Future of Live at the Marquee concerts in doubt

Future of Live at the Marquee concerts in doubt
 Peter Aiken, at the Live at the Marquee site

The former 11.3 acre Ford depot site is on the market for €8.5m after Nama put it up for sale.

The site had been previously earmarked for a hotel and office complex when it was owned by Howard Holdings — who bought it for €35m — and the developers have planning permission for a high-density development which is valid until the end of next year.

Mr Aiken said there will be no impact on this year’s concerts but admitted he does not know what the future holds for the popular concert series which has been a staple in Cork since 2005. “It’s a great site. It would be hard to get a site as good as that,” said Mr Aiken.

“Somebody is going to build on it someday. That’s the way things go.”

Asked if his concert-promotion company would consider alternative sites in Cork, should the site no longer be available, he said: “Not until something happens. If it’s sold and we’re told they don’t want any more concerts there.”

This year’s Live at the Marquee series will host Kodaline, A-ha, The Script, Gavin James, Picture This, Bell XI, and Chic.

Meanwhile, Mr Aiken said a dispute between the GAA and the management of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, about lighting on the approach to the stadium, remains unresolved, ahead of next month’s Ed Sheeran concerts.

City Hall and Cork GAA are at loggerheads over a detail in the planning permission for the stadium, which stipulates that the sporting body must provide lighting on Monahan Road and Centre Park Road.

The cost of this is €700,000, but the GAA has offered just €60,000, say city councillors. The matter was referred to An Bord Pleanála, who told the local authority and the GAA to come to an agreement. If not, the matter will go back to the planning authority. Ed Sheeran is set to play the venue on his European tour, on May 4 to 6, the first concerts at the newly redeveloped stadium.

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