Ireland, festival republic: big rise in number of summer shows
For the last couple of years, the On the Record blog has carried out an annual census to tally the festivals and one-off outdoor music shows which occur over the course of the Irish summer. At the time of writing, …
What’s immediately noticable is the ongoing growth in the small festival sector, something which was apparent in the 2009 and 2010 round-ups.
There may have been less and less heritage acts and big stars playing one-off shows at venues like the RDS and Malahide Castle this year, but there was a big increase in small festivals attracting crowds of 5,000 and under.
You’ve even now got an upper tier of established small festivals in the shape of Castlepalooza, Indiependence, Sea Sessions, Knockanstockan, Life, Glasgowbury, Vantastival, Temple House and Body & Soul.
It will be interesting to see how the bigger promoters react to changes in the marketplace and the growing popularity of smaller, cheaper events.
For example, this year’s Oxegen attendance was noticably down on previous years despite the blockbuster array of acts. Radical changes are required and many will watch closely to see what promoters MCD do with what was once a valuable cash-cow.
Promoters will point out that many bigger acts were simply not touring in 2011 but it should also be remembered that there are now few guaranteed sell-outs like Take That and Kings of Leon. The game is changing again.