Tennent's Vital set to be bigger and better but quieter for locals
A three-day musical extravaganza kicked off last night, and with more than 100,000 music lovers expected to descend on the Boucher Road playing fields this year's Tennent's Vital is aiming to be the biggest and best yet.
Promising a packed schedule of incredible live music from some of the world's biggest bands including Kings of Leon, The Vaccines, The Undertones, Jason Mraz, Tinie Tempah and The Minutes – as well as the only European festival date this year for local lads Snow Patrol – festival organisers say it's shaping up to be the "best ever".
Nicola McCleery, marketing director for Tennent's NI said: "The site is looking fantastic and we have three days of brilliant live music in store, with some huge international artists heading for Belfast to play in front of the famous Tennents Vital crowd.
"Together with our partners MCD, we're staging the biggest ever Tennent's Vital this year, with a whole extra day of performances."
At the time of going to press local residents were bracing themselves for traffic chaos and hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's noise levels.
Belfast City Council received over 100 complaints from local residents about noise levels when last year's headline act The Foo Fighters took to the stage.
It was claimed the American rockers could be heard up to 12 miles away in Gilnahirk and Ballygowan.
Festival organisers have been working closely with Belfast City Council to ensure noise levels aren't a problem this year.
Nicola McCleery explained: "We've changed the orientation of the stage, so hopefully there will be no disruption the the majority of the residents."
Event controller Paul Scott told the Belfast Telegraph: "We're using four delay hangs which should help focus all of the sound on the body of the arena. It's a rock concert, you will certainly know we're here, but we hope to contain the vast majority of the noise within the confines of the arena."
Translink and the PSNI are hoping their combined efforts will reduce traffic congestion in the area.
Chief Inspector Gabriel Moran, PSNI, said officers will be enforcing traffic laws, and advised anyone planning on driving to the event to park their vehicle legally without obstructing residential driveways. He also reminded people not to drink and drive.
The Chief Inspector advised the Boucher Road and Stockman's Lane will be closed to traffic each night between 10.15pm-11.45pm to allow festival goers to leave the arena safely.
Translink are extending their evening rail services from Balmoral train station in both directions to Lisburn, Portadown and Belfast with onward connections to Bangor, Carrickfergus, Antrim and Coleraine.
They are also running special festival coaches from locations across Northern Ireland and a metro shuttlebus service to the city centre after each concert.