Gardai planning crackdown on drinking before concerts

  • Post category:News

GARDAI have told Ireland’s concert promoters they will be taking a tougher line with drinking ahead of major gigs.

From the Irish Independent

Laura Butler – 05 April 2013

All the major promoters were summoned to Dublin’s garda headquarters, where they were told of new protocols being rolled out by the force.

The national protocols replace the largely local guidelines that are in place in the various garda divisions.

Among those who attended the briefing yesterday were all the major music promoters and some county councils.

The boss of MCD, one of the biggest promoters on the island, said gardai indicated they are set to take a tougher attitude to pre-concert drinking.

Denis Desmond made the comments after meeting gardai ahead of proposed concerts this summer in a bid to avoid a repeat of the scenes that marred the Swedish House Mafia gig in Dublin’s Phoenix Park last July.

“There are a number of contributing factors and, in my opinion, alcohol is one of them,” he said.

“People started drinking early, consuming too much alcohol beforehand. There were a number of issues outside the venue (last July) and the police need to address that. Will they take a sterner attitude? That’s my understanding.”

A round-table talk with representatives from both MCD and fellow promoters Aiken was held at Harcourt Square in Dublin to discuss security measures.

Six people were stabbed and 40 were treated in emergency departments after the Swedish House Mafia gig.

A garda spokesperson told the Irish Independent that working in a collaborative fashion for all future concerts across the country is paramount, particularly in the Dublin area.

They are now bracing themselves for three special concerts this July, despite the controversy last year.

A licence application for three 40,000-capacity gigs, featuring international acts including The Killers and Mumford and Sons, was filed by Festival Republic, on behalf of MCD.

This week up to 100 residents living in the vicinity of Phoenix Park attended a meeting about submitting objections to the application for the events.

Mr Desmond told the Irish Independent that he would like to see more control in the surrounding area outside the venues in the hours leading up to shows.

He said that while the meeting was more a “discussion” that anything else, there would be some “fine-tuning” to the current control system.

“Last year was unique. People need to get that in perspective. Half a million people attended open-air concerts run by MCD last summer.

“This incidence was regrettable, but I keep saying, you have a small percentage of people who can badly behave where there is alcohol involved.”