Dáil Éireann - Volume 651 - 10 April, 2008

Written Answers. - Outdoor Events.

Deputy Joan Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the procedure of the Office of Public Works in making decisions on staging rock concerts or other events in the Phoenix Park; the number of such events proposed and approved for 2008; the duration and expected attendance of each of these events; the comparative figures for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007; if the OPW receives payments in respect of these events; if so, the amount of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13682/08]

  Deputy Noel Ahern: In addition to concerts, the Office of Public Works processes hundreds of requests annually for use of the Phoenix Park to stage events there, primarily of a sporting or athletic nature. A new event last year was the Bloom Garden festival which was a great success and due to be held again in June this year.

The Policy Document drawn up in 1997 sets out the guidelines in relation to the staging of large scale concerts in the Phoenix Park. A number of large scale concerts — in excess of 100,000 attendees — have been staged in the Park in the past but in recent years, relatively small scale concerts have taken place. These have been confined to the Visitor Centre area, with the objectives of minimising any adverse impacts both on the Park environment and on local communities. Each application for a concert is considered on its’ merits.

A list of the concerts, dating back to 2005, is as follows:

2008 — Approval in principle has been granted for a series of small scale concerts with a capacity of c.4,000 each, on the 30th July, 31st July and 1st August: Duration 7.00pm to 10.30pm

[844] 2007 — a series of small scale concerts were staged on 23rd October, 24th October, 28th October and on the 3rd, 4th and 5th November with a maximum capacity of 10,000 each. Duration 7.00pm to 11.00pmA further series of small scale concerts were staged on 30th November, 1st December, 5th and 6th December with a maximum capacity of 5,000 each. Duration 7.00pm to 10.30pm

2006 — two large scale day long concerts were approved; a commercial concert on 18th August (c.85,000) and a sponsored free concert (c. 50,000) on 26th August. Neither of these concerts actually went ahead.

2005 — a sponsored, free, day long concert was staged on 27th August with a capacity of c.50,000.

Fees are payable for use of the park for concerts. The total amount for 2005, 2006 & 2007 was €85,000 (no fees payable in 2006). The fee varies in each case depending on a number of factors, including for example the scale of a concert and whether it is a commercial or free event.