'Comeback for Cork': Sun set to shine as Westlife thrill 80,000 at the Páirc

The boyband will take to the stage of Páirc Uí Chaoimh tonight and tomorrow as part of their Wild Dreams Tours
'Comeback for Cork': Sun set to shine as Westlife thrill 80,000 at the Páirc

Westlife on stage at Wembley Stadium, London, during their sell-out show at the venue. They take the stage at Páirc Uí Chaoimh tonight.

CORK is set to benefit from a much-needed economic boost this weekend as some 80,000 Westlife fans descend on the city.

The boyband will take to the stage of Páirc Uí Chaoimh tonight and tomorrow as part of their Wild Dreams Tours. 

Lord Mayor, Fine Gael councillor, Deirdre Forde described the event as being like a “comeback” for Cork city.

“We spent two years dealing with an enforced lockdown. Now it’s time to put all that behind us and celebrate bringing business into the city centre,” she said.

“Cork is like a permanent party when the sun shines so it’s the perfect time to have a group like Westlife playing. It’s a privilege to be Lord Mayor at any time but the city is on the cusp of great things. So much is happening in terms of development that is coming down the line. 

 The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre Forde at the City Hall, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre Forde at the City Hall, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

"This concert is going to raise the morale of the city to great levels. After such a difficult few years it now feels like we are giving back the streets to the people. Cork has a personality and concerts like this allow visitors to experience it in all its glory.

"I have no doubt that those visiting will want to return again. Cork is finally getting to make its comeback.” 

ROOMS BOOKED THREE YEARS AGO

Sales and marketing director for Trigon Hotels, Peter Loughnane said that fans had booked hotel rooms for the concert three years ago.

Peter Loughnane, sales and marketing director with Trigon Hotel Group.
Peter Loughnane, sales and marketing director with Trigon Hotel Group.

“We were lucky in a lot of ways because people had originally booked their rooms about three years ago. We’ve managed to retain those guests even though it was logistically challenging. Dates had to be changed a number of times. We have always been full when there are concerts on but there has never been such a long lead in time to an event. To have that many people come to Cork and have such a positive experience is encouraging for the whole economy of Cork city.” He said that businesses are expecting a party atmosphere over the weekend.

“The weather is conducive to a party atmosphere, especially around the VQ. Elton John’s concert didn’t benefit from good weather so people were rushing to get there. 

"With this concert people will be able to gather and walk to the concert and enjoy the build-up too. It’s going to be phenomenal. Cork city Council and the Vintners association agreed on a bar extension so guests can get out and enjoy the city while still being able to enjoy a drink in the comfort of their hotel.” 

Cork City & County Chairperson of Vintners Federation of Ireland, Michael O’Donovan described the significant knock-on effect predicted as a result of the concert.

'VITAL TO THE COMMUNITY'

“This has come as such a boost to the region. We are going to be extremely busy over the next two days with 40,000 people expected to come to the city both on Friday and Saturday. The entertainment won’t be just at the stadium. 

"It will also be in venues before and after the concert. Pubs, restaurants and hotels are all getting a shot in the arm. Even the taxis and towns and villages en route are getting in on the action. This is business that is so vital to the community.”

Cork Business Association President, Kevin Herlihy said the buzz surrounding the concert is giving businesses a lift.

“It’s going to be a bumper weekend for Cork city,” Mr Herlihy. “All the hotels are full. It’s great to see these concerts coming back after Covid which was so tough on everybody. We had Ed Sheeran, Elton John and now Westlife which is the pinnacle of everything.”

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