independent

Monday 21 April 2014

2012 ticket prices but Slane stuck in the past

Bon Jovi: playing Slane in June.

W ill Bon Jovi sell out Slane? Doubtful. The New Jersey rockers who formed in 1983 (the only year ' Slane' didn't actually take place in Slane, but at the Phoenix Park), were announced last week as headliners for next year's gig at Lord Henry's spread on Saturday, June 15.

Jon Bon Jovi arrived by helicopter for a press conference at the Castle, but the days when such announcements stopped the country in its tracks are long behind us.

Unless the yet-to-be-announced support acts are something special, this particular Slane show will be a hard sell.

While Bon Jovi have sold a gazillion records worldwide in the past three decades, they're not the draw they once were. And Slane, once justifiably tagged one of the best natural venues in Europe, is no longer the must-attend gig of the summer.

Even if both of the above statements were not true, there's little novelty value in a Bon Jovi gig on these shores. They played Croke Park in 2006, Punchestown in 2008 and the RDS (twice) only last year.

Then there's the ticket price of just under €80 a pop. It's not over the top for Slane, but Irish fans must surely wonder why they have to fork out so much when the band's promoters in the UK only recently announced that some tickets for Bon Jovi gigs there would sell for as little as £12.50.

Before last week's announcement of Bon Jovi at Slane in 2013, online forums were throbbing with speculation, with many hoping for AC/DC or the Stones. If the reaction online to Bon Jovi is typical, then they'll be flogging tickets for this particular Slane show right up to the day of the event.

The tickets go on sale this Thursday morning (November 8) at 8 a.m., but there's probably no need to camp out overnight in the freezing cold.

According to some sources, there is a chance of a second Slane show next summer, but nothing's been confirmed on that front and it's anybody's guess at to who would headline that one.

Lord Henry Mountcharles, or Marquess Conyngham since 2009, says he'll never have a boyband, or 'manufactured' band at Slane, so we can rule out One Direction. (Sorry girls).

But while Lord Henry is probably right to stick to his guns on boybands, he may have to spread the net a good deal wider if Slane is to continue to be relevant and capable of competing with Electric Picnic, Marlay Park and the host of other outdoor attractions each summer.

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