Bruce Springsteen belting out ‘Born To Run’ on the site of the Galway Airport is not something Galwegians can look forward to this summer, as logistical, practical, and planning obstacles lie in the way of such a concert taking place.
Sources within the industry say there is little to no chance that a concert, hosting such a major name as Springsteen, can be organised at such short notice. “The best time to book a concert is before an artist announces their world tour,” a source told the Galway Advertiser.
The source also pointed out that a site cannot be offered for a concert at short notice with little or no preparatory work. “Who decided that the airport would be a suitable venue? The viability of the site would first have to be explored, how a concert could be run on it would have to be examined, and then a report produced.”
Aiken Promotions is running Springsteen’s concert in Croke Park in Dublin in May, as a result any Galway concert would be in direct competition. Apart from that, a decision to host another concert, outside of the one already agreed, is, at this stage, outside the power of both the promoters and the local authority.
When contacted by the Galway Advertiser, a spokesperson for Aiken Promotions said any requests for further concerts in Ireland could not be handled by it, as the request would first have to go directly to Springsteen’s tour manager, who would then make the decision on an extra Irish date, based on the artist’s schedule of concerts for The River World Tour. “That is how the system works,” she said.
Futhermore she added that a concert like Springsteen in Croke Park takes about 12 months to plan. Given that a proposed Galway concert would have to be around three to four months from now, the timeframe is too short for it to become a reality. However she added that the Galway City Council would be welcome to submit details of the Galway Airport site as a potential venue for open air concerts in Galway, and that it could then be looked at and considered as a potential location for future events
Fine Gael councillor Pearce Flannery, who proposed the council investigate hosting a Bruce Springsteen concert at the idle Galway Airport site, at Monday’s city council meeting, is due to meet Aiken Promotions this week to explore his idea. “If there is the will there is a way,” he said. “We should at least try.”
However the Galway Advertiser understands that the idea of The Boss in Carnmore is effectively a non-runner. Nonetheless the meeting could still yield fruit if it starts a process to develop the airport into a concert appropriate site.
“We must ensure that business such as this does not pass us by,” said Cllr Flannery. He added that the airport had cost the Galway city and county councils, which jointly own the site, €1.5 million. He argues this cost could be recouped if the site can be used to host major concerts. “This could be a money spinner for the ratepayers and for the council,” he said. “It could go a long way toward underwriting the costs of the European capital of culture bid.”