Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The pain in Slane

While all the pre-match commentary might have led you to believe that such a headline would be refering to the meat-and-two-veg on the line-up, there really should not be any surprises about what’s causing friction after this year’s big gig …

Tue, Jun 23, 2009, 12:23

   

While all the pre-match commentary might have led you to believe that such a headline would be refering to the meat-and-two-veg on the line-up, there really should not be any surprises about what’s causing friction after this year’s big gig at Slane.

Kitty Holland’s news report this morning has the organisers planning a “detailed review” about the problems which are said to have occured at the festival. These problems, which were not mentioned by the gardai in their post-gig wrap, led to hundreds of fans venting online and on the airwaves yesterday about lengthy queues to get into the field, drunken behaviour from concert-goers and more lengthy queues to get on buses after the event. Strangely, no-one complained about the music. Kitty’s report includes some of these comments which were culled from Liveline, boards.ie and this blog.

The news report also has an admission from promoters MCD that “ticket scanning checks were suspended for about 30 minutes shortly after 6.35pm at one entrance to ease queues through the forest lane way”. Does anyone know if there were ticket checks done before this point as is often the case at events of this size? You know, security people at the site entrance or perimeter checking to make sure everyone going past actually has a ticket for the show. Or was there just one ticket checking operation in place? I’m sure this is something which would have been outlined in the event management schedule agreed by the promoters, venue owner, gardai, local authorities and Meath County Council.

It will be interesting to see if this story continues to gain traction or if, like so many of its predecessors, it will simply go away. As I said in comments below, “our day of hell at the rock’n'roll concert” stories have occured again and again over the last few summers, from Oxegen 2006 to Babs in 2007. But in all these cases bar Babs (where the people who were fuming knew exactly how to fume to get results), there was a bit of a brouhaha before everyone and Joe Duffy moved onto the next outrage. That’s how the summer gig cycle works: pre-gig buzz, gig, post-gig fuming and then everyone buys tickets for the next gig. Just don’t expect Noel Gallagher to offer you a refund for your troubles.