Heading to Guns N’ Roses on Saturday? Here’s everything you need to know
Plan your route, bring cash, be prepared for all weather - and 400 gardaí will be on duty, so leave the nitrous oxide at home
Axl Rose and Slash perform at the Guns N’ Roses Not In This Lifetime Tour at QSAC Stadium Brisbane on February 7, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. Photograph: Marc Grimwade/WireImage
“When I think of Europe, aside from the gigs, I remember spending most of my days off in and out of a variety of VD clinics. Back in LA, I was dating a porno chick as well as this sweet little junkie jailbait girlfriend I had…” Those are some of Slash’s memories from 30 years ago, when Guns N’ Roses embarked on their Appetite For Destruction tour, which feature in his epic 2007 autobiography.
No doubt things have calmed down a good deal for the iconic rock band, but what remains just as sensational as their 1980s antics is their back catalogue. Twenty-five years after the band headlined Slane, that’s what people will be heading to Meath to hear and see.
The Guns N’ Roses concert at Slane Castle this Saturday kicks off the fifth leg of the Not In This Lifetime tour, which began in the band’s spiritual home of the Troubadour in West Hollywood in April 2016. The tour has bulldozed across North America, South America, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand, and after Slane, the show rolls on through Europe.
Besides playing to rock god-sized crowds, (more than 130,000 in Mexico City, 110,000 in Buenos Aires, and there will be 80,000 at Slane) the tour is also notable for bringing the core of Guns N’ Roses back together: Slash, Axl Rose and bassist Duff McKagan.
Izzy Stradlin, the band’s former rhythm guitarist has yet to take the bait, although Guns N’ Roses’s former drummer Steve Adler, who was fired from the band in 1990 over his heroin addiction, has made guest appearances during a few shows on this tour.
English rock duo Royal Blood, Mark Lanegan, and the Dublin band Otherkin make up a dudefest of a line-up. For Otherkin, it will be the biggest gig of their career to date, a massive elevation for a band who have yet to release their debut album, yet are accruing a growing fan base here and in the UK thanks to a decent gig schedule and raucous live shows.
What to expect? Well, is there any rock band more suited to filling the Slane slopes and skies with beefier riffs and sweatier fists than G N’R? Are there greater rock anthems than Paradise City, Sweet Child O’ Mine and Welcome to the Jungle that can actually still be played by the people who wrote and recorded them? We think not. This will undoubtedly be the rock show of the summer.
The promoters have also reiterated that there will be extensive safety and security arrangements in place at the concert.
MCD says that ahead of every major event, An Garda Síochána, the HSE and venues review security, safety and medical arrangements and undertake a “number of security and safety risk assessments to determine the appropriate level of gardai required (including any specialist units) and to ensure sufficient stewarding and security staff are deployed”.
It said these risk assessments are reviewed based on Garda intelligence and information from security and law enforcement partners in the UK and internationally. “An Garda Síochána have confirmed that the threat level in this jurisdiction remains unchanged.”
An Garda Síochána will have more than 400 members on duty, including specialist units, who will be supported by an additional 1,200 security personnel and stewards provided by licensed security companies together with a full complement of doctors and medical teams, including an on-site hospital and five first-aid posts.
What concert goers need to know
Gates open at 2pm, with first support act Otherkin kicking off the show at 3.30pm followed by Mark Lanegan and Royal Blood. The onstage time for Guns N’ Roses is yet to be announced but rumours are that it might be early, so be sure to grab your spot by 7pm.
No food and drinks from outside the venue will be permitted, and there will be limited ATM services, so be sure to get any any cash you need prior to entering the arena. According to MCD, “strictly no refreshments in hard containers (cans, plastic bottles, glass), even those containing water/non-alcoholic liquids” will be allowed.
Dublin Buses will run every 30 minutes between noon and 4pm from Parnell Square west near the Rotunda Dublin and will return straight after the concert. Tickets are €30 (plus booking fee) when purchased in advance from Ticketmaster. Tickets will be more expensive on the day.
Marathon Coach will also be running a return service from Custom House Quay every half hour from 11am to 5pm. Tickets are €30.
If you’re planning on driving, allow a minimum of two hours additional travel time. On Saturday, Slane village will be completely closed and a comprehensive traffic plan will be in operation. Follow the signs and garda directions to the parking areas. All car parks are operated independently of MCD and a parking charge will apply.
Click here for more venue maps, traffic routes and extra info.
After early showers (perhaps thundery), warm weather is predicted, but MCD still advise that you bring wellies – this is Ireland after all. Oh, and in addition to furniture, brollies and the other usual stuff that’s considered contraband, no light sabers or nitrous oxide will be allowed on site, so jokers and Jedi, don’t say you weren’t warned.