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Image / Living / Culture

Details announced for Ireland’s first big outdoor music festival since March 2020


by Sarah Finnan
23rd Jun 2021

Getty

Gavin James and Denise Chaila are amongst those who will take to the stage at the Royal Kilmainham Hospital for the country's first big outdoor music festival next month.

The past few months have been characterised by lots of hardship but things are on the up and up again and after a successful pilot gig at the Iveagh Gardens earlier this month, organisers have now revealed details of an outdoor music festival. 

Set to take place on the grounds of the Royal Kilmainham Hospital, the event will welcome 3,500 guests for the country’s first big music festival since lockdown restrictions were introduced last year in March 2020. 

Sharing the “massive bananas news” with followers on his own social media accounts, James could hardly contain his excitement. “I’m doing a GIG!! A real life GIG,” he wrote. 

“I’ve never got the chance to play at the Royal Kilmainham Hospital and I’m so happy to get to share the stage with all of these amazing Irish artists.

“It’s been a long 15 months of no gigs so myself, the crews, all of the other artists, and everyone involved in this are over the moon to get to go back to work! Also … there’s gonna be beer,” he continued. 

Later adding that “there will be a big aul party in Dublin next week” (in all caps for added emphasis), James will share the stage with several other well-known performers including Denise Chaila, Lyra, Sharon Shannon, Wild Youth and Wyvern Lingo. Comedy duo The 2 Johnnies will emcee the event.

The announcement follows the success of the country’s first pilot gig which took place at Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens earlier this month. Headlined by James Vincent McMorrow and Sorcha Richardson, tickets were so in demand that they sold out in under 30 minutes. However, while a negative Covid test wasn’t a prerequisite to attending the Iveagh Gardens event, rapid antigen testing will be required for entry to the IMMA gig this July. 

Speaking as to the importance of such events, Minister for Tourism, Sports, Arts, Culture and Media, Catherine Martin, yesterday said that they’re taking a “cautious but steady approach to the reopening of live music”. 

“Keeping everyone safe is the primary consideration for this Government. To advance the trials, the festival on July 3rd will have 3,500 fans. Social distancing will be reduced to one metre, and I am now also introducing rapid testing for concertgoers and staff.

“The purpose of these events is to build the road back to the safe and full recovery of live music and sporting events and establish confidence in the guidance and event management protocols developed for the sector,” she continued. 

“The use of antigen tests is to help consider the logistics as a means of gaining entry to live events as the sector reopens.”

Later thanking both MCD and IMMA for working with her and the Department to “bring this exciting gig to fruition”, Minister Martin finished by saying that she is “determined to see live music and the arts recover, commenting that this is “another step in the right direction”. 

Tickets, priced at just under €40, go on sale this Friday, June 25 at 9 am and can be bought in pods of four or six people. An over 18s event, they’re likely to sell out in no time flat, so I’d make haste if you want to nab yours before it’s too late. A reserve allocation of 500 tickets will be made available for frontline workers and their friends as a special thank you for their ongoing work.

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