Belfast Telegraph

Fans warned to start Slane journey early for Guns N' Roses gig

By Melanie Finn

Rockers Guns N' Roses could shock the 83,000 excited fans at Slane Castle next week with an early appearance on stage at the iconic venue.

That's according to castle owner Lord Henry Mountcharles who said that lead singer Axl Rose appears to have toned down his famously fiery personality and his tardy habits.

The band will bring their Once in a Lifetime concert to the Co Meath venue on Saturday, May 27 when they open the European leg of their world tour.

The sell-out gig will be one of the biggest gigs of the summer and was described this morning as a "truly international event."

Asked if he was worried about Axl pulling a possible diva-style strop on the day and going on stage late, Lord Henry said the contrary could be the case.

"Axl is at the top of his game. He warmed himself up by singing with AC/DC and the interesting thing is, 25 years ago, I might have been worried that he'd go on a bit late. I think this time, it might be the other way around," he said.

At a press conference at Slane Castle on Thursday to unveil full details of the massive event, it was pointed out that the 'Welcome to the Jungle' rockers have actually been going on stage recently at 7pm or 7.30pm.

"Slane is a big deal for them. They are treating it as a priority and I never forget the thrill I got after the show in 92, a newspaper described Slane as the best open amphitheatre in western Europe. So let's hope they get the respect that they're due. I just think it's amazing that they're back on the road. This is special. I wanted them here, I thought long and hard about it and I'm thrilled," said Mountcharles.

Speaking about the significance of the gig, which marks the band's 25th anniversary performing at the venue in 1992, the castle owner said that concert was particularly significant given the fire that wrecked the building in 1991.

"That was the re-birth of Slane. This castle was rebuilt on rock and roll so to be here 25 years later, still able to do this stuff is a real thrill for us as a family," he added.

"The review of Guns N' Roses have been absolutely amazing. Axl is back at the top of his game, this is exciting stuff."

Organisers have offered advice to fans making their way to Slane for the gig:

  • When it comes to the traffic management in place for the venue, patrons are being urged to use public transport and arrive at the venue by 5pm.
  • Fans are warned of significant traffic delays and to add on two additional hours to your expected travel time.
  • The extended weather forecast is sunny with possible showers to attendees are urged to dress appropriately, with comfortable footwear being of utmost importance.
  • They should expect to walk at least 2km from the drop-off points with three public car-parks in operation.

MCD event controller Eamonn Fox said that Slane was "like a pilgrimage" for many Irish music fans.

"This is the start of the second leg of their world tour. They play between 20-25 songs a night so it's a long set, so get here early. They're playing a full rock and roll set. From reading reviews around the world, it's a fabulous set and it should be a great night's entertainment.

"It is an Irish summer so the long-term forecast is sunny with a bit of showers. People need to dress for the rain."

Gates will open at 2pm and supporting them on the day will be Royal Blood, Mark Lanegan and Otherkin.

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