Other Voices in Dingle has been forced to introduce a registration charge of €32.62 to attend a number of the shows around town, as well as another of €48.92 for wider access.
Payment will give you a wristband to be collected from the Other Voices Hub in the town that will gain access to various performance depending on the amount you have paid.
The Festival has traditionally been mainly free but the withdrawal of eir from the headline sponsorship has prompted a change.
Back in 2015 it first sought sponsorship to offset the cost at the time of €500,000 to run the Festival. No sponsor was found for that year but eir came on board in 2016 and 2017.
Despite it being popular new ownership at the company meant a change in priorities and unfortunately, the brand was not in a position to go for 2018.
The Festival takes place from 30th November through to 2nd December and promises ‘a weekend of magic with songs for the head and heart.’
A statement on the website explains that “This year, we are introducing a registration charge of €30. By registering for Other Voices, you will be ensuring that Other Voices returns to Dingle for another year of magic. This December, over 100 gigs and talks will take place over three days in Dingle.”
“While we have some sponsors and we are very grateful to those, it only part-funds the weekend. The registration fee will go towards ensuring we run an event that meets the highest standards for all attendees.”
Payment for concerts as part of Festivals is nothing new but putting the introduction of them on to the lack of a commercial sponsor is unusual.
Fáilte Ireland, the Wild Atlantic Way, RTÉ 2, The Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage and Imro are listed on the website as sponsors, while Hennessy have taken on the highly thought of Music trail.
eir’s withdrawal led to a voluntary ‘Support’ call on the site but the ability to make a contribution in order to main the Festival as being without charge has clearly not worked or not become widely enough known about.
The sponsorship had a strong creative element to it as well with artists given access to free recording equipment last year in return for sharing some of the content they produced through eir’s social media channels
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