Up to 80,000 descend on Slane


Lord Henry Mountcharles is welcoming four kings to Slane Castle to mark the 30th anniversary of the first rock concert on the grounds of his Co Meath estate.

US group Kings of Leon are scheduled to perform to a crowd of up to 80,000 people at the venue on the banks of the river Boyne tonight.

Support will come from Elbow, Mona, White Lies and The Whigs as well as a rejigged Thin Lizzy line-up which still features guitarist Scott Gorham, who joined the late Phil Lynott on the Slane Castle stage to headline the inaugural concert back in 1981.

The venue is now open. The organisers have put in place new measures to address problems at the last Slane Castle gig in 2009, headlined by Oasis.

At the time, some of those who attended complained about overcrowding at the Dublin gate end, with ticket-scanning suspended for a period due to lengthy queues. There were problems afterwards, with many complaining they had to wait for hours to get Dublin Bus transport.

This year, the Dublin entrance to the estate area has been widened to allow for ticket-scanning and the opening of a new emergency access route.

For those leaving by public transport, a loop system has been put in place with buses arriving via the N2 and returning via Donore and the M1 motorway. Private coaches will leave via the N2. Dublin Bus services depart from the Rotunda side of Parnell Square every 20 minutes from noon to 5pm. Return tickets can be bought on the day and cost €25.

Car parks are located a 20 or 30-minute walk from the venue. Met Éireann said today would be mostly dry with some good sunny spells but warned of occasional showers. High temperatures of 12-14 degrees are forecast.

Elsewhere, the Life Festival continues at Belvedere House near Mullingar in Co Westmeath. Jeff Mills and John Digweed are among the acts at the electronic and dance music festival which kicked off yesterday evening and continues until tomorrow.

The Dublin City Soul Festival takes place this weekend. Highlights include a soul jam in the Workman’s Club on Wellington Quay tonight and a soul picnic in Merrion Square tomorrow afternoon.

All eyes will be on Thomond Park in Limerick as Irish rugby heavyweights Munster and Leinster square off in the Magners League final. The game kicks off at 5.05pm today.