Páirc is ready to rock as Aiken promises "good times ahead"

Páirc is ready to rock as Aiken promises "good times ahead"

Names as big as U2 and Adele may follow in the wake of Ed Sheeran’s gigs next year at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: G McDonnell

Concert promoter Peter Aiken said Ed Sheeran's two concerts in Páirc Uí Chaoimh next summer should be the first of many at the new venue and Cork people should be positive for the future.

The singer will play the first two dates of his 2018 world tour in Cork on May 4 and 5, the first major concerts since Bruce Springsteen performed in 2013.

It is expected that huge crowds will come to Cork to see Sheeran open his tour.

Given the worldwide stature of Ed Sheeran, it is hoped the concerts will lead on to other major acts coming to Cork with names like Adele, Garth Brooks and a return of U2 being mentioned.

Speaking to the Evening Echo, Mr Aiken said they do not have plans for other concerts in Páirc Uí Chaoimh but urged Cork people to "stay positive" for the future.

“There's two gigs there. I can't see any other shows happening there next year. Maybe there will be. Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be a first class venue. Cork is a proven city. I think there are good times ahead,” he said.

“Ed Sheeran is a big statement. People don't realise how big this kid is. He broke every record in Glastonbury. Over four million people watched him on television, one of the biggest audiences BBC2 has had this year.

“His whole tour is kicking off in Cork. That's a big, big statement. A lot of people are going to come in [to Cork] for the first show,” he added.

said there is no threat to the Live at the Marquee concert series following the announcement of two major concerts by Ed Sheeran at Pairc Uí Chaoimh next May.

Concert promoter Peter Aiken.
Concert promoter Peter Aiken.

Mr Aiken said he has acts already confirmed for next year's Live at the Marquee and has been delighted with its success this year.

'The A Team' singer Sheeran - who headlined the final night at this year's Glastonbury Festival in the UK - will play the first two dates of his 2018 world tour in Cork on May 4 and 5, the first major concerts since Bruce Springsteen performed in 2013.

U2, Michael Jackson and the Stone Roses have all played gigs at the Ballintemple venue in the past.

However, Mr Aiken said he does not expect to be further concerts at the venue next year but would not rule out the possibility entirely.

Mr Aiken said he will be watching the changes in the GAA Championship football format and speculated changes in the hurling format with interest.

A new round-robin format in the football Championship from 2018 could potentially mean more games at the venue.

“Fortunately for Cork and unfortunately for people like me, event organiser and promoters, it's a dual county,” he said.

“There are great ladies teams and good mens football and hurling teams, that are always there or thereabouts, and a very strong club scene. Pairc Uí Chaoimh is built for GAA, it's not built for concerts. I presume the games will take priority. It can be difficult sometimes to fit everything around that,” he added.

However, when asked if that would hinder future large concert announcements in Cork, Mr Aiken said people should “stay positive”.

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