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Bad News about some events in Dublin!

Today I have lots of bad news and I am reluctant to spread all this doom and gloom because I prefer to spread joyful and happy news, but our event world in Dublin got some very unfortunate news that I have to share with you!

Yesterday the organisers of the Oktoberfest Dublin announced on Facebook (www.facebook.com/OktoberfestDublin/posts/2441964082556827) that “the 2019 event cannot go ahead due to unprecedented increases in our insurance premium”.

They then continue to explain that the claim culture in Ireland brought them to the decision to take a break this year. At the end of the post they offer some hope by saying “[we] ask you to look forward to Oktoberfest 2020.”

BUT there are other developments that will make Oktoberfest 2020 VERY unlikely: Dublin City is attempting to implement a “Water Animation Strategy” (Yep! That’s what they call it!), which will see George’s Dock being turned into a 250m long commercial whitewater kayaking course for a whopping 15mio. So then there will be no more events on the platform in George’s Dock or around the chq Building. (www.thejournal.ie/outdoor-pool-kayaking-ifsc-3965859-Apr2018/) And since an event like the Oktoberfest needs some suitable space where neighbours won’t complain about a beer festival until late in the evening, it is very unlikely that another venue will be found.

This is bad news for events in Dublin, but I hear some of you saying that it is just a beer festival, so not the biggest loss. You might be right, but read on…

In other recent news, the organisers of the “Dublin Flea Christmas Market” have announced (dublinchristmasflea.ie/) that the market will NOT take place anymore. In 2018 it was at the Point Village and happened over two weekends with 280 stalls. In 2019 there will be no more market because no suitable venue can be found (the building where the market took place in the last few years now has a tenant and is not available anymore).

Since this was the last large scale Christmas Market (not in the traditional meaning of a Christmas Market, but still a big market at Christmas!), this means that we really have hit rock bottom as far as Christmas events are concerned. Dublin City would have to take ownership of a market and NOT outsource it to an event management company, that’s how markets can be so successful in Germany and Austria and Poland etc, but Dublin City has no real interest!

One indication is this: If you had some hope that the closing of College Green for traffic would get Dublin City to put on some brilliant events, you will unfortunately be very disappointed.
Last weekend was the first of a few temporary College Green closures which will happen this summer to test the impact the pedestrianisation of this area could have and Dublin City promised “three great events” over three weeks under the headline “Summer Sundays on College Green”.
But the first one was the poorest of events that you could imagine. :-O The whole area from Trinity College to George’s Street was closed for traffic, but nothing was done with it! The area was just empty! A few small tents on the median just outside the Bank of Ireland building invited to “Drawing in the City”, but if that is what Dublin City calls a “great event”, we are truly doomed!

With over 80,000 followers and with a reach of over 30,000 for the weekly event post, we are one of the biggest event communities in Dublin and definitely the biggest community for free events. So can we do something to improve the situation in Dublin? Leave your suggestions below and also please spread the news to your friends, families and colleagues!

May your week be Event-Full!

–Joerg
(www.dublineventguide.com)

Dublin City is Waiving all Library Fines

Dublin City has removed all Library Fines from 01 January 2019 and even if you have an outstanding debt, your slate will be wiped clean. The intention is to get more people to use the libraries, but the strategy seems very odd!

Loaning books is free and you only have to pay if you keep them longer than the loan period. Once that period has passed (and I think the period is pretty long 3 weeks!) then you had to pay 5 cent per day up to a maximum of EUR 3. Not super expensive, but a tool to ensure that the books are brought back in time.

How will the waiving of the fees get more people to use the library? Only if they were afraid to use the library because of the fees otherwise nothing will change for them. OR if they stopped using the library because they had a big bill waiting for them.

I VERY much doubt that anyone would not use the library because of a cost of 5 cent per day IF you are late (and by the way, in most cases you can extend the loan period for free over the phone). VERY unlikely that this fear really holds anyone back.

Dublin City Libraries do a great job, but this is a silly strategy that will not bring additional users to the libraries.

www.thejournal.ie/dublin-library-books-fines-4420229-Jan2019/

Failte Ireland lies to International Media!?

I love Dublin! I am living here for ages and for more than 11 years I wrote a online publication about cultural events in Dublin, but during that time I also have seen how the official groups responsible for tourism (especially in Dublin!) do less and less and expect more and more money to be dropped by tourists.

New Year’s Eve is not the most exciting day of the year in Dublin and if anyone asked me, I would strongly recommend that potential visitors stay far away between 24 December and 02/03 January. It is just sooo disappointing if you go to a city for these celebrated days and there is NOTHING happening.

In previous years some attempts were made to make Dublin a little more interesting at least over New Year with the New Year’s Festival Dublin. It consisted of some events on New Year’s eve (many years ago we even had fireworks!) and then more events and activities on New Year’s Day. But in 2018 all this changed again and it is the poorest and most disappointing events programme for the New Year’s Festival in at least 5, maybe 10 years!

There are just two light shows at Customs House. They are free, but needed tickets (which are all gone) and then there is a gig (not free!!) in the 3Arena. Apart from that there is not a single official event and NO events on New Year’s Day. Private Fireworks are forbidden in Ireland, nobody pays fro public Fireworks, so New Year’s Eve is a Non-Event!

That’s the facts!! But Failte Ireland is of the opinion that the facts shouldn’t get in the way of their “Fake news” marketing!

900 media representatives from 20 countries were invited to come to Ireland just before New Year’s and Failte Ireland is trying to convince them of something that is clearly untrue.

A RTE News article here says:

“The New Year’s Festival in Dublin is set to showcase tourism in the capital, and encourage more people to visit the capital and Ireland in 2019, according to tourism groups.”

“Liam Campbell from Fáilte Ireland’s International Publicity team said this year’s New Year’s Festival promises to be the most impressive end of year celebration Dublin has ever seen.”

What an amount of codswallop!

Do I think people should come to Dublin? Absolutely YES! It is a great place with lots of free and non free events during the year. This is mostly not thanks to Failte Ireland or Dublin City, but luckily we have lots of great people and businesses in Ireland that do a great job. But PLEASE tell people that they should avoid the Christmas and New Year’s period if they don’t want to be disappointed.

Bad News for the College Green Plaza

Dublin City had planned to pedestrianise the College Green area from the TCD front to approx. where H&M and Starbucks are and turn this new City Centre Plaza into a public amenity. (An article is here.) It would have been the first and only City Centre event space and in my opinion it is the perfect location for a PROPER Christmas Market in Dublin.

But the planning authority, An Bord Pleanala, was not in favour of it because it would have a negative effect on traffic and would cause unacceptable conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians.

At the moment College Green can only be used by buses and taxis and getting taxis out of this area would – in my opinion – be a good thing.

By the way: The only chance a Christmas Market has in Dublin if it a) is in a central location and b) is organised and run by Dublin City, NOT an event management company and definitely not by DublinTown.

The next steps that Dublin City will take regarding this, have not been revealed yet.

New Dublin City Library at Parnell Square

Dublin will get a new library and the days of the old one in ILAC Centre are numbered. The new location will be on Parnell Square just next to the Hugh Lane Gallery and the final plans have been submitted to An Bord Pleanala. If all goes according to plan, the library will be finished in 2023.

It is a big project, for which 5 (not so nice) Georgian Buildings will get sacrificed. The former Colaiste Mhuire is part of the buildings that will be redeveloped (or replaced). There are some interesting pictures of the new library in the article in TheJournal.ie here. It looks very pretty and impressive, but that also raises a big question: Does a new library have to look pretty? Or should functionality not take priority?

Have a look at the third picture that shows MASSIVE, not I am talking about M A S S I V E concrete pillars inside the building and a LOT of empty and unusable space. the few little book shelves. I would have the distribution to be the other way around.

Is it expensive, I hear you asking? How does 100 mio sound to you? Lot of concrete, you know! ;-) Dublin City says they will have to pay not more than 45 mio and will magically get the rest from philanthropy.

 
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