Hundreds of people brave the elements to soak up the atmosphere of the Cork Jazz Festival

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Music filled Cork City today as live bands performed on the side streets, open air stages, parks and sidewalks.

Music also floated through the open pub windows as illuminated banners outside heralded the return of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.

Queues patiently meandered along the sidewalks as people happily waited for covid passes to be verified and contact details recorded.

A queue of hundreds of people circled the Grand Parade as revelers chatted under umbrellas and laughed together despite the misty rain and the occasional wind belts.

Jennifer Fitzpatrick was one of those lining up for Deep South on Grand Parade.

“We’re so excited to be here for Jazz, to see everyone. We’ve all been to college at UCC so it’s great to be back for a big reunion in Deep South, ”she said.

“Some of us live in London so it’s great to be back for the weekend and for Deep South. In 2019 we were all there, it was awesome so we can’t wait to do it again.

Mary Kate Ford had also recently returned to Ireland and was reuniting with friends after spending the past two years in Canada.

“I can’t wait to be outside,” she said.

“It’s really great to see everyone, especially after everything that has happened in the last 18 months. “Although this is her second time in the queue for Deep South today – she first left when a 22-year-old friend was refused entry due to restrictions of age – she remained upbeat and cheerful as she lined up with Eoin McKenna, Maurice Costelloe and Andrew Murphy.

“We almost got there earlier, we had queued from 1:10 pm until it opened around 2:15 pm. But it’s okay, the queue is moving. I like being at home and seeing everyone, ”she said.

Holly Flynn and Ellie Dillon were visiting Cork from Dublin for the jazz festival.

Maurice Costelloe, Andrew Murphy, Eoin McKenna and Mary-Kate Ford had been “buzzing” dating for the Cork Jazz Festival since Mary-Kate recently returned from two years in Canada. Photo: Liz Dunphy / Twitter

“This is our first time coming here so we don’t know what to expect. But we can’t wait to get out, ”Ms. Flynn said as they walked up Washington Street.

Paul Montgomery, owner of Clancy’s Bar, Conway’s Yard and a number of downtown restaurants, said the weekend had been “better than expected” so far.

“It’s fantastic. There was a real buzz,” he said /

Jazz is better than expected. Considering all the uncertainty around it, it’s been really, really good. We are therefore delighted.

But a vestige of tighter pandemic measures may be here to stay, as he believes maintaining table service can create a “better night” for revelers. Since last night, counter service in bars has been authorized for the first time since their closure by Covid.

“We had an interesting dynamic last night where we focused more on table service here at Clancy’s and then went back to more counter service in the more nightclub scene at Conways Yard. And I think there was a better quality of night here [in Clancy’s].

“I think we’re going to stick with what we’ve gotten used to over the past few months, which is serving people at their tables. I think there is a better night for people if they know they have their table and they know they are going to be served. I think the consumer has gotten used to this over the past couple of years.

He said last-minute changes to bar and club rules made things “difficult to plan” this week.

“We made different lists depending on what was going to happen. But the main event is that people coming to Cork and people in Cork could go out in the last 24 hours and this weekend. They could plan their end of the night, that’s the most important thing. The difficulties, we have overcome them and we are up to it now.

He encouraged anyone considering a trip to the city this coming weekend.

“Enter Cork City. There are plenty of tables and chairs in the streets, on the rooftops, in the bars. You will be welcome, ”he said.

Covid Pass compliance appeared to be high across the city, with employees and business owners carefully checking people entering cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Outside the Metropole Hotel on MacCutain Street, men in top hats and tailcoats carefully checked everyone in the tidy queue before entering Cork’s iconic jazz destination.

Others lined the sidewalks of MacCurtain Street, sitting quietly outside bars, restaurants and cafes, soaking up the view as live music floated down the street from nearby Harley’s Street.

There, a jazz band performed alongside food stalls and mobile cocktail stations under brightly colored murals on the pedestrian route just above the River Lee.



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