One Direction mania descends on Dublin

Some 250,000 fans are expected to attend the three shows over the weekend

One Direction fans wait in the rain for the band to arrive at Croke Park for the first of three sold out concerts.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons /The Irish Times

One Direction fans wait in the rain for the band to arrive at Croke Park for the first of three sold out concerts.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons /The Irish Times

Fri, May 23, 2014, 14:31

Thousands of screaming fans will arrive in Croke Park this evening as first of three One Direction concerts kicks off. Some 250,000 fans are expected to attend the three shows in Dublin over the weekend.

Organisers and gardaí have put special measures in place to deal with the young age-profile of attendees, the vast majority of whom will be under 18-years.

“We’re using volunteers from camogie clubs and various other clubs that are used to dealing with children. So we’ve taken great cognisance of the fact that it’s a young audience,” said MCD event controller Eamon Fox.

In addition, volunteers will hand out special “tag-a-kid” wristbands on all approach routes to the venue. Parents and guardians will be able to write their contact number as well as their child’s seat and section number on these white bands to help stewards reunite lost children and adults.

Mr Fox stressed that fans who start queuing early will be turned away by security. Queuing in the streets around the stadium causes disruption to local residents, he said, adding that the pitch area will be sectioned into quadrants “so there is no advantage in queuing early”.

Superintendent Kevin Gralton advised attendees to travel to Croke Park by public transport. He recommended drivers leave their cars at park and ride points along Luas and bus lines.

Supt Gralton also said a parking area for private coaches would be available only at the 02 arena at East Wall, accessible via the East Link Bridge or the Port Tunnel. He warned of the potential for “total gridlock” on Friday evening if coaches didn’t adhere to these arrangements.

Alan Gallagher from Croke Park has requested attendees to remember the stadium is located in a residential area. He asked people going to the gigs to respect local residents by not littering or parking in the locality and by keeping noise levels down when entering and exiting the concert.

Parents and guardians are also advised to prepare for the concert by stocking up on good quality ear plugs, a fully-charged mobile phone/iPad and perhaps even an old-fashioned book.