One of Ireland's leading concert promoters Jim Aiken died Tuesday after a short illness. He was 74.

A popular man in a sector not known for its chivalry, the Belfast music impresario acquired the nickname "Gentleman Jim" from his colleagues and peers.

He is remembered for having changed the face of the music industry in Ireland, bringing in big-name international acts like Neil Diamond, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan to perform high-profile concerts in the Emerald Isle.

Aiken was the first promoter to stage concerts in Dublin's historical Croke Park sports stadium (Neil Diamond in the 1980s) and Slane Castle, Co. Meath (Thin Lizzy and U2 in 1981, followed by the Stones). The two venues are now an integral part of the live music landscape.

The company that he set up, Aiken Promotions, has been run by his son Peter for a number of years, and it also runs the Vicar St. venue in Dublin.

Other marquee names that Aiken brought to Ireland include Rod Stewart, Pavarotti, Simon and Garfunkel and Paul McCartney.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print