Marquee back with a bang; promoter calls for permanent venue 

Since it began, around 1.4m people have flocked to gigs in the LATM tent, now in its 16th year of operation.
Marquee back with a bang; promoter calls for permanent venue 

The Coronas - Live At The Marquee

CORK needs the ‘vision’ to build a permanent venue, says Live at the Marquee boss Peter Aiken.

At the launch of Live at the Marquee (LATM) 2022, Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions said a permanent venue in Cork would be an amenity that could “play a huge role”.

Lar Collopy, Eoin Collopy, Warren Wood, Adam Collopy, Davin Collopy, - Waterford The Coronas - Live At The Marquee
Lar Collopy, Eoin Collopy, Warren Wood, Adam Collopy, Davin Collopy, - Waterford The Coronas - Live At The Marquee

“Whoever commissioned Cork Opera House back in the 70s, it took vision to do that. The people who built Páirc Uí Chaoimh the first time, that was vision too. We need the same vision now, to go you know what, we’re going to do it,” he said.

Since it began, around 1.4m people have flocked to gigs in the LATM tent, now in its 16th year of operation.

Tracy Hayden Bishopstown, Ruth Bronson Montenotte. 
Tracy Hayden Bishopstown, Ruth Bronson Montenotte. 

“When you have 1.4m people coming to a tent in a car-park, a lightbulb should go on inside to say, you know something, maybe this works,” he said.

Gary & Emma Butler - Ovens. 
Gary & Emma Butler - Ovens. 

When planning permission was granted last year for a development of apartments on the Centre Park Rd site that has long been home to LATM, concerns were raised about the future of the iconic blue and yellow tent that symbolises the start of Leeside summers.

Mr Aiken said that he expects to be back at the Centre Park Rd site again next year. He said talks are ongoing with the city council about other prospective sites for the long term.

Mark Howley, Eva Gil Casas Novas Midleton
Mark Howley, Eva Gil Casas Novas Midleton

However, he said it is hard to know if Live at the Marquee (LATM) will continue for many years to come.

“You’d hope so, but you never know,” said Mr Aiken.

“But to have had it for 15 years already is pretty special.”

For this year at least, LATM is back with a bang after a two-year pandemic-triggered hiatus. Two years, 10 months, and 19 days to be exact, and the line-up has been worth the wait.

There’s something for everyone — music, comedy, and performance from Irish-grown talent and huge international acts. Acts include The 2 Johnnies, Tom Grennan, Simply Red, Riverdance, The National, John Bishop, Joanne McNally, Deadmau5, Orbital, Pet Shop Boys, Dara Ó Briain, Jenny Green and the Concert Orchestra, Christy Moore, Tommy Tiernan Crowded House, and Nile Rogers and Chic.

Kevin Sheils - Tipp, Carol Mahon - Offaly
Kevin Sheils - Tipp, Carol Mahon - Offaly

The line-up comes to a conclusion with international pop star Olivia Rodrigo.

“She’s the biggest pop sensation in the world, and you see all her tour dates, London, New York, Los Angeles, and in the middle of it all, Cork,” said Mr Aiken.

“She has recently won awards from Billboard and MTV, and a recent review in Rolling Stone has said just what an incredible show this girl has, so it’s great to have her.”

As many tickets for this year’s gigs are carried over from 2019, people are being urged to check their tickets to make sure they have the right acts and dates, and to have a look for tickets they bought two years ago and might have forgotten about.

The month of music in the Marquee kicked off last night with LATM veterans, The Coronas. Some 5,000 people were expected at the gig.

“It could be the first act they’ve seen in three years, and what a band to kick off with,” said Mr Aiken.

“I would defy anybody to go along and not enjoy a Coronas show, they’re one of the best rock bands I’ve ever seen.”

The Coronas lead singer Danny O’Reilly said that the Marquee is a special venue for the band.
The Coronas lead singer Danny O’Reilly said that the Marquee is a special venue for the band.

Not including last night’s performance, The Coronas have played a grand total of eight gigs in the Marquee, and sold over 40,000 tickets.

Lead singer Danny O’Reilly said that the Marquee is a special venue for the band.

“It feels like an arena, but it’s also intimate, you can see the faces in the front row, I can actually talk a bit in between songs and see people reacting to it,” said Danny.

“It’s that perfect size where it’s absolutely massive and the atmosphere is incredible, but it also feels like people are right on top of you."

“It’s amazing, truthfully it’s one of our favourite venues,” added The Coronas bassist Graham Knox.

True Tides - Live At The Marquee
True Tides - Live At The Marquee

Fans were treated to a near two-hour set from the Irish rock trio of Danny, Graham, and drummer Conor Egan, who also had a few special guest musicians on stage, such as Walking on Cars’ Sorcha Durham on piano.

“When we were talking about it in lockdown, we said okay, when we go back gigging, we won’t waste money trying to do fireworks and pyrotechnics and mad shows,” said Danny.

“We’re just gonna get as many people on stage playing music and being happy, and I think that’ll fly and people will buzz off that.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more