Monday 20 November 2017

Numbers going to MCD events jumps by 10pc

Bon Jovi's Slane concert boosted MCD's numbers
Bon Jovi's Slane concert boosted MCD's numbers
Eminem's Slane concert boosted MCD's numbers
MCD boss Denis Desmond

Gordon Deegan

The number of people attending MCD-promoted events last year climbed by almost 10pc to 1.328 million in what was "a very good result" for the firm.

New figures from trade industry journal 'Pollstar' show that the numbers that attended MCD events increased to 1.328 million, ranking the firm 11th in terms of ticket sales sold by promoters worldwide.

Live Nation sold the largest number of tickets worldwide at 33.2m – more than the combined number of tickets sold by other promoters in the top 10.

The MCD numbers were boosted by the return of an albeit scaled-down OXEGEN festival over the August bank holiday weekend and MD of MCD Denis Desmond admitted yesterday that the festival was loss-making for the firm.

On the overall MCD performance, Mr Desmond said that the increase in numbers "was a very good result and was reflective of more confidence in the market. The business is healthy. It has been hard going the last four or five years, but it is getting better".

Mr Desmond said the increase was attributable to two shows at Slane, where there was no concert in 2012.

The Pollstar figures show that 122,577 attended the Bon Jovi and Eminem concerts at Slane last year.

MCD is an unlimited firm and doesn't publish annual accounts.

Speaking from Los Angeles where he is 'chasing bands', Mr Desmond confirmed that MCD did record a profit last year.

The box office ticket sales from MCD-promoted performances in the O2 in Dublin last year alone generated $20.54m (€15m) in ticket sales at the box office that is shared between the artist, promoter and venue.

Mr Desmond said that MCD 'probably misjudged' staging OXEGEN on the bank holiday weekend due to people going on holidays or having their own plans.

He said that the show itself wasn't loss-making, but the prohibitive costs of providing camping facilities was a factor in OXEGEN recording a loss. He said: "The bills for the weekend were very expensive."

MCD and other concert promoters face sizeable security costs and, in a written Dail response this week, Justice Minister Alan Shatter said that last year gardai received €1m for policing concerts and festivals.

On plans for OXEGEN 2014, Mr Desmond said: "I think it will happen, but we might change the weekend."

Mr Desmond said that promoting concerts "is a high-risk business and I think we get it right 70pc of the time". Mr Desmond said that, typically, promoters record a profit of €70,000 to €80,000 on a concert that records €1m in ticket sales.

The promoter said that the concert business in 2014 for MCD would not be as busy as 2013. He said: "We have three One Direction shows at Croke Park and Arcade Fire at Marlay Park, but it's a World Cup year and things tend to be a little bit quieter."

Irish Independent

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