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Avicii to hit the decks for final time at Tennent's Vital in Belfast

By Ann W Schmidt

Thousands of fans are to travel to Northern Ireland from all around the world to see Avicii's last-ever performance at the Tennent's Vital festival.

The 26-year-old Swedish DJ will play live at Belfast's Boucher Road Playing Fields on Friday before he retires from music at the weekend.

Tickets for the night have already sold out, but there are still some available for tomorrow's show, which includes performances by American rock bands Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fall Out Boy.

Other musicians at the two-day event include Labrinth, Cage The Elephant, Jess Glynne and Duke Dumont.

Event manager Paul Scott said this year's attraction was at full capacity, with 40,000 people in attendance each night.

Brian Spollen, another of the organisers added: "Because it's Avicii's last headline show before he retires, there's people coming from Buenos Aires, Germany, Italy and Abu Dhabi.

"There's nearly 10,000 people travelling in for the two shows from outside, coming into Belfast. Hotel beds are full, restaurants are full."

Planning for the festival started as far back as December.

"We have cutting edge acoustics, so that everybody sees and hears the show as we would like them to," Paul said.

And the final touch is the actual set-up of the event. "We came on site 12 days ago," Scott explained. "It will take us another five days after the last act to get everything away and return the site to its owners."

The stage is the largest one outdoors in Northern Ireland at 60m x 40m. Behind the scenes, there are dressing rooms, lawn chairs and tables and toilets for the performers.

The stage itself is filled with equipment for lights, fog machines, fireworks and other concert spectacles as the organisers set up for the concerts.

There will be a PSNI presence at the festival to ensure the safety of those in attendance. Superintendent Bobby Singleton said: "Enjoy the music and have a good time, but most importantly stay safe."

Avicii, whose real name is Tim Bergling, announced earlier this year that he would be retiring after his concert tour.

Following Tennent's Vital, he will perform for a final time at Liverpool's Creamfields music festival on Saturday.

Friday will be the second time Avicii has performed at Tennent's Vital - the first was in 2013.

While the festival is hosting the DJ's penultimate performance, Paul said it was not the only time Belfast had played host to musical history.

"Stairway to Heaven was first performed in Belfast by Led Zeppelin at the Ulster Hall," he added. "Belfast has feathers in its cap with regards to music."

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