Friday 24 November 2017

Warning for concert-goers as backpacks banned at some of summer's biggest gigs

The Edge and Bono, kicking off U2’s world tour of the ‘Joshua Tree’ in Vancouver, Canada Picture: AP
The Edge and Bono, kicking off U2’s world tour of the ‘Joshua Tree’ in Vancouver, Canada Picture: AP
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Concert-goers attending some of the summer's biggest gigs will be hit with tough new security measures, including a ban on backpacks and heavy electronic items such as large tablets.

The measures, adopted in the wake of the terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, will see backpacks banned from major concerts, including Robbie Williams and Coldplay, which are both taking place in the capital in the coming weeks.

Backpacks have already been banned from concerts at the 3Arena and were not allowed for the Slane Castle concert by US rockers, Guns N' Roses.

Ireland is set for a high-profile series of sell-out concerts over the next six weeks.

Williams plays the Aviva Stadium on June 17 while Coldplay are at Croke Park on July 8. U2 arrive at Croke Park with their Joshua Tree tour on July 22.

The strict security measures will also be in force for the Live At The Marquee concert series in Cork, now in its 13th year and organised by Aiken Promotions.

"We are always reviewing security," Aiken Promotions boss Peter Aiken said.

"We will not allow anyone in with backpacks. We promoted all through the Troubles in Northern Ireland so we are well aware of security arrangements at all these gigs."

The backpack ban will not impact on major outdoor festivals such as Longitude, Indiependence and Electric Picnic, which have a camping aspect to them.

Mr Aiken said it had been a remarkable year for music events. All the major concerts are sold out, with U2 tickets currently fetching record prices on the black market.

Gardai are reviewing their own security arrangements for major public events including sports fixtures and concerts in light of the terror attacks in Britain.

As well as tighter screening of fans as they pass through outer security barriers some distance from the stadiums, gardai will also implement traffic-restriction measures aimed at keeping heavy vehicles away from areas where fans are congregating.

Gardai warned those att- ending concerts at the Aviva Stadium and Croke Park over the coming weeks to expect to have bags and purses subjected to random searches.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has insisted that Ireland is leaving nothing to chance when it comes to doing everything possible to ensure public safety.


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