Redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be ‘ideal venue’, says Aiken

Stadium work continues as nearby Live in Marquee concerts set to top 100,000 fans

The €70 million redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork will make it an ideal venue for major outdoor concerts, music promoter Peter Aiken has said as work on the stadium continues.

Under the plan, the 39-year-old stadium in Blackrock in Cork will be extensively redesigned with capacity being increased from its current level of 43,000 to 45,000 with two new stands.

Demolition has already taken place on the existing covered stand where capacity will be increased from 9,000 to 13,000 while the uncovered stand will become a covered stand with 8,000 seats.

Welcoming the development, Mr Aiken, who brought Bruce Springsteen to the venue in 2013 when he played to 40,000 fans, said the new stadium will be ideal for outdoor summer concerts.


“The GAA in Cork are going to have a world class facility when the new stadium is finished and I met with them before work began to explain what would required in terms of hosting concerts,” he said.

"Cork has proved time and time again with Bruce Springsteen and before that with U2 and the Joshua Tree tour that there's a real demand for live entertainment with big concert acts.

“I couldn’t see why there wouldn’t be at least one concert a year at the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh when it’s finished - it’s got good access and Cork has the hotel infrastructure to support such concerts.”

Meanwhile, Mr Aiken revealed that the Live in the Marquee series currently running adjacent to Páirc Uí Chaoimh is set to exceed the 100,000 attendance mark for the first time in its 11 years.

“We started off with Riverdance on June 11th and that has brought in almost 20,000 fans and all the other acts are selling very well so we’re very pleased with the response to this year’s line up.

"Ellie Goulding sold out within an hour, Van Morrison and Lionel Richie are both virtually sold out and The Coronas have sold two full shows - 10,000 tickets, which is extraordinary for an Irish band."

According to Mr Aiken, fans are coming not just from Cork and Munster but from all over the island of Ireland as well as some from the UK keen to see particular acts on the Irish leg of their tour.

"We had ten guys the other night, real old punks, over from England for Billy Idol and he went down a treat - his mother is from Cork and when he performed Rebel Yell, he brought the house down.

"Some acts inspire huge loyalty in their fans and on Monday night we have a bus with 50 fans coming from down Belfast to catch ZZ Top in Cork - again they have a really loyal following."

The Live in the Marquee which also features Grammy winner, John Legend, The Frames in a 25th Anniversary Concert, Status Quo and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds continues until July 14th.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times