It was a tale of two Slanes. On the one hand, fans were complaining vehemently yesterday about transport problems — buses in particular — as well as access to the venue and to the bars.
On the other, gardai and organisers said that their plans had been implemented successfully and that the 80,000 people in attendance had to be “realistic” in their expectations.
One concert goer, who paid for his Dublin Bus fare to and from Slane, told the Irish Independent that he was refused from “scores” of buses before eventually making it onto a bus that eventually left at 3.45am yesterday. There were also reports of people sleeping at the side of the road because they could not get on a bus.
Another, Vinnie Moran (26) from Dublin, said that it took him two-and-a-half hours to get into the concert along the narrow entry path to Slane castle. He said people were “herded like cattle” into the venue.
“I personally saw about five fist fights,” he said. “There were people who could barely even stand. There were so many people herded together that I thought anything could set it off.”
MCD’s Justin Green said last night: “We do accept there were some delays entering the venue mainly due to the larger number of fans who decided without advance booking to make use of public transport.
“While bars were the same size/number as previous sell-out concerts, the fans who attended on Saturday had a larger appetite for alcohol consumption. Both of the issues raised above will be addressed for future concerts.”
Slane owner Lord Henry Mountcharles said that he had not yet had any reports of people complaining about transport and access to the venue. A spokesperson for Dublin Bus said they had everyone out of Slane by 2am and said people had to be “realistic” in their expectations.
“We transported in excess of 20,000 people down to Slane over a six-to-eight hour period and everyone wanted to go home at the same time. Obviously, that's not possible.”
Castle rocks in throwback to 90s
If you closed your eyes at Slane Castle, you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in the mid-90s.
If you opened them again you could be forgiven for thinking you had arrived at a rather large teenage disco.
The ‘yoof’ element descended on Slane on Saturday in their thousands, a testament to the longevity of headliners Oasis and support act The Prodigy, both of whom were in their pomp over a decade ago. In truth, it was a welcome antidote to the last Slane, when the Rolling Stones played to a mostly middle-aged crowd who were content to stand back, shielded from the rain in their wax jackets, and let the concert wash over them.
“I can safely say that this has been the best day of my life,” opined one boozed-up teen to no one in particular as he left.
“Slane Castle, you've been f****** biblical,” said Liam Gallagher as the band reached their final few tunes. And it was hard not to be impressed, when you turned from the stage, with the River Boyne behind it, and looked up the hill to see 80,000 people bathed in purple light belting out ‘Champagne Supernova’.
The Irish-rooted Gallagher family, including mam Peggy, were all out in force having travelled over en masse from Manchester.