Green light given for Phoenix Park gigs

by Gazette Reporter

PHOENIX Park concerts have been given the green light for a public event licence under 14 conditions, eight days before the first of three acts plays at the controversial site.

Despite opposition about the park being an unsuitable venue from numerous residents`’ associations and local representatives, Festival Republic Ltd, on behalf of MCD, were granted a public event licence by Dublin City Council to hold the concerts on July 10, 13 and 14.

Last year’s scenes of mayhem during the Swedish House Mafia gig resulted in many arrests and serious assaults, including stabbings.

During a series of information meetings earlier this year with the music promoters, the Office of Public Works and gardai, locals voiced their opposition.

Independent Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty said making a decision a week before a concert was to be held was “very little notice” for residents.

“I know from speaking to residents’ associations they are deeply unhappy with the consultation process … as if the granting of a licence was a certainty [before it was actually approved].

“I believe Dublin City Council are putting their reputation on the line in granting a licence for these concerts. I will be seeking updates from Garda management before, during and after these events.

“Residents will be very concerned but not surprised by the decision,” he added.

Local councillor Eithne Loftus (FG), who agrees the concerts are not suitable for the Phoenix Park, said she can’t understand how the music promoters can sell tickets for concerts before a licence is approved.

She said: “Tickets have been sold. It’s wrong – they should not be able to sell the tickets without a licence.”

Cllr Loftus added that the park was not a suitable venue for such concerts as it is “impossible to police it”.

During one concert last year, she said her car was nearly overturned and people were “confined to their homes”.

“People are going to be very apprehensive [about the upcoming concerts] and they won’t want to leave their homes because they won’t know what’s going to happen.

“I am all for people enjoying themselves, but it’s a case of the right venue for the right event, and the Phoenix Park is not a suitable venue for these large concerts,” she said.

The licence agreement has 14 conditions attached.

According to a letter from the council to Deputy Nulty, important measures have been put in place, including robust security and Garda operations plans to deal with public order issues and anti-social behaviour.

A significant number of stewards employed by the promoter will be deployed outside the Phoenix Park to assist gardai with stewarding.

There will be an ongoing clean-up throughout the days of the concerts and also overnight, while a resident hotline – 01 679 0021 – will be provided and staffed by Festival Republic Ltd/MCD, operating from 9am to midnight on the day of each concert.

This facility is primarily for local residents/businesses to call in with complaints or concerns relating to the concerts.

Temporary portable toilet facilities will be provided outside the concert site at locations including Cabra Gate, Ashtown Gate and Chapelizod Gate.

The three headlining acts playing the Phoenix Park this year are Justine Timberlake on July 10, The Killers on July 13, and Mumford and Sons on July 14.

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