| 13.1°C Belfast

Nile Rodgers and Chic concert in Derry turned into ‘mud bath’, councillor says

Close

Nile Rodgers and Chic

Nile Rodgers and Chic

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

St Columb's Park running track pictured four days later, June 30. Photo: Martin McKeown.

St Columb's Park running track pictured four days later, June 30. Photo: Martin McKeown.

/

Nile Rodgers and Chic

A councillor in Londonderry has called for the city to invest in a world-class venue to host musicians after an event headlined by Nile Rodgers & Chic turned into a “mud bath”.

Former Lord Mayor Graham Warke said the concert venue at St Columb’s Park in Derry on Sunday evening "just doesn't cut it”.

He said the Executive Office has advised that only five events a year are allowed in Ebrington Square – a site that will be overlooked by a hotel next June.

“If we’re looking to bring world class events and musicians to the city to cater for everybody in the district, we obviously want a good venue,” Mr Warke said.

“Now, St Columb’s Park down at the (running) track wasn’t set up for this.

“I know we had a bit of rain on Sunday but with the track it was an absolute mud bath. Credit goes to the promoters that night, they brought a world class musician over and did the best they could.

“But council needs to look really hard at this venue, if we’re going to have these events brought to the city we want a good location and the track just doesn’t cut it.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

“We have had week after week of events held there and it’s just a complete mud bath at the minute.

“I would just ask if there should be something brought forward at the next Business and Culture committee meeting or for officers to bring something forward to look at this venue.”

Close

St Columb's Park running track pictured four days later, June 30. Photo: Martin McKeown.

St Columb's Park running track pictured four days later, June 30. Photo: Martin McKeown.

St Columb's Park running track pictured four days later, June 30. Photo: Martin McKeown.

In his capacity as a Visit Derry board member, Mr Warke said hoteliers had confirmed they are booked out for such events, which are crucial for the local economy.

Many music fans in the council area travel to Belfast and Dublin for events but Mr Warke argued that in order to host world-class musicians, venues need to be brought up to standard.

Aontu councillor Emmet Doyle said there had been complaints about the security, after punters were told they couldn’t enter St Columb’s Park with umbrellas, despite the rain teeming down.

He suggested liaising with the security company to improve the situation going forward.

SDLP Councillor Sean Mooney said runners have also raised issues about the track being “cut up” and that needs to be remedied.

Mayor Sandra Duddy, who was at the event, said it was a “great night” but wet at the beginning so the running track was “quite muddy”.

She said it is standard procedure for umbrellas to be prohibited because of the “danger they could pose”.

Council officer Barry O’Hagan said event bookers are asked to cover the football pitch and to carry out risk assessments.

“We have had discussions around this. While it is a fantastic location, it is also a football pitch and a running track and we may need to look at purchasing some protective material and then charging out to event promoters at these big events,” he said.


Top Videos



Privacy