THE Cork Racecourse in Mallow has the potential to become a major music festival venue for the South of Ireland.
That's the view of Mary Kelly, sales and marketing manager at the racecourse, who revealed that she had been approached by the organisers of major music festivals about the possibility of holding an event there.
Ireland has a history of hosting major music festivals at racecourses, with Fairyhouse holding the Witness Festival from 2000 - 2003. The event moved to Punchestown in 2004, changing its name to Oxegen the following year.
The festival attracts up to 80,000 music fans to the Kildare racecourse each year.
Mary told The Corkman she saw no reason why Cork Racecourse Mallow could not host a major music festival similar to Oxegen. "I'd love to see an event such as Oxegen coming to the racecourse," she said.
"Each June we host a garden festival here that comfortably accommodates more than 40,000 visitors. This shows that the racecourse complex is more than capable of hosting events on this kind of scale," she added.
Mary said the complex has ample space for camping, can accommodate hundreds of vehicles within its grounds and has ample bar and toilet facilities.
"Mallow's position at the hub of Munster means that we have an excellent road network leading into the town and, of course, we have a railway station within easy reach of the racecourse," she said.
"In terms of simple logistics and ease of access, I can think of few other venues that would be more suited to hosting a major music festival. It is also something that could potentially generate a huge amount of revenue for the local economy," she added.
Mary revealed that the idea was not a new one.
"I have been approached on a number of occasions in the past by music promoters and festival organisers about the possibility of staging a major music event at the racecourse," she said.
"For various different reasons it has not worked out, but I would certainly be open to the idea of the racecourse holding a music festival in the future if the circumstances were right. My attitude would be bring it on."