Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The IMMA as a concert venue

Last week I had the pleasure to attend one of the concerts given by Leonard Cohen, held on the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, in Kilmainham. The concert itself was, predictably, wonderful, aided by the marvelous clear weather we had on the day, but I was so impressed by the place as a venue that I wanted to say a few words about it here.

Ordinarily, of course, the IMMA houses visual art exhibitions, but at times it yields its substantial greenspace to musical events. Leonard Cohen has performed there before, and, each year, the Forbidden Fruit festival is held there as well. On this occasion at least, everything ran like a clockwork. The gates were opened three hours before Cohen took the stage at 7.15 pm. We sauntered to the site around 5.30 pm, had some drink, had some food, wandered around the food area, which to me resembled an idealised village green more than anything else, with a varied selection of pleasantly grown up foods and drinks. We found our seats quickly and effectively. Wide aisles had been left between sections of seats to enable as easy passage as possible. At no point were there queues or waiting. I heard several other people remark on this too. Even during the show, if an overwhelming need overtook you, it was easy to get to the toilet or to the bar or the food stalls. The only serious queues I saw formed outside the ladies toilets during the interval, but this should be no surprise to anyone. At the end, exiting was painless. Never mind the fact that that show started on time.

I don't know if this is how such events usually work at IMMA or whether we were lucky, or whether the nature of the concert and the attendees contributed to it. Nonetheless, well done! Probably the most enjoyable concert venue to which I have been.

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