'We haven't had a moment to catch our breath': Ed Sheeran brings a busy start to the bank holiday weekend

Cork City's hospitality industry is gearing up for another busy night as thousands of fans flock to the second night of the star's Páirc Uí Chaoimh shows
'We haven't had a moment to catch our breath': Ed Sheeran brings a busy start to the bank holiday weekend

Ed Sheeran on stage at Pairc Ui Chaoimh last night. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

IT seems that Ed Sheeran’s ‘Bad Habits’ are leading everyone to Cork, as thousands of fans flock to the second night of the star's Páirc Uí Chaoimh shows.

The concerts, which over 70,000 are expected to attend, have caused business to boom for the city’s bars and hotels.

“We have been up the walls. We’re almost 200 bookings up than we normally would be for this weekend,” said Eoin O’Brien of Clancys Bar.

“A lot of people are making a weekend of it. We’ve yet to have a moment to catch our breath and it will run right through to Monday.” 

Not only did fans filter into the city after the six-hour-long event last night, but it seems many also headed out to bars and restaurants before the gates opened at 4pm.

“Everyone has had such a spike in business because of the concerts. A lot of people booked in to have food or a few drinks before the shows as well,” Mr O’Brien said.

“There’s a great atmosphere and that’s the reason most of us get into the hospitality industry. It’s so nice to have that back after it was taken away from us for so long.

“It really feels like the summer season is kicking off and people are ready to come out again. I think this has broken the fear for a lot of people.” 

Ed Sheeran is performing in Cork as part of his Mathematics Tour.
Ed Sheeran is performing in Cork as part of his Mathematics Tour.

Businesses closer to the stadium have had an even busier few days, with crowds gathering early on both afternoons. 

Commenting on the traffic management plan for the area, Con Dennehy of the Venue Bar said that the organisation was “second to none”.

“The guards did an absolutely brilliant job. There was plenty of them there and the crowds moved easily. It just ran so smoothly,” Mr Dennehy said.

“There is such a great buzz around the place. People are just longing to get out and mix and enjoy themselves again.

“I also noticed that the dynamic of the crowd has changed since the last time Ed Sheeran played here in 2018. There are a lot more families, which is lovely to see.” 

The staff of the Pier Head Inn noticed a similar trend. “There were a lot of parents out with their kids. It was such a massive turnout,” said Darren McGivern.

“Today has been really busy from early on and we expect it to stay that way across the weekend. We were expecting a busy bank holiday anyway but the Thursday and Friday were a huge bonus. It’s five days of a boost really.” 

Tonight marks Sheeran's final Cork concert of 2022.
Tonight marks Sheeran's final Cork concert of 2022.

Empty hotel rooms also seem hard to come across for the weekend, with many of the city's hotels at capacity.

“We’re fully booked right through until Sunday,” said Roger Russell, manager of the Metropole Hotel. 

“It’s been fantastic. It's great to have Ed Sheeran back in Cork and the buzz that he brings. The world is returning to a bit of normality.” 

The Maldron Hotel in Shandon has seen similar demand. "It's a great weekend for hospitality. All of the city centre's hotels are full until Sunday," said Joe Kennedy, manager and Chairperson of the Cork Irish Hotels Federation branch.

"We're delighted to see large music events return and look forward to having more events like this to help us rebuild over the summer."

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