Seventy-five thousand fans are expected to see Metallica perform at Slane Castle on Saturday, June 8th, and at least 10 per cent of them are likely to have travelled from abroad.
"I think I'm correct in saying there is even somebody from Chile coming. Metallica have a very loyal following," Henry Mount Charles, owner of the Co Meath venue, said today. Other fans of the veteran American heavy-metal band are coming from North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, he said, adding that it was an endorsement of Slane's reputation, given that the band are playing dozens of other venues on their WorldWired tour.
It will be Metallica's first concert in Ireland since they played in Belfast in 2010 and Dublin in 2009. They were unable to bring the first, indoor leg of their tour to Ireland last year because of the size of their stage show.
It is a measure of Metallica’s appeal that a band from the extreme end of an extreme genre could even attempt to play a venue as big as Slane Castle. They established their reputation with the first four albums they released after forming, in California, in 1981: Kill ’Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and ...And Justice for All.
Metallica’s most successful record is their self-tilted fifth album, aka the Black Album, from 1991, one of only four records to have spent 500 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States, where it has sold 17 million copies.
Lord Mount Charles said Metallica were the natural follow-on act from the last band to play Slane Castle, Guns N' Roses, in 2017. "Slane has always been at heart a rock'n'roll venue. This the most important band of this genre as far as I'm concerned."
He also praised children from St Patrick's National School in Slane for their now viral video tribute to Metallica's song Nothing Else Matters. "It is almost part of life's journey now. That is something that really gladdens my heart."
The Garda says it hopes to avoid the traffic jams that left some fans stuck between Navan and Slane before Guns N’ Roses performed.
"Two years ago we had a deluge of rain before the concert. A lot of people came through Navan and decided to access the red car park. We have introduced a green car park on the N2, which is travelling through Ashbourne to Slane, to take away the traffic from the M3, and the pink and blue car parks if you are using the M1. If you can at all, avoid Navan," Chief Supt Fergus Healy said.
“We would ask patrons to note the colour code of the car park that you park in. Year in, year out, we have people who can’t remember where they were.”
Doors open at 2pm, Metallica are due on stage at 8pm and the concert will be over at 11pm.