Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The best little country in the world for gig-going

Pollstar figures show nearly 1.3 million tickets sold by Big Two Irish promoters in 2015 so far

It's official: we're mad for live music

Tue, Oct 6, 2015, 14:22


The boom is back, baby. Ahead of the first giveaway budget (or re-election budget) in years and adding to the various anecdotal evidence about an economic uptick involving traffic and consumer spending, here’s further proof that people have more money in their pockets. Pollstar have just published their statistics for concerts, tours, promoters and venues for 2015 to date based on numbers reported to them and the data from the Irish reps on the various lists are revealing.

In terms of promoters, you have MCD Concerts with 842,693 ticket sales to date this year (whose boss Denis Desmond is reported to be taking over the reins at Live Nation UK), while Aiken Promotions account for another 450,367, thanks in no small measure to their Ed Sheeran run at Croker and Live at the Marquee. As with all Pollstar figures, there’s no breakdown on which shows sold what, but that’s still the guts of 1.3 million tickets sold by the two Irish promoters to put them in the Top 30 list worldwide.

Three Irish venues make the outdoor and festival sites’ Top 40 cut, namely Croke Park (number 7 with 236,843 tickets), Marlay Park (there may have been less shows there than in 2014 but it still makes it to number 24 with 116,047 sales in 2015) and Docklands in Cork, home of Live at the Marquee (number 36 with 96,317 sales). There are also appearances for Slane Castle (number 67 with just under 60,000 tickets) and Boucher Road Fields in Belfast (number 72 with 56,110), though surprisingly, the Electric Picnic does not feature on the list, despite other shows reporting lower numbers than its 50,000 sell-out, or indeed another super-sized sell-out like the 175,000 capacity Glastonbury.

Two Irish arenas appear in that Top 50 list, namely Dublin’s 3Arena with 262,079 and Belfast’s SSE Arena with 242,102 sales, while Dublin’s Olympia is the sole Irish name in the Top 100 theatre chart reporing 101,617 ticket sales to date.