New licensing regime for Ireland?

May 2015

Live events sector



New licensing laws could be introduced in Ireland the wake of the Garth Brooks cancellation fiasco at Dublin’s Croke Park in July, 2014. The measures follow the widely publicised collapse of Brooks’ five sell-out shows, which were cancelled just 17 days before show time after Dublin City Council (DCC) would only give permission for three nights. The Gaelic Athletic Association had previously agreed with residents that a maximum of three concerts would be held each year at the venue.
Brooks himself took an ‘all or nothing’ approach – and refused to perform two shows as matinees, meaning no concerts took place. The Irish Examiner reports that the issues being considered by the review group, set up in the wake of the fiasco, include the minimum time frames before an event for the submission of a licence application and the making of a decision by a planning authority on such an application, and public consultation arrangements on licence applications. A Department of Environment spokesman told Audience Magazine “From the outset the review group has been mindful of the fact that any legislative changes need to be fair and balanced to all stakeholders including promoters, venue owners, local communities. Local authorities and principal response agencies”. Drafts of the new legislation have reportedly been commented on by the four main promoters in Eire:  Aitken Promotions (who were promoting the Brooks concerts), MCD, POD Promotions and Festival Republic. Promoter Peter Aiken has called for event licensing laws to be relaxed to allow Ireland stage more major international music artists.
Irish Detectives investigated the possibility that some of the local residents’ complaints that led to the Garth Brooks concerts being cancelled were forgeries.

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