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29th Sep 2023

Deadline for observations on gigs at Iveagh Gardens extended by OPW

Fiona Frawley

Live gigs at Iveagh gardens

Those wishing to contribute to the conversation now have until next week.

A huge topic of discussion among Dublin creatives this week has been the future of live events at the Iveagh Gardens. Gigs at the venue are potentially under threat as the Office of Public Works has opened a consultation, inviting members of the public to submit opinions on the subject.

The public consultation process has been ongoing for the month of September and was due to close tomorrow (30th), but OPW have now made the decision to extend it til next Friday, 6th October. The body have said they are “seeking to gather a wide range of views on how visitors enjoy the Iveagh Gardens to balance the needs of all visitors”, adding “this is to ensure that all visitors can share their views on our events”.


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A number of comics, musicians and bookers involved in events at the Iveagh Gardens  have been weighing in online, appealing for punters and those passionate about the arts in Dublin to contact the OPW via email at [email protected]. A draft email appealing for live gigs to continue at the venue has been circulating, with a particular focus on the comedy festival which is held annually at the Iveagh Gardens. It’s intended to be copied, pasted and tweaked as necessary, and reads as follows:

To Whom it May Concern

I’m writing to voice my support for the continuation of the Comedy and Music events every summer at Iveagh Gardens.

The Comedy Festival has become an important cultural event in Dublin’s calendar now for many years and one which contributes positively to the nighttime economy of the city and its culture. Ireland has a great history of producing some world leading stand-up comedians over the years who also project a positive, funny and likeable image of Ireland across the globe in recent times.

Comedy needs breeding grounds and international festivals like the Iveagh Gardens Comedy Festival are just that. Iveagh Gardens fosters new Irish talent alongside emerging and established international talent and has introduced international acts for the first time to Irish audiences for many years now.

The key to Iveagh Gardens is the location itself, instead of programming shows in venues scattered across the city, all shows are concentrated in one festival area over a short period of time giving an intense festival experience to its audiences and comedians alike – it is like no other comedy festival in that way. So while this festival helps the night time economy in Dublin which is still in recovery (where it hasn’t closed down altogether) post COVID, it also contributes strongly to the cultural life of the city by promoting Irish comedy and creating a space for international exchanges between Irish comedians and comics from all over the world, some of whom, like Trevor Noah have gone on to become international super stars.

I’ve always found this festival to be extremely well run, carefully curated, respectful of its beautiful surroundings and carefully managed by its promoters in terms of audiences both on site and on their way to and from the festival. In my view it would be a major loss to the city of Dublin and to its thriving comedy culture were it to be prevented from continuing at Iveagh Gardens.


The deadline for observations is Friday, 6th Oct. Those wishing to contribute should email [email protected].

Header image via Getty / Office of Public Works 


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