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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

First official gig of the summer takes place as Ireland welcomes a return to live music events


by Sarah Finnan
11th Jun 2021

@aerial.ie / Instagram

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Live music made its long-awaited return last night thanks to James Vincent McMorrow and Sorcha Richardson who put on the first official gig of the summer.

Yesterday marked the return of live music events and it was emotional, to say the least. James Vincent McMorrow and Sorcha Richardson took to the stage at Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens last night as part of one of Ireland’s first pilot arts, music and culture events in almost a year and a half. The country’s first official gig since the onset of the pandemic, the event marked the return of live music and safe to say, tickets went like wildfire selling out in just 30 minutes. 

Only making a limited number of spots available for the show, there was a pulse-raising scramble for tickets last week but just the lucky few managed to secure their place amongst those in attendance. 

Welcoming a 500-strong crowd to the public park, a negative Covid test was not a prerequisite to attending the event although a number of other precautions were in place to ensure public safety. Guests were required to adhere to social distancing measures by way of roped-off sections – one per four-person pod. Face masks/coverings were to be worn at all times until within the safety of your pod. An alcohol-free event, a one-way system was in place within the gardens and toilets were also cleaned after each use.

Describing yesterday as being up there with one of the most “special days” of his life, McMorrow took to Instagram yesterday evening to say that he’d “never been so excited”.

“This is the first show I’ve played in a year and a half, the first that’s been played in Ireland since the pandemic hit in March of last year. I’ve never been so excited for a show in my entire life,” he wrote. 

Gates for the standing-only event opened at 5:30 pm, with staggered arrival times so as to avoid people congregating in long queues. Richardson kicked things off at 7 pm with McMorrow’s set shortly after. Another trial event is due to take place in Kerry in just over a fortnight. An indoor event this time, 200 tickets were made available for the gig headlined by Christy Moore, Susan O’Neill, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Jack L. Other events scheduled for the next few weeks include an outdoor music festival in Phoenix Park and a performance at the Cork Opera House.

Those in attendance at the event had nothing but good things to say, with the general consensus being that it’s provided much hope for the safe return to live music and other such cultural events.

Meanwhile over in the UK, government officials trialled things on a much larger scale with the Brit Awards which saw 4,000 guests file into London’s 02 Arena for the star-studded event. Part of a government-led Event Research Programme investigating the feasibility of mass gatherings and how society can make a safe return to such events, audience members were not required to social distance or wear face coverings/masks while at the event – although they did have to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test before the event and were asked to take another test after the event as well.

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