Calls for concert task force amid claims Limerick is being 'passed over by performers'

Ed Sheeran: Playing an Irish tour with no Limerick date

Ed Sheeran: Playing an Irish tour with no Limerick date

THERE has been a call for a concert task force to be established to determine why Limerick is being “passed over by big-name performers”.

The claim comes amid a cancellation of the first concert for Thomond Park in five years and no Limerick date for Ed Sheeran, currently playing an Irish tour with concerts in Cork, Galway, Dublin and Belfast.

Councillor James Collins claims Limerick businesses are losing out on up to €20m in revenue because the city isn’t attracting big name performers like Sheeran.

The Fianna Fail general election candidate has called for Limerick City and County Council to establish a task force to examine why the city is failing to attract large scale concerts, despite being home to the Gaelic Grounds and Thomond Park.

Bruce Springsteen’s 2013 show was the last major concert to take place at Thomond Park.

“Cork estimates that the three Ed Sheeran concerts were worth €60m to the local economy. Cork County Board is set to pocket more than €1.4m from the three nights of Ed Sheeran concerts at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Why is Limerick constantly passed over by big-name performers,” said Cllr Collins.

“Ed Sheeran’s song Galway Girl is based on a Limerick girl, and features the Limerick band, Beoga, but he didn’t come here to play. We have to ask why?

“The Gaelic Grounds has a capacity of almost 50,000. Thomond Park can sell 33,000 tickets for concerts, when you include fans on the pitch. Pairc Ui Chaoimh has a 45,000 capacity, less than the Gaelic Grounds. Why is an act like Ed Sheeran playing in Dublin, Galway, Belfast and Cork and yet he’s not playing in Limerick?

“We have seen acts like Bruce Springsteen and Elton John play gigs in Thomond Park, but surely we have the capacity now to host someone like Ed Sheeran. If not, why not? We need cross-party support for a task force to examine what are the obstacles to such big concerts being held in Limerick.”

Cllr Collins is calling for representatives from Limerick GAA, Munster Rugby,  local hoteliers, vintners and restaurateurs, Limerick Chamber and Limerick City and County Council together on to a task force to “examine once and for all why we are losing out on millions in potential revenue.

“We need this task force to engage with Aiken Promotions, who organised Ed Sheeran’s concerts, and ask what we need to do as a city to attract big-name acts. Do we need to offer financial incentives to promoters to host their gigs in Limerick?

“We’ve just had 100,000 people enjoy the most successful Riverfest yet, so wouldn’t it be marvellous to double that figure by having a star of Sheeran’s size play our city for two nights?

“There is a trend here of Cork winning out over Limerick and we have to examine why. Cork is getting €30m towards a €73m events centre. Limerick is not getting that kind of State support. We have some amazing facilities and a proven track record when it comes to hosting 100,000 visitors for events like Riverfest, so let’s get together and explore how we can go to the next step.

"We are Ireland’s third biggest city but we are behind the likes of Galway when it comes to big events.”