Big Metal Gigs in Ireland: Where Are They?

Posted: 20/05/2013 in Blog, Concerts, Metal, Music
Tags: , , , ,

Big Metal gigs in Ireland, both outdoors and indoors, is something that there has been a relative lack of in the last few years. But the bigger question around this subject is why does this gap in the gig market exist?

The last big outdoor metal gig in Ireland was Metallica in Marlay Park in 2009. The line-up on the day also featured major acts such as Avenged Sevenfold, Mastodon, Alice in Chains and a local band, Glyder. Over 40,000 people attended (similar numbers to Swedish House Mafia last year!). Anyone who attended the concert, like me, will tell you it was a great gig which passed off with very little trouble. In other words, a decent success. Since this, there have only been two major metal gigs in Ireland, Iron Maiden and Rammstein in the O2. These gigs took place in 2010 and 2012 respectively, with both selling out or as good as. Yes, there have been plenty of smaller gigs from fantastic bands, but it’s something that leaves the average metal fan clamouring for more.

Metallica live at The O2 Arena, London, England

Metallica live at The O2 Arena, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s been no shortage of big bands touring in the past few years with the likes of Metallica, Slipknot and many others gracing the UK/European festival scene on more than one occasion. Both of these bands are juggernauts of the metal world with a wide variety of fans inside and outside of metal circles, so why has no promoter in Ireland put a gig together during this time?

While the promoters keep relatively silent on the subject, many people offer up several arguments for the case. These range from a lack of fans/market for the bands to claiming the gigs are violent and dangerous. Both of these are very wrong. Ireland does have a small population, and the metal scene is a relatively niche market, but it has been shown in the past that a big name will sell tickets with few problems. Nobody is looking for extended multi-date tours, or something on the scale of Download Festival, just one reasonably sized metal show a summer. Is that too much to ask for? I think not.

Moving onto the “violence” misconception. From the outside looking in, a metal gig crowd may look this way. However, this is not the case at all. The metal community, for the most part, is one of the friendliest of all music communities. Sure the standard gig carry-on may look a bit rough and tumble at times, but there is still a sense of control in the chaos of a mosh. A person falls, it stops and they’re picked up instantly, a person is in need of assistance, 3 or 4 if not more will rush to offer whatever help they can give. Like any gig, you will have some minor incidents and accidents but rarely anything major. We’re all there for the love of the music, and that common ground leads us to respecting each other and often forming great friendships. This misconceived culture of violence is no argument against metal acts being booked.

There is still the potential for this lack of metal gigs to be turned around in the near future. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen me banging on about a potential Avenged Sevenfold date in December. While there is no official confirmation as of yet apart from a Kerrang magazine leak, there is definite potential for this event to sell out and show promoters that there is a market/fan base for big metal bands in Ireland. If the UK support bands are also on the bill (Device and Five Finger Death Punch), it will be a major pull off for fans of metal in Ireland, one which will hopefully show promoters that it can happen more regularly than it does currently.

UPDATE: It’s official. Avenged Sevenfold will be embarking on an extended European Arena run with Device AND Five Finger Death Punch, which includes Dublin’s O2 Arena on the 3rd of December 2013. Tickets on sale at 9am, Tuesday May 28th for €44.50. HUZZAH!! \m/



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