Slane 2009 – The good and the bad

Liam Gallagher at Slane 2009

Wow, what a gig. Oasis rocked Slane Castle last night in a set that you really couldn’t fault. The band were amazing and had a crowd of 80,000 singing along to song after song.

But…..the day was marred by a number of problems. Firstly, the queues for the bars were mad. When you’re queuing the guts of an hour to get a beer at an event then there’s a problem. Pints of Heineken were priced at €6.00 meaning that staff had to faff about with change in most cases. We missed most of Kasabian’s set as a result. The serious issue was the lack of Dublin Buses on the way back. I’ve no clue what went wrong but we saw people walking 5 and 6 kilometres from the event trying to get a bus they paid €20 return for. Thankfully we had hopped on one of the only available buses closer to Slane village. Gav and Ciara having got a Bus Eireann bus arrived home 6 hours after the gig and they live in the city centre. The traffic management was a joke and I saw less than 5 gardaí on the N2. Insane. It’d seriously make me think about seeing anyone at Slane again.

UPDATE: Gav his take on the night here and boards.ie has ongoing discussion here.

Here are some tweets from last night:

is super glad at leaving Slane a little bit early…Dublin Bus incompetency strikes again! – @katymilligan

Slowly recovering from Slane, my god…what a walk, we might aswell have just walked back to Dublin! Didn’t get home till 5.30! – @emilyx0

traffic chaos in slane after oasis gig.badly organised apparently.hubby got home at 5am.heard sound quality was crap? – @minipaws

Longest walk of my life to get bus after Slane last night! – @nadiaelf

28 Comments

  1. Mike   •  

    Had a great time myself apart from the above mentioned points. Personally, after the shambles by MCD and Dublin Bus at Metallica’s Marley Park gig last year, we knew this year would be worse, so left during I Am The Walrus. After walking about seven kilometres to the road that turns to Newgrange, we finally got on a bus that was described by one person as a coffin ship, but was glad to be getting out of there.

    One thing that ruined for me was the amount of overuse of alcohol and drugs. It was expected, but not to that level. People were certainly Drink Aware! I came into the main arena during The Blizzards and people were already passed out. I’m an average drinker myself but decided not to drink yesterday, and was better for it. I was pretty much turned off it by the scenes. Friends also missed whole sets due to the queues.

    Overall, as I tweeted yesterday, bands and music were great, but the crowd ruined it.

  2. DamoBIrish   •  

    well ya must not of been at the Slane that most people went to, if ya thought Oasis where the best band last night.The Prodigy absolutely destroyed Oasis last night.

    As for Heineken and Dublin Bus they are an absolute disgrace.Queueing for 45 mins was a joke but a 2 hr 15 min trek back to our bus was not appreciated.Thankfully I wasn’t the worse as a couple fo mates that didn’t travel with us had to get a taxi back from Slane and didnt get one till 3.30am….

  3. disappointed   •  

    First time at Slane – We missed Kasibian due to the horrendous and disorganised queue in the woods, missed Prodigy due to another horrendous queue at the beer tent, missed the last number songs of Oasis in order to beat the crowds leaving. Overall we paid to either queue or walk. Is that just the way things are at these type of events and I should have been prepared for that?

  4. TAG   •  

    hate to sound smug…but we got there early (and glad we did as The Blizzards were great), had a couple of early pints when there were no queues and then stayed off the booze, and were back in Dublin at home before 11.45pm (we went against advice and drove…best decision we made as there were no queues). Had a brillian day as a result!! Agree with Mike that a lot of people seemed very out of it…seems bit of a waste really having paid for their ticket!!

  5. Jason   •  

    I got back to Dublin at 4.25am! I have never seen a gig-especially one so big- to be so badly organised in my life…My friend walked out of the entrance duting Kasabian to get a bottle of water because of the queues….and they would not allow him to get back inside!!!! They advised him that he should have been told he would not get back in again before he left????Yeah right!!! One of the best gigs ever…..also one of the worst ever…..

  6. IanK   •  

    I see Lord Henry Mountcharles said he had not heard about any problems with transport or queueing for Slane.
    Well here’s one.

    Spent over two and a half hours being herded into the venue like cattle along a tiny dirt track that was fenced off both sides. Extremely dangerous and if the crowd had panicked or surged forward it could very easily led to a disasterous situation where people could have been crushed.

    A number of fights did break out due to the frustration and most people missed a large amount of the concert.

    We started to queue at 4.15 and got into the venue at 6.45

  7. PaddyInEngland   •  

    This is why I told you to go to Glastonbury! You never have to queue more than 5 mins for a pint and you can bring your own drink in as well, theres none of this searching you every two minutes nonsense.

  8. anthony   •     Author

    Thanks for your comments folks.

    @Mike: I’d agree with you that there were people completely out of it very early on. If I ever do go to Slane again I’d almost certainly drive.

    @DamoBIrish: The Prodigy were fantastic alright. Their show would have been even better in the dark. Did your mates have return tickets for the bus?

    @disappointed: Nope, the organisation at this one appears to have way off in a number of areas. Your not alone in thinking that.

    @TAG: Having been at Slane and having driven before, it definitely seems like the best way to get in/out.

    @Jason: He should have been advised by the stewards alright. There’s a real contrast to what was great about the gig and what was terrible.

    @IanK: He obviously doesn’t read boards.ie/twitter then. 🙂 The dirt track was seriously dangerous. Having that many people confined inside of such a small space could have been a receipe for disaster.

  9. Susan (waterford)   •  

    As a first time slane trip, i was excited altho my excitement quickly turned to frustration,
    what a joke, queueing for an hour to get 2 drinks per person, queue again 20 mins to use a toilet (too few for the crowd)queue yet again to pay ridiculous food prices, no stewards to be seen near toilets, bar or anywhere.
    Missed the blizzards due to the trek in the woods missed about 3 hours of the gig in total due to queueing. there was more than 80,000 people at the gig.
    MCD should be banned from hosting these gigs as they are clearly not able to organise a piss up in a brewery.
    With all these problems it was almost possible to drown out the crowd of jackeens fighting, or stumbling into you cos they were either pissed or off their heads.
    Never again!!!!
    lord Henry should be ashamed, especially in time of a recession people are looking forward to days out as they come few and far between.

  10. Siobhan   •  

    This was my first time at Slane and I had a ball! We camped from the Friday night for €25 per person in Slane Farm, it was great having proper toilets, campsite was only about 10 min walk from concert. We went into the concert early and had a few pints chilling out of the grass before Kasabian. I forgot my medication and was let out and back in which I really appreciated. Came back in for Oasis and I thought it was amazing. I do admit that there were quite a lot of people lying passed out and I saw ambulance crew working with a girl and I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t survive, but if they want to get sloshed and ruin it for themselves, so be it, I’d say there would have been a few sunburnt heads running about Ireland!
    All in all, because I camped, the weekend turned out great for us (or perhaps we were just that glad to get a weekend without the kids and act 16 again!). But I really thought everything was far superior to Oxegen, which is just a mud bath!

  11. Matt   •  

    I’m English, flew out to Dublin on Friday, had a good night on Friday regardless of the pathetic prices, but still, good pubs and the beer was good.
    Saturday, already got a bus ticket online, turned up at 12.30, jumped straight on with a few cans and straight slane no problems. Few beers outside, everyone having fun, other than I saw some lads throw a can of beer through a police car window, hitting the driver in the head…

    Then in the venue, 2 mins queue, bit of a walk which is what you get at every outdoor venue/festival other than the stadium gigs. Got loads of beers in early on, drank them on the grass in the sun and then went and enjoyed kasbian. By this time the place was packed and there queues were terrible, couldn’t wait over an hour for a beer and miss the music. Didn’t bother, watched every min of kasbian and the prodigy who were the loudest band ive ever seen outside. Whoever is complaining about the sound hasn’t been to many out door gigs, it was loud everywhere, louder than most oasis gigs.

    When they went off for the encore, me and the missus walked towards the back and then out of the venue. Think ahead. there were 80,000 people there, most of whom wanted to get back to Dublin. We walked back into slane which took ages but jumped straight onto a bus. The bus took ages because of traffic but were were in Dublin easy enough. Thought the busses were quite well organised, the village wasn’t designed for 80,000 people busses and cars. It was my 9th time seeing oasis so missing 2 songs and jumping on a bus was great. Thought the day, apart from the beer queues was great and the weather was brilliant.

    Gig wise – if you’ve seen one oasis gig you’ve seen them all, and they seemed to be playing at a snails pace after the prodigy, but still – bring on the next tour. Cheers Slane. A good weekend all round. If you don’t want to walk for hours and queue for ages, go to a stadium gig or get there early.

  12. Matt   •  

    oh, and i thought the toilet situation was far better than other gigs ive been to. even for my missus.

    v festival – no theres a place that has far too few toilets.

  13. Lottie   •  

    I can really understand all of your problems with travel etc, it has happened to me before. But I stayed on the campsite up the road…no more then 20mins walk from the gates…had some cans before we went in..got to the bar early twice (That was 4 more pints each) didnt miss any of the acts…was back at the campsite before 12…was a fantastic day….As i said I understand all the problems, but Im relly p****d off that I havent heard more good comments about the day.

  14. Micky from Derry   •  

    Left Derry at 10.30am and given a toilet stop or 4 we arrived in slane at 2.30, we all took cans and grub and proceeded to a labourious walk into the venue, the amount of searching of individuals and drink been taken off people so far from the main venue was blatant.
    Once inside we could see that getting a beer was going to be an issue, during Kasabian 6 of us queued for 2 pints each, this took 2 hours and 10 minutes, missed the last 4 songs of Kasabian and all of Prodigy set.
    After that we all agreed not to drink as this was beyond a joke, i have been to 20+ concerts and this was by far the worst for both toilets and drink.
    Thankfully we had some wine that was got in and shared this throughout the Oasis set, by far the sound was superb as was the stage setup, could not fault Oasis nor what i seen of the other acts, once over we took the long walk back to our bus, as the crossroads towards N1 we asked a Guard which way our bus would be, he sent us straight on and we ended up in Drogheda missing our bus, after some deliberation we negotiated a taxi to Derry at 200 euro’s what a bummer but we got home safe and sound at 6.10am, A concert i don’t think i’ll ever forget LOL

  15. Pink   •  

    1. Show – pretty great stuff from the Prodigy and i’m not a fan. Oasis, not a fan either however I do respect their music but they didnt do anything for the crowd. pretty tame.
    2. Drink – I like my drink but drove on the day in convoy glad I did – saw it all, no queuing issues and easily home.little bit of sacrifice goes a long way

    3. Drinkers – I’ve never seen anything like the drunkeness. Pretty embarrasing stuff – why wud u spend all the cash just to drink shite beer and fall around like a wasted circus clown? I like my parties and I’ve learned the hard way but the message just getting through

  16. Holemaster   •  

    After seeing U2 there I decided never to go back. I did the same with The Point Depot. A lot gigs here are badly organised and do little for the comfort and convenience of the audience. MCD more or less have the monopoly here and they abuse that position over and over again. They only show contempt to the concert goers as though we are trouble makers. The sooner someone else puts it up to them the better. They don’t deserve the profits they make.

  17. Franko   •  

    1) Show – Saturday was my first time seeing both Oasis and the Prodigy since Cork 1997 – was expecting both of them to be past it by now to be honest but was highly impressed with both. Amazing set from the Prodigy and classic stuff from Oasis – I would have forgiven them for going thru the motions but thought Noel put everything into it and Liam wasn’t bad either (check youtube for his dire performance in Buenas Aires). Kasabian were brilliant too and the Blizzards had a really decent set but wtf were Glasvegas up to? Not really familiar with them but they died a death on stage.

    2) Parking/queuing/bus etc. – drove up from Limerick – left around 7am, cruised up, stopped for food along the way etc with no traffic , parked about 2k from Slane around 11am, wandered around Slane for a bit and then went to the gates just before they opened. Got pit passes, strolled in the path and sat in the sun on the hill for the Blizzards the dire Glasvegas. Went down to the pit for Kasabian and stayed there for the night — easy access to the toilets and got water from the bouncers at the fence. We’d brought our own food too so no hassles there either. Sounds a bit smug I know but it’s amazing how much easier it is to enjoy these type of concerts without drink being involved. Been to Slane a couple of times before and had a couple of Heineken induced nightmare experiences with buses etc. Would highly recommend the pit — not a drunken teen in sight, everyone into the music, lots of space and a stones throw from the stage.

    3) Drinkers
    Not surprised to see people w@nkered drunk at 1pm…have done it myself in the past but it’s such a waste. I’d say about 80% of the people there had zero interest in any of the bands. Would probably have left early if we hadn’t been in the comfort of the pit.
    The drive out of Slane was a health & safety nightmare – people walking both sides of pitch black road. Surprised not to hear anything about serious injuries. Took about an hour to drive 2 miles but no probs after that.Back in bed by 4am. Brilliant day all around…except for Glasvegas

  18. Aido   •  

    I am an old fart of 53, went to Slane with 3 other oldies, saw the gig on the hill with the young crowd and LOVED it! To hell with being in the Pit or in the VIP section, if you want to be able to say you were REALLY at a gig like Slane, you have to be in the middle of it! Oasis were OK, eh you are allowed talk to the crowd lads (think Freddie Mercury!). The Prodigy were FANTASTIC! Now there’s a band that knows how to get a crowd going! Although their music is legendry Oasis seemed very pedestrian after The Prodigy left us all breathless. In general the crowd were great apart from the occasional moron who thought that hurling a welly full of *iss or whatever into the crowd was funny. Let’s face it, the place heaved with moronic behaviour but that’s just me being an old git! We walked miles to meet a taxi on the Collon Road after the gig but the aches I still feel in the auld legs was well worth it! Oh to be 25 again!Still, roll on next year! If Radiohead play I will defo be there! Thanks again The Prodigy! You made me feel 20 again!WOO WOO!

  19. Amy from Kerry   •  

    i thought it was excellent!! i travelled from ennis, i will admit i was d wee bit drunk going in but thats what all my friends did, we sobered up by the end of prodigy, best thing i ever did cos i can remember it all!!! we qued for about 10 minutes to get in before Kasabian. i was in pumps & had a ball, came home with 2 bruises & i bruise easily!! end of the day it was prodigy and oasis, it was alot of young peoples big event of the summer! i was at oxegen in 2007, it was far more dangerous, we where slipping in the muck, we got stuck in it, portaloos being turned over, my tent got set on fire with me in it! slane was honetly like a tea party in comparison!! slanes all about the music & that was fantastic!!

  20. Lisa   •  

    The day was absolutely fantstic, Oasis Rocked and Prodigy really worked the crowd. Came up from Galway and arrived at Slane at about 1.30pm,got parking really close which ws fantastic. Ridiculous organisers tho, gettin searched on way in was stupid and water bottles opened was pure rubbish,didnt drink so dem queues no problem but toilet facilities a joke and not a funny one!!!some very drunk people which isa waste 4 dem! took a long long time 2 get out of Slane but still no bus problems!! I tink the people best off were those with cars which is awful as all were advised 2 use public transport!!!overall the music was still fantastic and thats what we were all dere 4!!!

  21. Ben   •  

    We organised a mini bus with 14 of us and despite the walk back to the main crossroads a couple kms past that we were picked up and brought off home safely for the wee hours but can feel sorry for people who were hanging around.

    Other than the bus situation, if Dublin Bus messed up they messed up but its no different from other years according to what im hearing from people who have gone previously.

    Re: the drinking and the drugs. It was a rock concert lads? With one of the biggest pub / drinking bands of the past decade and more. And their support, the Prodigy (which i think topped Oasis)what were people thinking it was going to be like?
    Sure there were a few lads pushy and such around where i was but no more than what i was expecting?

    It was a field with 80k people in it. When they open the gates and 80k people have to leave it’s bound to be slow.The ‘end of concert syndrome’ kicks in and people just want to be home first but it just doesnt happen like that for the most part. The bus situation would piss me off too but a lot of the problems i have heard of over the past couple days should surely just be put down the fact that it is a rock concert, it isn’t a quick set in Tower Records.

  22. anthony   •     Author

    @Susan (waterford): I’d agree that they really need to up the standard. We don’t pay €75 for a sub-standard day out in times like these.

    @Siobhan: We saw a few different campsites on the way down to the gig alright. Nice to get that bit of freedom for the weekend. 🙂

    @Matt: I think some of the complaints in relation to the sound were down to production rather than volume. At points the vocals were drowned out. The village itself can’t cope with the numbers but it’s generally being acknowledged that the N2 wasn’t set up properly to get the buses going back to Dublin. Didn’t have any problems with the toilets myself.

    @Lottie: Everyone really enjoyed the music, I’ve yet to hear anyone complain about that but the trip home kind of marred things for a lot of people. Good to hear you had a good gig anyway.

    @Micky from Derry: We got one round at the bar and decided not to go back alright. It’s not worth wasting time and missing the acts. A lot of people seem to have been steered wrong when it came to that crossroads.

    @Pink: Oasis’ crowd interaction was average at best alright. Don’t know why people get out of their heads either. We were there for the tunes and thoroughly enjoyed them.

    @Holemaster: They are in a dominant position alright. There’s noone who can really compete with them when it comes to organizing the larger gigs.

    @Franko: I heard Glasvegas had a poor set alright. Everyone who seems to have had few problems has one thing in common, they drove. 🙂

    @Aido: I’ve yet to hear anyone say that the Prodigy were anything less than brilliant. Really did a lot for their following I’d think.

    @Amy from Kerry: I was at Oxegen in 07 and the mud was treacherous alright. It would almost swallow your foot during every step. Good to hear you enjoyed the day anyway.

    @Lisa: Definitely better off with a car.

    @Ben: I think the concern is around the co-ordination of the buses. Dublin Bus should really have had the first couple of kilometres dedicated to them and then private buses beyond that. Gav and Ciara were 3 hours before their bus moved. I’d be hopping off the walls in a case like that. I’d agree on people being out of their heads, your gonna get that at a rock gig.

  23. Franko   •  

    re: the Prodigy being better than Oasis – this is probably an unfair comparison. Yes, the mood dropped a little after the Prodigy’s amazingly kinetic, energetic, balls to the wall set, but can’t really think of any other act who could have followed them up and upped the ante.

    Can’t believe the amount of whining in the media the last couple of days about Slane. With 80,000 people in a venue there’s going to be some discomfort at some point.

    Don’t want to wind people up, but it’s hard to have a lot of sympathy if you spent 2 hours queuing for overpriced Dutch beer in plastic cups and missed half the concert. Did something similar myself at Slane 2003 and missed the entire Foo Fighters set so learned from my mistakes.

  24. sam   •  

    ok, first of all ive gotta say how amazing kasabian and the prodigy were, they really stole the show, oasis were gud but no as gud as those 2 bands, glasvegas were disappointing but i had never heard of them, i only heard the end of the blizzards set as thats when i was getting inside.

    i had 1 pint on the day as it was expensive and i knew the queues wud be impossible and i didnt wanna get pissed out of my mind, this isnt been dramatic at all but during that gig i never felt safe, i was at the bottom of the hill and i looked back and saw the crowd and said to my friend, if sumbody told me there was a million ppl back there i wudnt be suprised and when i heard on the radio that it was far more than 88,000 people there then i wasnt far off, it was too big a crowd

    fair enough people throwing toilet rolls and there pints into the crowd but to throw glass bottles, 1 or 2 just missed me by not much, where was the police inside the venue? they were letting people take photos with them! , i saw about 10 fights in the venue aswell, i realy think it was badly organised, the concert was brilliant, as for getting home all the stories ive heard is ridiculus

  25. Siobhan   •  

    Isn’t it just great to go on here today and see some positive comments. I was also at Oxegen 2007 and lost my shoes in the mud which my better half made me go back and retrieve, I can still feel the squelch of putting my feet back into them!
    Roll on Slane 2010.
    Also, I saw quite a few “older” people (if I can say that at 32!) And fair played to you! It was great to see you all enjoying yourselves. Hope I’m still going when I’m “older”!!!!!!!

  26. Aido   •  

    @Siobhan : Thanks Siobhan! My fav band of all time was Led Zep,only wish I could have my hair the length it was in the 70’s, and also one does look a tad rediculous at 53 trying to play an air guitar!! Ah well, we had a fantastic buzz, especially when The Prodigy were on!! Well worth the defibulators! I see a lot of negative comments here about all the young drunk and high peeps. Huh! Anyone ever seen the movie Woodstock?! Altamont?! We were just as mental in my heyday! It was a ROCK Concert, not an evening with Daniel O’Donnell!! If you can’t *iss, get off the pot! Also I wish all those under 30’s would stop whinging aboput the trek home, facilities, etc. We were on the hill with all the other “plebs”, and the adrenaline rush made it all worth while, and the long trek afterwards is all part of the story you can tell yer grandkids!

  27. sean   •  

    well folks.ive been to many outdoor gigs,indoor gigs and festivals and this one was one of the most enjoyable but the end of the night was just bloody dangerous.the bands rocked the shop,brilliant.a few drunken fools around..to be expected but the alarm bells rang for me making the exit.two exits for that many people and there were more than 80,000 there.i heard people texting mates to get down as theyd get in free as they werent scanning tickets.and ive been to slane plenty of times and never seen anything like it.we were forced to squeeze out the right exit with many people starting to panic because of the overcrowding and intimidation of being crushed against the fencing.hillsborough came to mind.the lack of stewards and instructions was letal.when getting to the top of the right hand side of the hill it was extremely muddy and slippery.twice i had to catch people when they slipped and with the preasure of the crowd momentum they could have been seriously injured.and then the fear of being crushed against the 10ft fencing was increasing.if panic had set in and it was startin to then all hell could have broken loose.then the bloody walk.fair enough,i expected a long walk but for christ sake where were the garda and stewards.the amount of fools driving dublin bus is unreal.so dangerous.there was no organisation and a hell of a lot of dangerous driving.all it would of taken was for someone to trip and they were gone.drivers not giving a damn.one bus was pulling out with people walking between that and another bus and almost crushed people between the two.im just glad i stopped drinking at 6.we left the gig at 1030 and got to our booked minibus at 225.a loada b**ll**.make me think twice about going again.but thank you to the bands.loved it

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