Croke Park Stadium Director Peter McKenna was one of the star speakers at the International Live Music Conference taking place in London this week.
He was speaking on a panel looking at the relationship between major venues and the artists that use them as well as the communities in which they stand.
McKenna spoke about the unique place that Croke Park holds as a venue being “privately owned but by 750,000 individuals as members of the GAA.
In a timely recognition of the community building exercise that is continual around concerts and other major events at the Stadium.
He also spoke of one of his priorities being “to make sure that the stadium and surrounding neighbourhoods are not negatively impacted by the visiting bands and productions.”
Whenever Ireland and Britain appear in the same conversation Brexit is never too far away and McKenna highlighted one practical impact already being felt that the UK’s exit from the European Union was effectively going to add 20 percent to the costs of turf that Croke Park used to source from the UK for its sporting fixtures, but which would in future be grown on land that the GAA has bought for the purpose in Sligo.
Replying to comments from promoter Nick Handford that his objectives were very different from that of the venue owner, and that his sole concern was one night versus the long-term demands of maintaining a venue, McKenna said that meeting the fans’ expectations gave both the venues and the promoters a common objective.
“Beer needs to be cold, food needs to be good quality, the sound has to be great – the experience has to be world class,” he said.
Entertainment for Business will report through this week on areas of interest from the Conference.
We will also be on the ground next week reporting on the Irish presence at SXSW, South by South West, one of the biggest entertainment industry events in the world.