Mount Charles 'far from happy' at reports on Oasis Slane show

 

LORD HENRY Mount Charles has said he is now “far from happy” with organisational aspects of the Oasis concert held at Slane Castle last weekend.

The venue’s owner said he had become “extremely concerned” to hear of concert-goers’ bad experiences, largely though the media, in the wake of the event.

The complaints mainly related to crowd control issues, which Lord Mount Charles put down to “a failure of systems, particularly around what people are now calling the Dublin gate. I am talking to those involved and I am far from happy – I say that as an understatement,” he said.

Lord Mount Charles, who has been staging concerts at Slane Castle since 1981, added: “Quite certainly there are implications for future concerts at Slane, and I regret the awful shame and the damage to the reputation of Slane Castle as an international venue. I will be looking with care to obviously avoid that in the future,” he said. Lord Mount Charles was speaking after the complaints were aired for successive days this week on radio phone-in programmes, and on internet sites.

Complaints ranged from one-and-half hour queues through mud to get to the venue entrance, to queues of up to an hour at bars. Concert-goers also mentioned the number of lavatories and levels of public transport, with many people claiming to have walked up to 12 miles through the night after the concert.

Callers to the RTÉ Radio One programme Livelineinsisted that some tickets were not checked, and that people had gained admittance without bar codes on their tickets being scanned.

MCD refused to take questions about the Slane concert at a press conference to publicise details of the organisation’s next event, an AC/DC concert at Punchestown, Co Kildare, this weekend.

Afterwards, Justin Green of MCD said the numbers of tickets sold, people admitted and toilets provided were all in compliance with terms of the event licence.

He said ticket scanning had been temporarily suspended at one entrance for about 30 minutes at 6.35pm to ease the build-up of people entering there. However, he said, “at the same time the gate behind them at the bridge entrance was closed, thus ensuring that no one could enter the system knowing that ticket scanning had been temporarily suspended”.

Mr Green said delays were “mainly due to the larger number of fans than expected that used public transport, and while this is welcomed, it did cause delays”. He also said the majority of transport tickets, about 17,000, were purchased on the day of the event.

A “post-event debriefing” involving all security and organisational groups would be held and “changes will be implemented as required for future concerts”, he said.

Commenting yesterday, the Garda acknowledged there were displays of public drunkenness at the Slane concert, but added that gardaí “rely heavily on concert-goers to take responsibility themselves” for their behaviour.

The Garda refused, for operational reasons, to say how many gardaí would be on duty at Punchestown next weekend.