No taxi for Patrick Topping? Everyone had a great time at his Belfast gig on Saturday night – until the mad scramble to get home afterwards started…

A couple of people got in touch yesterday to tell me about their experience of seeing Patrick Topping performing at Custom House Square in Belfast. Don’t get me wrong here – word is Topping did a great set and a good time was had by all.

Well, it was all going swimmingly until it was time for home, anyway. A lot of those in attendance had trouble getting a taxi back home afterwards – and one person told me even Topping had the same problem getting back to the Merchant Hotel on Skipper Street – and at the risk of showing my age, can I just point out they do a brilliant afternoon tea there?

Anyway, it turns out there was another event in the city that night – Féile an Phobail (that’s The Community’s Festival in English) were holding an 80s night at Falls Park in the west of the city. The result? Chaos at chucking out time, as everyone tried to get a taxi.

Who’d have honestly thought that closing the night time economy for over 16 months would have the effect of lots of taxi drivers changing jobs or leaving the industry? Fresh air doesn’t pay the bills…