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Ireland’s MCD projects 3m ticket sales for ’24

The country's biggest promoter expects a 50% rise on last year's total, with the help of huge shows by Taylor Swift and Coldplay

By James Hanley on 23 Jan 2024

Denis Desmond, MCD Productions, The Sunday Times Rich List 2016

Denis Desmond

MCD Productions expects to sell three million tickets in Ireland in 2024 – 50% more than last year – according to co-founder Denis Desmond.

The country’s biggest promoter, which was acquired by the UK-based Live Nation-Gaiety joint venture in 2019, has a host of major events coming up, including three shows by Taylor Swift at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium in June and four nights with Coldplay at Croke Park in August/September.

The JV sold more than two million tickets in Ireland last year, generating $133.48 million (€122.7m), according to Pollstar data. Desmond says he was pleased with the sales, highlighting Harry Styles and Irish singer/songwriter Dermot Kennedy, the latter of whom sold 155,000 tickets in his home market in 2023.

“Harry Styles at Slane Castle and Dermot Kennedy at Marlay Park and Thomond Park shows were special,” says Desmond, as per RTE.

Desmond speaks of “new opportunities” in Limerick and Cork, as well as a series of marquee shows the firm is presenting with acts such as Madness, The Waterboys and Fatboy Slim at Galway Airport.

“The biggest problem is hotels quadrupling their rates on the back of concerts and sporting events”

“The live music business continues to grow,” he says. “The audience age is six to 76-plus.”

Desmond also defends the price of concert tickets, pointing out they are cheaper than for many West End and Broadway theatre productions. A ticket for an MCD show in 2023 cost €58 on average.

“Ticket prices are affordable,” says Desmond. “There is a huge cost in putting on shows be it insurance, ferries, flights, hotels, wages etc.”

Indeed, the biggest problem for the industry, he adds, is surging hotel prices around shows. Desmond is calling for government intervention on the matter.

“The biggest problem is hotels quadrupling their rates on the back of concerts and sporting events,” he says. “The government should step in and make it illegal to increase published rate card.”


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