Thousands troop to Foo Fighters concert in Slane

US rockers joined on bill by Irish acts Ash, Hozier and main support, The Kaiser Chiefs

Foo Fighters front-man Dave Grohl. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Foo Fighters front-man Dave Grohl. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Tens of thousands of music fans are attending a concert at Slane Castle where US rockers The Foo Fighters are marking their twentieth year as a live band.

The band, founded in Seattle in 1994 by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, follow in the footsteps of Thin Lizzy who headlined the inaugural concert in the summer of 1981.

Other bands that have played at the venue over the years include Guns n Roses, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Queen, Bob Dylan, Robbie Williams, David Bowie and U2.

Festival goers have been warned to be prepared for adverse weather conditions as heavy rains are expected across the country today.

The rain, which Met Éireann has predicted will reach the west coast by midday, will spread eastwards during the afternoon and evening. Highest temperatures of 12 or 13 degrees with southerly winds freshening through the day are also expected.

As with all big festivals, a major security operation is being mounted at Slane Castle with several hundred gardaí and security staff on duty.

What if he turns around, where to then? The music has started! The crowds started arriving early and thousands were on site within minutes of the gates opening at 2pm. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Gates opened at 2pm with first act Cavan’s The Strypes first up on stage. Downpatrick band Ash were scheduled to take the stage at 3.15pm followed by Hozier at 4.15pm before main support act The Kaiser Chiefs who were due to play at 5.45pm.

Slane village is closed to traffic and concert-goers have been asked to allow sufficient time to travel to and from the venue.

A comprehensive traffic plan is in operation and access will be via M1 and M3. The N2 will be operational for Dublin Bus and private coaches only.

Dublin Bus is operating a shuttle service to Slane with buses departing Parnell Square West from 12 noon until 5pm and will return to Dublin directly after the event.

Fans have been advised to allow approximately 90 minutes travel time from Dublin and to expect delays. There are no official campsites as the concert at Slane is a one-day event.

Patrons cannot bring alcohol into the venue.

Other banned items include fireworks, backpacks or waistpacks, any item that may be reasonably considered to be a weapon.

Aspiring Jedis might be disappointed to find light sabres also feature on the banned list as do garden gnomes and the latest fad/annoyance - selfie sticks.

In addition to the concert at Slane Castle, there are four major music festivals this weekend: Forbidden Fruit at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham; the Life Festival at Belvedere House in Co Westmeath; the Salmon Leap Festival in Leixlip, and Down With Jazz at the Meeting House Square in Dublin.