Monday 20 November 2017

'We feel like prisoners when the concerts are on' - Marlay Park residents brace themselves for Longitude

Fans at the Logitude festival at Marlay Park last year
Fans at the Logitude festival at Marlay Park last year

David Kearns

Marlay Park residents are bracing themselves ahead of next week’s Longitude, saying many in the area “feel like prisoners in their own homes” when the festival is on.

Some local home owners said they felt “powerless” when it comes to the number of concerts and festivals taking place in the area, telling RTE’S Liveline that the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council had told them “the concert’s are happening, and that’s that.”

“There were 36,000 people at a concert on Friday and that’s a very big number for an area like ours,” said Dorothy, a Marlay Park resident.

“No barriers went up until 3 o’clock despite crowds being on the street from around midday.

“There were people urinating in gardens and by the sides of walls. Local people in the area felt trapped in their homes because they couldn’t go out.

“The only good point I’ll say is that there was plenty of security in the area, and thankfully they didn’t let the buses park outside the houses this year, they were made go into the park.”

Dorothy said many in the area felt their concerns about safety and noise control were being ignored by the council and concert organisers, adding that “things wouldn’t be so bad if different acts performed”.

“We’re not against the concerts in most cases, it’s just who is playing.

“Whenever Avicii has played, there’s been trouble. It’s not the artists’ fault but they do attract a particular crowd.

“When Longitude happens next week, we’ll have to stay inside for the three days because you just can’t leave your home.”

Speaking to Liveline, Dorothy said an easy solution to the residents’ problems would be to move the concerts around each year.

“We don’t see why they feel they’ve always got to have the concerts in Marley Park. Why can’t they bring them to one of the other parks in the area?

“The council is always telling us that they use the money from the concerts to improve the parks, so why can’t they hold some of the concerts in one of them.

In respond to the concerns from Marlay Park residents, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said it had worked closely with Festival Republic to increase security.

“Extra barriers and fencing has been erected in estates to prevent fans from taking short cuts through residential areas, and security has been increased by 50pc for certain concerts,” a spokesperson said.

Last year, 32 people were arrested during the concert season which ran ahead of the Longitude festival.

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