festival in Fenagh, Co Carlow with Aswad, Alabama 3 and Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club, and the Summer Blowout Leaving Cert results party featuring Alexandra Burke, N-Dubz and Razorlight at Dublin’s Donnybrook Stadium – were cancelled.

In the case of Indie’Go, the cancellation happened on the second day of the event, while Summer Blowout organisers Premium Nights put it down to “circumstances beyond our control”.