Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Flats the way to see city festival

Revellers enjoy Belsonic from one of the many balconies overlooking Custom House Square

Hard-up revellers attending Belfast’s Belsonic festival could soon find a way of going to it on the cheap — by renting a flat overlooking the venue.

With ticket prices to see acts like Paul Weller, Stereophonics and Kasabian in excess of £30, one enterprising landlord is offering the best view in the house — with a saving of over a tenner.

George Murray is offering up his uber-luxury pad next year in Custom House Square — where the festival is held — after being approached by music fans this year looking to watch their favourite acts for that little bit cheaper.

It will cost four people a total of £18.75 each to rent the apartment as opposed to the £31.50 asking price for one-night tickets.

People watching from the comfort of a plush balcony has become a regular feature at this year’s event and Mr Murray says he aims to cash in next time round.

“This will save people the cost of the ticket and give them a bird’s eye view of the stage. They can enjoy the gig from the comfort of a balcony without hustle and bustle in the crowd down below,” he said.

“This is the equivalent to a box at the Opera House. Put it this way, it’s a huge selling point for me now.”

Kevin Lavery, a claims negotiator from Craigavon, watched Kasabian from the flats this year and said he was happy with the savings he and his friends made.

“When you think of the prices of the tickets, it’s a really good way to save a few pounds,” he said.

“Thanks to this idea, we were able to head out on the town after with extra money in our pockets.

“We’re definitely thinking about doing the same next year.”

The balcony viewers didn’t go unnoticed by the acts though — Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan, during his band’s set, poked fun at them saying “I bet you lot didn’t pay for this”, which resulted in boos from the crowds below.

However, Belsonic promoter Alan Simms took a light-hearted view on the idea, claiming “I wish I had thought of that one”.

“I think it is quite funny and shows a bit of ingenuity,” he said. “Every night there was people on the balconies having barbecues, watching and that is a good thing.

“It’s good that our neighbours get to see the full show from a fantastic position. Good luck to them, I hope they enjoyed the show.”

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