Thousands gather for Bruce Springsteen’s first Cork gig

Hotels sell out as 40,000 fans flock to Cork to see the Boss at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Thousands of fans, many of whom have queued overnight to get good vantage spots, are preparing to file into Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork for tonight's sell out Bruce Springsteen concert.

As temperatures on Leeside soared to over 26 degrees Celsius, over 40,000 fans are expected in the Cork GAA stadium.

The stadium last played host to a major concert when Oasis played there in 1996, following in the footsteps of an eclectic mix including Michael Jackson, Prince, Joan Baez, John Denver and Don McClean.

Tonight marks Springsteen's first visit to Cork and following on the success of his concert in Thomond Park in Limerick on Tuesday night when he played for over three hours.


Fans were looking forward to another storming performance by the boss. "I've never seen Bruce live so I'm really looking forward to the concert - by all accounts, he was amazing in Limerick and hopefully he's give just as fantastic performance here tonight," said fan Jimmy Dromey from Douglas.

The news that promoter Peter Aiken was bringing Springsteen to Cork - less than a fortnight after another highly successful Live in the Marquee series - led to a flood of hotel bookings with an estimated 3,000 beds booked out in Cork.

According to Chairman of the Cork Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, Michael Magner, the concert is proving a major boon not just to the hotel sector but to the services sector generally in Cork.

“We estimate that around 3,000 rooms have been booked out for tonight - there isn’t a hotel bed available within a 15-kilometre radius of the city so it’s a huge boost not just to the city but to the county as well.

“It is not just the hotels that are benefitting but the food industry, bars, small traders — everyone can expect to benefit and we’re hoping that many people will make a weekend of it with the marvellous weather we’re enjoying here as well.”

Mr Magner said great credit was due to Aiken Promotions and the Cork County Board of the GAA for making the concert possible and he expressed confidence that it would lead to many similar such concerts coming to Cork in the future.

Among the hotels to benefit was the Clarion Hotel on Lapp's Quay where all 200 rooms booked out within hours of the concert date being announced - as Sales and Marketing Manager for Cork and Limerick, Raymond Kelleher explained.

“We’ve been pretty much fully booked out since the concert was announced a couple of months back - the impact on our reservations was pretty much instant so we’ve planning for this for the last few months,” Mr Kelleher told Cork’s 96FM.

Down at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, excitement was mounting as Springsteen - who is understood to be staying at the five star Castlemartyr Resort Hotel - and his band could be heard going through a sound check around lunch hour.

Meanwhile gardaí have put in place a traffic management plan with a significant number of restrictions in the Ballintemple and Blackrock areas as they seek to ensure a smooth transfer of the 40,000 fans to and from the ground

Gates open at 5pm at Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the 7pm show. The Marina will be closed from its junction with Centre Park Road to the Pier Head at Blackrock village. Monahan Road will be closed outbound in the direction of Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Maryville and Park Avenue will be resident-access only and driving licences or passports with a current utility bill will be requested of residents to permit access to these areas.

Bus Éireann will operate shuttle buses starting at midday until 6pm from Lapps Quay to Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The buses cost €2 but will only operate before the concert with return afterwards on No 202 route which stops in Ballintemple.

Private coaches are requested to park on the Boreenmanna Road between Ashton School and Páirc Uí Rinn, and after the concert to face for the South City Link Road to the Jack Lynch Tunnel.

Concert parking for those coming in cars is available at designated car parks until 1am, including Cork Constitution with minibuses and coach space also, and Ballinure and St Michael’s GAA pitches on Ringmahon Road.

Open car parks in the city include Patrick’s Quay, Grand Parade and Carroll’s Quay, Paul Street car park and City Hall car park. St Finbarr’s car park will have access from Wandesford Quay, while Boreenmanna Road has on-street parking.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times