Stones rolling in...but bring your wellies
BRING your wellies and double your travelling time to see the Rolling Stones at Slane Castle on Saturday. That is the advice from gardai and concert promoters MCD.
It seems our summer washout has ensured that plans to put in extensive drainage across the 22-acre site were brought forward and expert landscapers have finished their work.
Event safety officer Michael Slattery said yesterday that all the car parks will be assessed in light of the weather and a hard surface will be put in at all entry/exit points if needed.
The traffic management plan for the concert has been altered slightly since the last concert at Slane in 2004.
The main difference is that the majority of the cars will travel via the M1 motorway to dedicated car parks on the N51, the Drogheda-Slane road.
No buses will be allowed to travel towards Slane from Drogheda. Traffic diversions will operate on that route from Dolly Mitchell's pub on the east of Slane to Wickers Cross on the west.
On the N2 south of Slane, the diversion will be at Kilmoon Cross and on the north side at Daly's Cross, just north of Collon.
Traffic on the M1 from Northern Ireland will be diverted onto the N2.
There are designated parking areas and disembarking points for Dublin Bus and private bus operators, which will be signposted.
There is no official camping and no casual trading permitted.
Some 460 gardai will be on duty for the event.
"The primary focus is on the traffic arrangements," said Superintendent Kevin Donohoe.
His advice is not to drive and to instead travel by bus.
An emergency route will be clearly signposted and a field hospital staffed by eight doctors, 10 nurses and 16 emergency medical technicians will be on site.
The intense rainfall has also prompted Slane Castle owner Lord Henry Mountcharles to give a personal warning about the River Boyne which runs through the estate and at the rear of the stage.
"The flow in the river is more severe than at any time I have ever seen in my life. Please stay away from the Boyne - it is a dangerous river and we have had casualties before," he said.
The 70,000 tickets for concert have sold out with the exception of a small number of VIP tickets. All VIP tickets include a grandstand seat. "Pack your wellies in the boot if you are driving and our strongest advice is to leave a lot of time," said MCD spokesman Justin Green.
"The gates are opening earlier this year so come for the day and arrive early."
MCD is also advising ticket holders to use public transport.
Opening act Frankie Gavin is due on stage at 2.30 and the Rolling Stones will begin their performance at 8pm.