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Summer festivals

An expensive business

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott
The Irish Times - Letters to the Editor.

Sir, – I’m sure many of your readers have been to Spain during one of their festivals or religious holidays. They are such wonderful events that involve everyone and are aimed at everyone, not just those who can afford it. Music in the streets, bowls of gorgeous food being thrust into your hands, no barriers, no security, no entrance fee. A ticket to Bloom this year cost €30 and a ticket to Taste of Dublin cost an eye-watering €35. As soon as you step inside, you are invited to spend even more money on the food, the drink, and the stalls. What did a ticket to either of these events actually buy you? The food was more expensive than many restaurants, the gardens no more beautiful than any you might see in the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, the music no better than a free night club, with the only difference being the prices and location. And why should I thank the sponsors? That really confuses me, to thank the company that paid the most for advertising.

Festivals do not have to be big money makers, they are supposed to be an act of pride, community and regard for talented artists and the depth of culture. Bloom didn’t know what it was supposed to be, and Taste felt more like a school reunion for rich yuppies.

By all means vendors and artists should be paid for their work and wares, but don’t charge people €30 just to get in the door. – Yours, etc,




Co Cork.