Sold out in seconds: Dublin gig demand at an all time high

by James Hendicott
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There are plenty of theories as to why Dublin gigs are so popular. They range from the cultural (a music loving city), to the geographical (most major acts play only one show in Ireland, and it’s here), to the political (if you can’t save a house deposit as a youngster, you may as well have fun, right?).

It’s difficult to pin your flag to the mast on any particular theory, but what is without question is that demand, always high, has absolutely skyrocketed. Certain acts would always have sold out. The quick-fire, random-draw invite-only sales processes for the likes of Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo over the last couple of months were always going to be insanely popular, and leave a lot of unhappy non-punters. What’s perhaps most surprising is the sheer speed with which traditionally slower-selling offerings are going.

Electric Picnic, for example, once, for some,  a ‘buy the day before’ type event, is already sold out for 2024. Smashing Pumpkins and Liam Gallagher (the latter playing two dates) both sold out the 3Arena in a matter of minutes on Friday morning. In fact, relatively modestly popular local acts (Inhaler, Belters Only, Picture This) are now at a level where the 3Arena is the only suitable local venue, with all dropping in between now and Christmas.

All of which begs the questions, with so much demand for even mid-sized acts, what can Dublin do to ensure we get our gig fix? I mean, of course, there are smaller acts in smaller venues, but the average person rushing around almost helplessly to get tickets for a big but not particularly groundbreaking gig like it’s the second coming of Glastonbury seems unsustainable. Even at current, sky-high prices, do we simply need more consecutive nights? Or is the market simply unable to keep up with demand?

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