News Irish News

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Flatley gig promoter ‘ran out of cash’

Michael Flatley: Cliffs of
Moher show cancelled. Photo: Getty Images
Michael Flatley: Cliffs of Moher show cancelled. Photo: Getty Images

Ralph Riegel and Gordon Deegan

THE promoter who pulled the plug on an epic Cliffs of Moher dance show claims he was scuppered by cashflow problems despite "thousands" of tickets being sold.

The reimagining of Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord of the Dance’ spectacular was due to have been performed at the iconic cliffs on September 1 and 2.

But the ‘Edge of the World’ event has been indefinitely postponed by MPO Promotions. The Irish Independent understands the promotions firm had never staged a concert series of such size and complexity.

Around 3,000 tickets at €75 each were already sold – with several thousand more expected to sell before the concerts.

Last year, ‘Lord of the Dance’ sold out its run in Dublin. However, there had been criticism over the ticket prices of the Co Clare event.

The two concerts had a 10,000 ticket capacity and had been predicted to give the region a €10m economic boost. MPO director Oliver O’Connell insisted the company was not to blame and the failure was out of its control.

“It was not badly planned… we just couldn’t get it over the line,” he said. Loss MPO Promotions and Clare County Council have been left with a combined loss of quarter of a million euro.

Mr O’Connell said that given the economic climate and the tough stance of the banks, contractors have implemented stricter payment schedules.

He said that “everyone else wanted to be paid up-front and we didn’t have the money and that is what resulted in us deciding to postpone the event”.

He added: “We are living in 2011, and times are much different – if it was four or five years ago I wouldn’t have had any difficulty because I would have been able to fund it myself.”

However, he insisted: “I won’t rest until we stage something at the Cliffs of Moher.”

MPO confirmed all ticket purchases would be refunded and paid tribute to the support the event had received from Clare County Council, Michael Flatley, and the people of Clare.

Mr O’Connell revealed yesterday that Michael Flatley offered to stage the production at no cost last week. He said: “We are very grateful for Michael Flatley’s offer, but we couldn’t take him up on that.”

Flatley said he was “very disappointed” that the shows were postponed and expressed hope that the Cliffs of Moher will still secure the heritage designation.

Mr Dollard of Clare County Council said: “The council is obviously very disappointed the event isn't going ahead.”

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News