Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

New ticket fees for Dublin’s Olympia and 3Arena

Ticket prices for capital city venues set to rise due to new charges and levies

Dublin's Olympia theatre is adding a "resoration levy" to ticket prices. Photo: venue website

Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 09:33


It’s going to be more expensive to see shows at two of Dublin’s longstanding venues due to new ticket charges. According to a report by Barry Hartigan in the Ireland edition of The Times, the Olympia and the 3Arena will both be charging an extra euro per ticket to raise funds for venue renovation.

The Olympia, owned by recently appointed Live Nation UK and Ireland chief Denis Desmond and Hozier co-manager Caroline Downey, is terming the extra euro charge a “restoration levy”.

According to the venue, “the restoration levy will allow The Olympia Theatre to invest in maintaining and enhancing the theatre to ensure that it continues to consistently deliver the highest quality experience for theatre goers, actors, performers and producers.” The venue, which initially opened as Dan Lowrey’s Star of Erin Music Hall, has been around in one shape or another (one rebrand was as Dan Lowrey’s Palace of Varieties) since 1879.

Meanwhile across the city, the Live Nation-owned 3Arena has introduced a facility charge on tickets. A spokesperson for the venue said the new fee means they can “continue to invest in enhancing 3Arena to ensure that it consistently continues to deliver the highest quality experience for artists, promoters and fans”. Good to see that “consistently” and “highest quality experience” is common to the spiel of both venues.

So how much money are we talking about? While the final figures for venue attendance in 2015 are not yet available, Pollstar’s 2014 numbers show that the Olympia pulled in 191,410 punters that year so that would be a handy €200,000 or thereabouts for the restoration fund. The 3Arena did 470,875 tickets in the same period, which would mean a cool half-million under the facility charge budget line.

However, you’d reckon the latter venue, owned as it is by Live Nation and with a heavy corporate brand attached (O2 paid €25 million for a 10 year naming rights deal back in 2008), wouldn’t have to shake down fans to maintain that fabled “highest quality experience”, thought it’s worth noting that attendance numbers have been falling at the northside venue. Next thing you know they’ll probably have buckets and tins out at the door to collect any loose change.