MORE than 40,000 people are set to descend on Cork from today for the Jazz weekend.
Publicans, hotels and restaurants have pulled out all the stops to ensure the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival holds all the wow factor it can.
Cork Business Association (CBA) President and publican Philip Gillivan said: “Personally speaking, it is my 22nd year on MacCurtain Street and my 22nd Jazz Festival and it never fails to impress.”
It gets bigger every year with 40,000 people expected to attend, and there are 40 free venues across the city.
Mr Gillivan said that the four days of jazz was the equivalent to three weeks of business and it only seems to be getting better.
“From what I have seen is there is a younger generation coming through now and they are so well dressed, they really make a big effort to go all out for it. Especially the young lads with the suits and the shoes.”
Mr Gillivan mentioned the new venues in this year’s line up — City Hall and St Luke’s — and said they were a welcome addition to the festival.
“There is a new venue this year, City Hall, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday because a lot of time people couldn’t get tickets to events, and St Luke’s is another new venue which is to be welcomed.”
Owner of Electric and Sober Lane, Ernest Cantillon, said the Jazz festival was the start of the run-up to Christmas and they have hired a number of extra staff members to handle the surge of business they are expecting. Mr Cantillon said that the festival had grown a great deal in recent years and it now lasted four or five days instead of just Saturday and Sunday previously.
The prominent bar owner said Sober Lane had taken in an order of 100 kegs which is the most they ever take in and they only do it during the jazz weekend and Christmas week.
“We will be taking in another delivery on Sunday as well,” Mr Cantillon said. “It is the only time of the year you will see a delivery of kegs on a Sunday.”
Mr Cantillon said the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival has a strong and growing reputation nationally and internationally: “It is the only event in Cork that you see advertised in Dublin, on buses and on buildings. It is a great few days, there is a great buzz around town.”
Meanwhile, Gardaí are urging people to use common sense while enjoying themselves and stay out of trouble.
Superintendent John Quilter reminded people it was illegal to drink and drive and warned people not to take the risk.
Head of Community Policing, Sergeant Stewart Philpott, reiterated the call for jazz revellers to stay safe while going out over the Bank Holiday and advised people to stay with their friends when out and get home safely.