Shivers in Croke Park as Ed Sheeran gets the party started

Over 80,000 fans flocked to Croke Park tonight to see Ed Sheeran perform at Dublin’s first major outdoor concert since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There was perhaps no one other than Bono who could have brought such joy to the capital and its citizens.

A song like Shivers, with Sheeran singing about dancing ’till the sunlight breaks’, could only resonate with an Irish nation that had been locked in at home for a pretty depressing few years.

There was an unmistakable feeling of being in the middle of a big party on the streets of the capital – thanks to an unassuming little redheaded Suffolk singer.

Sheeran is undoubtedly the biggest male pop star in the world with hundreds of thousands of fans flocking to his shows on the island of Ireland. In fact, over 400,000.


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“I don’t think there’s any other act in the world than Ed Sheeran that could play to 410,000 people in Ireland right now,” promoter Peter Aiken told tonight.

“He will have done 10 shows in Ireland, two in Croke Park, two in Cork, two in Limerick and two in Belfast, plus one show at Whelan’s and one show at Vicar Street in Dublin. That’s incredible.

“It’s a great feeling for Ireland and the Irish as it is the first major open air concert in Ireland in three years – 82,000 attended the show. It lived up to the hype. It was spectacular. It sold out the day it went on sale in November.

“It definitely showed that after everything they’ve been through with Covid, the Irish have an appetite to go out and enjoy themselves at a great show.

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About the same will attend his show on Sunday night.


Ed Sheeran performs at Croke Park on the first night of his world tour. Photo by Steve Humphreys

“It might sound cheesy, but this is like Dublin reopening, Ireland reopening. It really feels like it.

“We’ve had a couple of big games at Lansdowne Road. But that was 50,000 people. That was 82,000 people, 164,000 in two nights. This was a big event. You can see that every hotel, guest house, B&B and restaurant in Dublin is fully booked.

“The pubs are full. All buses and trains are full. You can feel this great excitement because of these concerts. The shows are also talked about internationally. All the big promoters from around the world came to see the show because it’s the opening night of his world tour.

“Ed tours all over the world but if you add the population of Ireland to the number of tickets we have sold there is no country in the world that has sold anywhere near as many tickets for him in Ireland. As a music fan, this is great. It’s also great that we’re the first date on Ed’s world tour. This is the first time anyone has seen this show. It’s a three-year world tour.

“He’s also really excited about these shows.

“It’s a brand new show for him. It’s totally different from what he’s done before. Ireland means a lot to him because he has many relatives here and used to spend almost every summer here. This is where he first saw Damien Rice. He busked in Galway, he busked in Grafton Street.”

He knows a thing or two about engaging an audience.

The 31-year-old troubadour, who has sold over 150 million records, took the stage at the Croker at 8.30pm tonight to the kind of applause normally reserved for those hoisting the Sam Maguire.

There was a ten-minute countdown to get the crowd going wild before 8:20 p.m. on the huge red and yellow screen in front of the stage in the center of the venue.

Exactly ten minutes later, the giant screens rose to reveal the main attraction. Wearing a black t-shirt with “Dublin” written on it, he wowed the crowd with album opener “Tides” followed by “Blow”.


Ed Sheeran performs at Croke Park on the first night of his world tour. Photo by Steve Humphreys

“I haven’t played this venue in seven years and forgot how good it was. It’s great to play in front of an Irish crowd… it’s really special for me,” he said before performing his classic The A Team.

Sheeran might look like a busker who just stepped onto the stage from Grafton Street. But he has the songs galore, and he put on a performance – just him, his guitar and his trusty effects pedals, until later in the show he was joined by a band playing with him from opposite stages.

It was a show that will long be remembered by all who witnessed it.

Not only because he played some unforgettable tunes, but perhaps more importantly because the show heralded Ireland as truly open for fun again after the past two and a half years.

To the return of the good times. To the return of summer music festivals. Shivers in Croke Park as Ed Sheeran gets the party started

Fry Electronics Team

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