Dundee missing out on big-name concerts ‘because Slessor Gardens is booked out’

DF Concerts boss Geoff Ellis is hopeful of bringing top music events to Dundee by 2020 after claiming the city has lost out on acts.

DF Concerts boss Geoff Ellis is hopeful of bringing events to Dundee following the success of his 3D Festival
Be Charlotte at the 3D Festival in Slessor Gardens

The firm behind T in the Park and Glasgow’s TRNSMT Festival is actively looking at outdoor venues in the city with Slessor Gardens being its preferred choice.

Mr Ellis and his team had targeted bringing concerts to Dundee next year but admitted in August it looked unlikely because Slessor Gardens was booked out.

Now he has revealed all of the acts he had lined up were taken to England instead – but wouldn’t divulge names out of “professionalism”.

He said: “We’ve not had great progress so far if I’m honest. We’re now having to look at 2020 for holding bigger concerts but we were hoping to do it in 2019.

“It’s not been easy to find a location. Slessor Gardens in the best because it’s in a good city centre location but it was booked up for next year.

“We had a few events we wanted to bring to Dundee but missed out on them and did them in England instead – so Scotland lost out.”

He added: “We’re looking at using one or two weekends for an audience of between 8-12,000.

“It would work well in Dundee and it could hold a similar capacity to Edinburgh whereas Glasgow is a saturated point and it’s a bit small for Glasgow Green.

“It’s frustrating it’s not been working in Dundee so far.”

Mr Ellis ruled out bringing high-profile acts like Beyonce to Dundee but insisted the city was an attractive option for major gigs.

He said: “There’s a real feeling of resurgence. To hear everyone scream ‘Dundee’ at the end of Primal Scream during the 3D Festival, we want to build on that.

“Since we got involved with the V&A, Dundee as a city has been on our radar. The scale of events is outdoors and that’s always been the case. People will go outdoors to see their favourite acts no matter the weather.”

Mr Ellis also said holding events in Camperdown Park is a “possibility” but it would be costly to manage with security and policing.

He added: “We’ll come back after Christmas and look at dates in 2020 to see what’s available and go from there. If we can’t get the dates we want to work and artists into them then we’re back to square one.”