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Marquee gigs getting the party started!

Thursday, 15th June, 2017 9:32am

Thousands have been flocking to the showgrounds this week for the opening week of Live at The Marquee after three sold-out gigs kicked the summer series off.

Picture This, who last year supported Gavin James at the same venue, sold out two nights for the opening shows last Friday and Saturday, bringing 10,000 fans with them in the process; while Eddie Vedder put in a spine-tingling performance for the ages in another sold-out show last Sunday.

Tonight, crooner Cliff Richard is set to take to the stage and he is followed by comedian Al Porter on Friday night.

Jenny Greene and the RTE Concert Orchestra will then raise the roof with a sold-out gig on Saturday night and another on Sunday, for which tickets are still available.

Peter Aiken, of Aiken Promotions, was in Cork this week where he reflected on his 12 years at the helm of the annual Marquee series.

“12 years now this year, if you even look at Picture This who opened this series, they were supporting Gavin James last year, then next thing they sell 10,000 tickets this year.

“Kids love them and that’s the great thing about Cork and the great thing about Ireland, how supportive we are of indigenous music. All the bands that are big in England are big here but we have out own bands as well.

“The international artists are what you need; Bryan Adams, Frankie Vallie – he was the One Direction of his day – every song he had was a hit.” Elton John will perform on 20 June to a sold-out audience in what will be his fourth performance at the Marquee, the night before acclaimed group Elbow play on 21 June.

“When you get the likes of Elton, other international artists want to come,” said Aiken. “Elton loves music, he’ll want to get all the local music on CD, he listens to everything, he’s a music fanatic.

“He stood on the stage last year and he’s in his 70s now, signing people’s albums. He’ll fly out of here on a private plane, it’ll cost him a lot of money but for him, he wants to do it, he loves this venue.

“It’s the area, as well. We we were looking at another location five or six years ago but it works so we decided to leave as it was. People are outside having a drink and it’s nice and relaxed. People love it!”

Although news emerged this week that the opening of the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which is next door to the Marquee, is set to be delayed, Aiken is eyeing the venue for future concerts on Leeside.

“It’s a world-class stadium. I saw it when it was being built, but now it’s almost there, these guys are building a hell of a stadium! It’s very impressive.

“It’s like anything, you’ve got to get dates to work out, artists are always going to want to play Dublin, it’s like when they go to France they want to play Paris, so it’s just making it work. If a Dublin date is available, will Cork be available? Is the artists big enough to do two shows? There is only a handful of artists in the world that could pull it off.”

Tickets to a number of performances, including Tommy Tiernan, Frankie Valli, Emeli Sandé and Bryan Adams are still available from ticketmaster.ie.

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