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Arena Market: Republic of Ireland

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Often a first stop for US artists on European tours, Ireland is a vibrant music market with passionate fans keen for a broad variety of entertainment. Dublin’s 3Arena is the country’s key venue for international touring acts. Opening in 2008, the 5,000-13,000-capacity venue recently hosted Nile Rodgers & Chic, Diana Ross, Cirque du Soleil, The Script, Billie Eilish, 50 Cent, and Elbow.

General manager Cormac Rennie, says the venue is mainly dealing with rescheduled shows. “I think it will be the middle of next year before international touring is in full swing again,” he notes. One possible hangover from the pandemic is a significant uptick in the number of no-shows at events – up to as many as 20%.

“I think it will be the middle of next year before international touring is in full swing again”

“I suspect there are a myriad of reasons for this, but the length of time between purchase of the ticket and the event happening is clearly having an impact,” he says. “The next 12 months look very healthy in our diary at the moment, but obviously, international events like the war in Ukraine and subsequent fuel price hikes can all have an impact, as does the continuing shortage of experienced staff postpandemic.

“I think that here in Ireland, 2023 will be the year that we really find out what Brexit means and whether it will impact our business. Overall though, the mood is positive and the Irish are attending gigs in their hundreds of thousands.”

Since reopening, the venue has transitioned to being fully cashless, which Rennie describes as “a revelation with little or no resistance and increase per-head spend, not to mention the savings that come from no cash handling.”

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