Madge makes history as first queen of castle
All roads lead to Slane this weekend as Her Madgesty – aka Madonna – is set to become Queen of the Castle.
The 46-year-old popstar will make history tomorrow when she becomes the first female act to headline Slane in the 23-year history of staging major concerts at the Co Meath venue.
Tomorrow?s show will also mark another new departure as it?s the first time the scenic Boyneside amphitheatre will host one of the country’s biggest outdoor gigs on a Sunday.
It was changed from the traditional Saturday fixture to facilitate Madonna’s schedule during the European leg of her Re-Invention world tour.
However, the switch in date may partially explain the somewhat sluggish ticket sales, despite claims by the concert organisers that the vast majority of the 80,000 tickets have been sold.
Advertisements for the concert have continued to run all week, suggesting it may not exactly be a sell-out show.
Some fans have complained the €88.50 ticket price was too expensive – even for the aptly named Material Girl.
Many bids for concert tickets being sold on the internet have failed to meet the reserve price. Two tickets being offered at less than €80 without a reserve had failed to attract any bid by yesterday afternoon, while a Wexford seller had only been offered €59 for a pair of tickets with a reserve price of €124.
Nevertheless, a large crowd is likely to go mad for Madonna as it is the first opportunity for most of her Irish fans to hear hits such as Vogue, Like A Prayer, Into the Groove and Crazy for You in a live setting.
Fans are warned there will be no access to Slane before 3.30pm tomorrow.
Gates to the concert site will not open until 4pm with the first act, techno-wizard, Paul Oakenfold, due on stage at 5pm. He will be followed by Iggy Pop and The Stooges at 6.30pm before Madonna makes her eagerly-awaited appearance at 8.30pm.
Concert-goers are advised to bring a mixture of clothing as the weather forecast for tomorrow is for a cool, windy day with bright, sunny spells but also some heavy showers.
Dublin Bus is running buses at 20-minute intervals starting at 2pm from Parnell Square to Slane with return services straight after the end of the concert. Tickets are €20.
Concert traffic from the south and west is being encouraged to access Slane via the N51 from Navan, while motorists from Dublin should take the N2 route direct to Slane.
People travelling from the North are recommended to follow the M1 to the Dunleer intersection and then follow signs for Slane through Collon.
Gardaí have advised non-concert traffic, especially GAA fans travelling to the Derry-Kerry football semi-final in Croke Park tomorrow afternoon, that the N2 (Dublin-Derry) road at Slane will be closed to traffic from 8pm this evening until 3am on Monday morning due to the concert.
Motorists are advised to travel to Dublin on the N3 via Cavan, Kells and Navan or to turn left off the N2 at Ardee to access the M1 route to the capital.
Article by Seán McCárthaigh, Irish Examiner