Belfast Telegraph

Patrol’s historic homecoming

By Natalie Irvine

Bangor made history last weekend, hosting the largest ever out door concert to take place in Northern Ireland.

Snow Patrol’s homecoming gig at Ward Park, Saturday June 5, drew an audience of over 42,000 alone, not taking into account the people that journeyed to Bangor to merely enjoy the ‘festival feel’ of the town on the day.

Christine Mahon, tourism officer at North Down Borough Council, said: “Everyone who came to enjoy the festival all helped Bangor to make history last Saturday. It was a huge partnership between North Down Borough Council, MCD Promotions, eventsec, the PSNI, and the emergency services.

“All the various type of accomodation in the North Down area were fully booked — bars and restaurants told us they were incredibly busy and there was little need for the police an ambulance service.”

She said it was even better for business than the last Snow Patrol concert in 2007. “The last event we had that hosted 30,000 people and generated over £1m into the local economy — this figure did not include the ticket sales, but purely the income generated from businesses around the town.”

A police spokesperson thanked the concert-goers for their “co-operation and responsible behaviour”.

“Before the event we asked that those attending made sure that they had a great day by keeping safe, not causing a nuisance to others and respecting local people.

“The day passed off well with the vast majority of spectators having a safe and enjoyable visit to the area.”

He added: “Arrests were limited to a extremely small number with no major incidents.”

Bangor town centre manager Stephen Dunlop thanked Snow Patrol for their commitment to making the event a success.

“I have never known Bangor to experience a festival atmosphere like it. It didn’t seem to matter that not everyone was going to the concert either, everyone still felt part of it. I heard of some people who had to stay in Hillsborough, it was the closest accomodation they could find— even Belfast was fully booked,” he added.

“Because Snow Patrol were playing in their home town fans came from around the world to see them.

“I really hope to see events like this on a regular basis.”

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