Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Time to find out how festival fit the Irish music fan really is

As the summer music festival season gets underway, is there really enough money to go around for all these events and shows?

Kraftwerk on the autobahn (well, M50) to Longitude

Fri, May 3, 2013, 10:01


This weekend, the runners and riders are really under starters’ orders as the May bank holiday weekend marks the traditional start of the summer music festival season.

For those with an empty diary for the weekend, there are events in Dundalk (Vantastival), Bray (the Bray Jazz Festival), Derry (Jazz & Big Band Festival), Dublin (the Beatyard and the Camden Crawl) and Ballydehob (the seventh outing for the west Cork village’s boutique jazz festival), amongst others.

Over the coming season, every single weekend will feature musicians, artists and entourages throwing shapes in a range of open-air locations and temporary venues. From the big heavy-hitters, who will undoubtedly monopolise the media spaces through advertising buying power, to the shop-local gigs for a couple of hundred fans and friends, there has never been such choice.

There has always, it has to be said, never been so many other demands on people’s disposable income. You may well want to go to Primavera, Body & Soul, Longitude, Castlepalooza, the Sunflower fest and the Electric Picnic but few have the cash to make it all add up in the current climate. Those choices mentioned in the last paragraph are very much to the fore in 2013.

All of which means that some gigs just are not going to sell because so many events are trying to appeal to the same core audience. The fans who will buy tickets for Beach House or Grizzly Bear in the Iveagh Gardens are the same ones who will be tempted by Longitude, who are the same ones who might be looking at Body & Soul. It all comes down to which gig your social network are going to and how that choice is made. This summer, we’ll really find out if the Irish market really is festival-fit, to use that awful expression.