Nostalgia: Looking back at some of Cork's 'Live at the Marquee' highlights over the years 

Nostalgia: Looking back at some of Cork's 'Live at the Marquee' highlights over the years 
Kanye West fans go wild in the Marquee in Cork Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The inaugural year happened to coincide with the momentous occasion of Cork as the European Capital of Culture.

Lady Gaga on the stage at Live at the Marquee in 2009. Picture: Miki Barlok 
Lady Gaga on the stage at Live at the Marquee in 2009. Picture: Miki Barlok 

Excitement mounted as the now iconic blue and yellow marquee was erected in the docklands and 'Live at the Marquee', the brainchild of promoter Peter Aiken, was born. 

That first gig series saw the likes of Diana Ross, Ronan Keating and Beach Boys legend, Brian Wison, who, when the crowd went wild as he sang 'God Only Knows' led Aiken to believe "I could be onto something here".

Next year the line

Brian Wilson performing Live at the Marquee in June 2005. Picture: Larry Cummins
Brian Wilson performing Live at the Marquee in June 2005. Picture: Larry Cummins

up continued to impress with top international acts such as Bob Dylan and Kanye West.

Dressed in his signature Stetson hat and black coat, Dylan made his Cork debut that year walking on stage to the roar of 4,000 people as he opened with 'Maggie's Farm'. 

In the summer of 2006, a year after releasing his chart-topping album The College Dropout, Kanye played two sell out shows at the Marquee, having performed in Dublin the winter prior.

Afterwards, at an after-party at The Pavilion, Kanye surprised the crowd by jumping on stage to perform two songs.

Kanye West on stage in the Marquee, 2006. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Kanye West on stage in the Marquee, 2006. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

In the years that followed, Aiken didn't disappoint bringing some of the best hip-hop talent in the world to Cork -

Jay Z, 50 Cent, and Snoop Dogg to drop but a few illustrious names. 

In addition, there have been a number of Marquee stalwarts which have performed on multiple occasions over the years.

Jenny Greene's hugely successful collaboration with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra has seen recurring crowds flock to the Marquee to listen to reimagined dance classics played by a 48 piece live orchestra.

Folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, Christy Moore is a Marquee veteran, performing at the gig series every year since it launched.

Christy Moore performing at Live at the Marquee, in 2006. Picture: Donna McBride
Christy Moore performing at Live at the Marquee, in 2006. Picture: Donna McBride

Despite this year's speed bump, Live at the Marquee looks set to entertain Leesiders for another few years.

The concerts that were due to happen this summer will now take place in summer 2021 on the existing site at the docklands.

Developers were set to begin construction to build over 1,000 homes on the brownfield site after the summer but due to the rescheduled concerts, this will not take place until after summer 2021 if the development goes ahead.

Speaking to the media back in January, Mr Aiken said the was working with Cork City Council to find an alternative site to host Live at the Marquee.

Elton John on stage at Live at the Marquee in Cork, June 2017. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Elton John on stage at Live at the Marquee in Cork, June 2017. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Reminiscing about some of the heavy hitters that have performed at the Marquee, such as Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart and Elton John, Mr Aiken also thanked the local authorities, the media and the people of Cork for making the gig series such a success.

Biffy Clyro on stage at the Live at the Marquee, in 2014. Picture: Miki Barlok
Biffy Clyro on stage at the Live at the Marquee, in 2014. Picture: Miki Barlok

"It’s a credit to the people of Cork who have supported it so well," he said.

"I’d love to do the 20 years - that would be a nice round number to finish the whole thing off on," he added.

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