It is just one week to go before the biggest concerts in Cork’s recent history and preparations are well underway.
Next Friday, Ed Sheeran will take to the stage at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in the first of three concerts at the redeveloped stadium.
These are Cork’s first stadium gigs since Bruce Springsteen’s sold out show in July 2013 and will see more than 100,000 Sheeran fans pass through the city.
Already, Páirc Uí Chaoimh is a hive of activity, with eagle-eyed locals spotting the start of preparation work at the stadium.
The temporary concert village is starting to take shape and articulated lorries have been a regular sight at the stadium in recent days as workers unload stage and sound materials.
Aaron Mansworth, group manager of the Trigon Hotel group, which includes the Metropole, the Cork International and the Cork Airport Hotel, said that the timing of the concerts couldn’t be better.
“Hopefully, this can kickstart a really successful summer. Bookings are very clearly up across our group and throughout the city, and even the wider region too,” he said.
“We will be laying on extra team members everywhere to cater for people’s needs and we have a few special plans too to add to the carnival atmosphere,” added Mr Mansworth.
Businesses throughout the city are anticipating a boost, according to Lawrence Owens, CEO of the Cork Business Association. “The benefit of this will be that quite a number of people will travel to Cork and if the experience is good, they will return,” he said.
“It comes at a good time for us and for Cork. There have been a lot of challenges in recent months, with the weather particularly poor, but the feelgood factor is coming back in and this will kickstart everything.”
Publican Benny McCabe is looking forward to the buzz throughout the city.
“I think these gigs are family-orientated and I’m sure there will be a spin-off for the city; Cork will be looking its best and I am looking forward to the buzz,” he said.
Meanwhile, Irish trad band Beoga has confirmed that they are joining Sheeran at the Páirc Uí Chaoimh gigs.
The band, who will play their own headline show at Cyprus Avenue on Thursday, May 3, will support Sheeran at the three Páirc Uí Chaoimh gigs, as well as the remaining six Irish shows throughout the month.