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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: Soooo expensive!

If you live in Dublin, this is NO surprise to you: Dublin is crazily expensive and there is no proper justification for it.

Now even knowing that and being exposed to it every single day, sometimes you just come across something that puts it right in your face again. Today it was an e-mail from Riu Hotels. Riu Hotels is an international hotel chain founded by the Spanish Riu family in 1953 in Mallorca and now owned by TUI.

Not tooo long ago, the Riu Hotels group bought the Gresham Hotel in Dublin’s O’Connell Street and today I got an e-mail from them because I signed up as a “Riu Class” loyalty scheme member. (Don’t ask me why I signed up! :-) Yes, I stayed once in Riu Hotel, but it is not that I often stay in hotels and I have no specific preference for any chain anyway, but I am digressing.)

So that e-mail lists some special offers for Riu Hotels and the list goes:

Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin — From EUR 178
Hotel Riu Plaza New York Times Square — From EUR 141
Hotel Riu Plaza Berlin — From EUR 69
Hotel Riu Plaza Miami Beach — From EUR 157
Hotel Riu Plaza Espana Madrid — From EUR 162

I didn’t look into details and conditions of these special offers, so there could be some differences, but isn’t it just typical that out of five hotels worldwide, the MOST expensive one is the one in Dublin!?

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.

Ryanair does hate you!

It must be hate for its customers, there is no other way I could explain the constant messing around with the rules for baggage. I can’t even keep up with it anymore and to keep it that way, I have to admit that I am going out of my way to avoid flying with Ryanair. Oddly, I like Ryanair – or at least what it had wanted to and did achieve. Without Ryanair we would still pay super high ticket prices for highly inefficient airlines. Ryanair got others to tighten their ship (or plane) to get more efficient and to reduce the profit margins. Thank you, Ryanair!

But now they are changing the baggage rules again and it is ALWAYS getting worse for their customers. We never wanted to bring a huge suitcase on board, we would all prefer to check in our luggage, but Ryanair forced us to re-think. They thought that it would reduce cost for them because baggage handling at the airport is expensive. But people continually increased their bags (despite the bag size checker at the gate) to bring on board and that delayed planes.

Then the told us that Priority customers can still bring their 10kg bag on board, but the rest had to hand it over at the boarding gate (initially they wanted you to check it hand luggage at check in – the contradiction! – , but that was changed) and only a Laptop-sized bag was allowed on board. But the handed over hand-luggage that was to be carried in the hold of the plane was not charged extra.

Now the new change is that UNLESS you pay for priority boarding you will now have to pay for your hand luggage as well. Ryanair claims that they are making this change because planes are getting delayed because people bring too much hand luggage. This is TOTAL nonsense. Since there was a definite 10kg limit for ONE bag only, they can’t bring more than 10kg in one bag. So NO the planes are not delayed because of too much hand luggage. And the ONLY reason why we bring lots of hand luggage anyway is because Ryanair pushed us in the direction of the check-in-luggage-free flight.

You really could get the impression that Ryanair hates their employees (especially pilots and flight attendants) and even more so, they seem to hate us so much that they even lie to us. :-O

www.rte.ie/news/2018/0823/987129-ryanair-hand-luggage/

 
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