Limerick prepares for first of five Irish Springsteen gigs

All 141,000 tickets for The Boss sold out

Bruce Springsteen performs at Hard Rock Calling Day 2 at Olympic Park on June 30th  last in London. Photograph: Matt Kent/Getty Images

Bruce Springsteen performs at Hard Rock Calling Day 2 at Olympic Park on June 30th last in London. Photograph: Matt Kent/Getty Images

Mon, Jul 15, 2013, 17:29

The first of five sold-out concerts on Bruce Springsteen’s Irish tour takes place tomorrow night in Limerick’s Thomond Park. All 141,000 tickets have been sold for the concerts in Limerick, Cork, Kilkenny and Belfast.

The timing of his concert tomorrow in front of 25,000 people at Thomond Park could hardly be better timed to celebrate the local mood, given Limerick’s memorable victory in yesterday’s Munster hurling final - their first in 17 years.

A bar extension until 2am has been granted to facilitate fans staying overnight in the city.

Coupled with last weekend’s Pig’n’Porter festival, the world’s largest tag rugby festival and the recent reopening of King John’s Castle, the city’s hotels and pubs are having some of the best business in years.

“For the first two weeks of July, all the hotels have been nearly full to capacity,” said Sean Lally, general manager of the Strand Hotel in the city. “This is the icing on the cake of a wonderful weekend.”

Promoter Peter Aiken has described the Limerick concert as “more an event than a concert” which will keep the buzz going in the city for another couple of days.

“There is a serious atmosphere around the place at present. Bruce and the hurling is all anybody is talking about. There’s definitely a love affair between Bruce Springsteen and Ireland. People know he’s the real deal. He’s the best live performer I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen him 40 times. He never phones it in.”

Springsteen will bring an 18-piece outfit which includes his fabled E Street Band. On this leg of the Wrecking Ball tour, he has delighted long-standing fans by playing albums in their entirety, including Born in the USA and Darkness on the Edge of Town.

The Springsteen carnival moves on to Cork on Thursday night for a concert at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in front of a capacity of 36,000 fans. Then he crosses the Border to play in front of 30,000 at the Kings Hall Arena on Saturday night.

After a week in the UK, he returns for the last Irish concerts at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, in front of 50,000 fans on Saturday, July 27th and Sunday, July 28th.