herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

'I wanted three Ed Sheeran concerts but system won't allow it', says promoter Peter Aiken

Ed Sheeran, inset, Croke Park in advance of the gigs
Ed Sheeran, inset, Croke Park in advance of the gigs
Workers prepare the stage at Croke Park this morning for the forthcoming Ed Sheeran concerts which take place in Croke Park on Friday, July 24th and Saturday, July 25th 2015
Ed Sheeran

CONCERT promoter Peter Aiken has expressed his disappointment at not being able to stage a third Ed Sheeran gig at Croke Park.

Sheeran's two gigs at Croker quickly sold out in February, but Aiken Promotions was unable to add any additional dates as it remains blocked from staging more than three gigs at the venue each year.

The Script headlined at the stadium last month.

"If there was that opportunity, it would have been great to do three shows and we could have sold them, but that's the way it is," Mr Aiken told the Herald.

Aiken feels the restrictions are not a fair reflection of how concerts are booked each year.

He said depending on the year, there could be a need for three concerts at the venue, while in other years there might only be one gig.

"It shows that the business comes in cycles," he said.

Aiken added that there was "more flexibility" in organising sports events and other events, but when it came to concerts "there is a perception that the business is bigger than it is".

"When the opportunity is there to sell tickets...it's a pity that that the flexibility isn't there," Mr Aiken said.

Ed Sheeran will perform his hit single 'Lego House' when he takes to the Croke Park stage this Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25.

The organisers believe the gigs could generate more than €37m for the city.

The sell-out gigs will see 160,000 people flooding the Hogan, Davin, Cusack and Nally stands.

Gardai have outlined their plans to shut down the roads and clamp down on underage drinking ahead of the event.

Some 165 gardai will be on patrol in and around Croke Park, while strict limits have been placed on teenagers under the age of 16, who must be accompanied by an adult.

Wrist bands will be made available for parents to 'tag' their children.

The bands will feature contact information, including the seat in which the child was allocated and will help parents find lost children. The humble selfie stick has been banned at the event, as it is considered a health and safety risk, while kids under 14 won't be allowed on the pitch.

Gardai have also issued a warning for people to beware of people selling fake tickets on the day.

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