Madonna fever strikes as 50,000 tickets go in two hours
Fifty thousand tickets for Madonna’s gig at Slane Castle were snapped up within hours of going on sale yesterday.
Not since U2 headlined at Slane Castle in 2001, when all 80,000 tickets were sold within two hours, have so many tickets for an Irish pop concert sold so fast, according to promoters MCD.
A thousand tickets a minute were sold during the first half-hour of box office sales yesterday with thousands more snapped up throughout the course of the day.
“It was the largest single selling event this year. It was like two Lansdowne Road gigs selling out immediately,” said Justin Green of MCD.
Thousands of fans across the country began queueing overnight for tickets, starting at 9pm on Thursday night, in order to ensure they would be among the 80,000 capacity crowd at the August 29 concert in Slane, Co Meath.
Several hundred camped out on Dublin’s Nassau Street in order to be at the head of the queue. Many of the fans bought the maximum number of six tickets available per person despite the € 88.50 price tag per ticket.
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Counter sales at Ticketmaster outlets were brisk throughout the day, but the bulk of the tickets were purchased over the phone, followed by in-person sales and on the internet.
An additional 250 Ticketmaster staff were taken on to cope with the demand. Restrictions banning ticket sales outside the 32 counties were in place to ensure Irish fans get first crack at tickets.
However, many of the remaining tickets are expected to be sold to Madonna fans from the Continent and the UK who must purchase tickets here for the Queen of Pop’s only Irish date. Tickets for Madonna’s tour in the UK have been sold out for months. The brisk sales yesterday even surprised promoters who are predicting a sell-out within days.
“If it continues, we’re on course for a sell-out,” Mr Green said.
The Re-Invention world tour, expected to be the last live tour for the 45-year-old pop star and mother-of-two also features support acts The Darkness, Iggy Pop and renowned DJ Paul Oakenfold.
But there is no doubt that the bulk of fans will be there to see Madonna herself, who has been a fixture on the pop scene for the past 20 years, with a fan base ranging in age from pre-teens to grandparents.
The massive outdoor performance marks the first time Madonna has performed in Ireland despite the fact that rules to allow the concert to be held on a Sunday had to be bent to accommodate her touring schedule.
Despite complaints from the National Parents Council that the so-called Material Girl is living up to her name by charging close to € 100 per head, tickets for the same show cost $200 in the US and € 140 euro in the UK, according to MCD.
Madonna is the first female singer to headline at Slane, one of just three dates on her European tour, including London and Paris. Meanwhile, a hip-hop concert featuring Missy Elliot and Talib Kweli with support act Kelis scheduled to take place at Dublin’s Point Theatre on June 24 was cancelled yesterday due to “unforeseen circumstances”, according to Aiken Promotions. A spokesman said tickets for the show can be refunded from point of purchase.
Article by Allison Bray, Irish Independent
Editor’s note: The European leg of the tour includes more than three dates.