Next year, Aiken Promotions are staging three concerts for Ed Sheeran in the Phoenix Park (16th, 18th & 19th May). While most people support the use of the Phoenix Park for large outdoor events, the size of these concerts (61,000 per night) means that it will have a definite impact on surrounding areas. The bad experience from the Swedish House Mafia gig a few years ago is still remembered by many local residents.
I’ve gone through the licence application by Aiken in detail and have submitted comments on a range of issues. I attach my submission below.
John Downey/Graham Kiersey,
Dublin City Council
Re: Reference number – OEL 01/2018 (Application for Outdoor Event Licence for Three Outdoor Concerts in the Phoenix Park on Wednesday 16th May, Friday 18th May & Saturday 19th May 2018)
Please accept the following submission regarding the application by Aiken for three Ed Sheeran Concerts in the Phoenix Park in 2018. While I do not object to the use of the Phoenix Park as a concert venue, the volume of people coming into the area and the number of days over which these concerts occur, places a significant burden on residents of adjacent estates. It is vital, considering in light of pervious concerts held in the Phoenix Park which were not well orgainsed, that the highest standards are maintained.
I discuss a number of elements of the licence application below, but I would like to draw attention to two key elements:
- The failure to make any reference to Fingal County Council as a local authority immediately adjoining the event location
- The failure to undertake adequate public and community consultation to date, contrary to what is stated in sections 2.17, 4.1 and Appendix F.
I would be grateful if you could drop me a quick email acknowledging receipt of this email.
Cllr. Roderic O’Gorman
Public Consultation (2.17, 4.1 and Appendix F)
As a Councillor in the Castleknock ward, I was not informed of the public meeting about the event that took place in the Castleknock Hotel in late September. None of the other Castleknock ward councillors were notified of this either. No residents in the Castleknock village area appear to have known about it either. As such, the promotors have already failed to undertake what they have committed to in these sections of their submission.
Fingal County Council Omitted
The application makes no mention of Fingal County Council, even though the event is taking place directly beside the boundary to the Council and will have a significant impact on Castleknock. I would suggest that a representative of Fingal’s Operations Department should be invited to all future event planning meetings.
Access, Entry, Exit Arrangements (10.4, 2.14)
I would suggest that the Communications Strategy (2.14) should, at an early stage, indicate preferred routes to the venue for people walking. In particular, this should divert people from walking directly through residential estates, in particular The Paddocks and Darling Estate.
Garda Numbers (10.11)
It is difficult to make a response to this vital element of the licencing application when no details are provided. At a meeting of the Navan Road Policing Forum, a member of An Garda Siochana made stated that most of the extra Gardai drafted in will have been drafted in on the day and will have little knowledge of the area. This is unfortunate, as they will be less familiar with potential areas of difficulty. I would suggest that some element of pre-briefing are given to potential Gardai involved so they can familiarise themselves with the area and any difficulties that occurred after previous concerts.
As noise generated from the concerts will significantly impact on residents of Fingal in the Castleknock area, I would suggest that the Fingal County Council Environmental Health Officer is contacted as well as that of Dublin City Council.
Post Clean-Up in Surrounding Areas 16.3
I welcome the proposal to clean up surrounding areas. Would it be possible to provide a free-phone number so residents can contact promotors to indicate areas with particularly high concentrations of litter. I note that the clean up is to be done in conjunction with the Environment section of the local authority. I would emphasise again the need to liaise with Fingal as well as with Dublin city Council. Particular focus should be place on clean-up measures along those routes where the concert organisers are clearly channelling concert goers – from Ashtown Train Station to the Ashtown Gate, Baggot Road, Nephin Road and the entire length of Blackhorse Avenue. I note the proposal for a taxi drop off area at the top of Chesterfield Avenue, which presumably will be accessed through the Castleknock Gate. Clean up teams should therefore operate along the Castleknock Road, as far down as the Ashtown Gate.
Public Order Incidents around the venue
There is little mention of public order incidents around the venue in the licence application. While these may be primarily a matter for An Garda Siochana, I think the applicants for the licence need to take a more proactive role in preventing these and this should be reflected in their planning for the event.