Marlay Park gigs set for another five years

by Aisling Kennedy

A NEW five-year contract for the Marlay Park concert programme was signed last week between MCD Productions and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
The new contract includes some limitations to the annual concert series as it has reduced the number of concerts per annum to a maximum of six concerts, and has also reduced the audience capacity to 210,000 people in total per annum.
The previous contract, which expired this year, allowed for a maximum of nine concerts per annum and an audience capacity of 250,000 people in total.
The contract was signed last week by members of the council, An Cathaoirleach Barry Saul and MCD.
Cllr Saul (FG) told The Gazette he was delighted to sign the new contract, and said: “By and large, there is widespread support for the concert series.
“The funding and [income] the concerts produce is always reinvested back into the park and also other parks in the area; it doesn’t just go back into paying wages or central services, so it [the community] does reap the rewards.
“There’s also been a lot of improvements made to the park over the years because of the concerts.
“A huge amount of work has been carried out by the council to deal with some of the issues around the concerts, including transportation issues, buses and security. The number of incidents has been quite low, given the number of people who attend the concerts,” he said.
A council spokesperson said that a member of the council would meet with residents’ associations in January to continue an “intensive public consultation engagement”.
The aim of these meetings is to reduce complaints from local residents and to develop a better external site management plan in 2016.
Cllr Neale Richmond (FG) welcomed the new contract, and said: “For 15 years, Marlay Park has shown itself to be one of the leading outdoor concert venues in Ireland, attracting many top acts.
“The new contract signed by the council and MCD is a realistic and thorough one that will allow top-class concerts to continue to be staged in Marlay Park, while also imposing sensible restrictions to protect local residents.”
He added: “I strongly welcome this new arrangement and look forward to five more years of concerts in Marlay Park.”
Meanwhile, in a separate announcement in relation to Marlay Park, South Dublin Protect Our Parks (SDPOP) handed over a petition to the council this week.
SDPOP handed a petition with 2,500 signatures to members of the council to protest against the wildlife damage in the park that they believe is attributed to the concert series.
A spokesperson for the group said: “After 15 years of putting up with large-scale concerts in Marlay Park each summer, local residents, visitors to the park and market traders have joined together to urge Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to protect Marlay Park – its wildlife, habitats, flora and fauna – and to respect and protect local residents, park users and park employees.”
The petition outlines the number of people in the area who believe Marlay Park is not a suitable venue for large-scale commercial concerts.

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