Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Venue and festival news round-up

Beyonce, Life festival, T In the Park, Whelan’s, New York festivals, Iceland Airwaves, Groove Festival etc

Croke Park get ready

Tue, Feb 9, 2016, 10:02


There’s some new partners for capital city live music scene mainstay Whelan’s after last week’s merger between Dublin bar, cafe and venue operators the Mercantile Group and Capital Bars. The merger means venue owner Frank Gleeson, who will lead the new group, will now also oversee the George, Cafe en Seine, Howl at the Moon pubs and the Soder + Ko restaurant as well as The Green Hen, Marcel’s, Opium, Pichet, East Side Tavern, Le Petit Parisien and, of course, Whelan’s. That’s a heck of a lot of property under one roof.

Scottish festival T In the Park is not having a great news run at the moment with a lot of coverage of the “widespread chaos” at last year’s event. The Scotsman reported that “senior officials at Perth & Kinross Council have warned they will not allow T in the Park to be staged again at the Strathallan Estate unless there is a total overhaul of the event”. The problems which occured included “traffic congestion, concerns over crowd safety inside the arena and campsite security and disruption to residents”. Meanwhile, Police Scotland have reported that the highest number of serious crimes in the festival’s history were recorded at least year’s event, despite a fall in drug-related offences and thefts. The festival, which did not sell out in 2015, recently reshuffled its senior management team.

The battle for New York: great read about the struggle by rival promoters to put on festivals in the Big Apple. Love this quote from promoter Ron Delsner of Live Nation about the difficulties of putting on a show in NYC: “there’s no land, baby. There’s not 3,000 acres. There’s tunnels and bridges and millions of people walking around here”

Life festival are up and running for 2016 with acts like Paul Kalkbrenner, 2Many DJs, Laurent Garnier, Jeff Mills, Hot Since 82, Mano le Tough, Ben Klock, John Talabot, Joy Orbison, Bicep, Martyn and many more announced for the Belvedere House, Co Westmeath event from May 27 to 29. Tickets are now on sale from €124 to €154 a pop. Wonder did they leave anyone off the who-is-involved page?

After releasing the song of 2016 so far on Saturday and showing up Coldplay for the watery wimps that they are at the Super Bowl shebang on Sunday, Beyonce announced she was heading out on tour on Monday. Match that three day streak, y’all. Bey plays Dublin’s Croke Park on July 9 and tickets (priced from €49.50 to €144.00 plus Ticketmaster Formataion taxes and charges) go on sale next Monday morning. Far more entertaining than watching the Dublin footballers. Better muscle definition too.

Why have crabs when you can have lobsters dept: let’s skip the summer festivals and go right to winter 2016 with Iceland Airwaves announcing PJ Harvey, Julia Holter, Múm, Kronos Quartet, Axel Flóvent, GKR, Mammút, Reykjavíkurdætur, Mr.Silla and Sturla Atlas for the Reykjavík event from November 2 to 6.

Groove Festival returns for its fourth run at Killruddery House in Co Wicklow on July 2 and 3 next with The Blades, Aslan, Ocean Colour Scene (cough) and the Neville Staple Band the first set of acts to be announced. Tickets go on sale on Thursday at €53.50 (including booking fee) for a day ticket and €79.50 (including booking fee) for a weekend ticket.