Final touches as Volvo Race sets sail for GalwayJune 28, 2012 - 7:00am
Motorists heading into Galway for next week’s Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) festivities have been advised to avail of a ‘park and ride’ service from Ballybrit Racecourse as huge crowds of up to 35,000 per night are expected to attend the free live music concerts at the docks throughout the nine day event.
With festivities set to begin on Saturday, finishing touches are being put on the construction of a huge stage before Maverick Sabre and local band The Kanyu Tree perform on Saturday. The stage was recently used for the Eucharistic Conference at Croke Park.
The main music stage is located at the site formerly occupied by oil tankers at the docks which were removed ahead of the successful VOR stopover in 2009 and Gardai have estimated that 35,000 will be a safe capacity for the music shows.
With headlining concerts by the likes of The Family Stone, Thin Lizzy, The Saw Doctors, Altan, Sharon Shannon and The Stunning, the VOR is viewed as a “recession buster” in an era when festival organisers are finding it increasingly difficult to attract sponsors for outdoor musical shows.
A smaller second stage, located near the Harbour Hotel, will provide further free shows to ensure music fans will be spoilt for choice throughout the festival from June 30 to July 8.
Galway City Council has donated €260,000 towards the free musical entertainment at the festival and is spending a further €490,000 on related activities, including an enhancement programme to boost the city’s image and the ‘park and ride’ service from Ballybrit Racecourse which is expected to carry 60,000 people over the nine days.
“Quite simply, without Galway City Council this event would never have taken place,” said John Killeen of Let’s Do It Global this week.
“The Council may be putting money into the event, but it will be paid back in bucketfuls in terms of how busy businesses will be in the city over the nine days. It will help businesses pay their rates.”
See full coverage and schedule in this week's Connacht Tribune.