That’s Entertainment In Modern Ireland.
photo credit: gordonflood.com
Red Wedge writes an account of his day out to see Oasis in Slane.
I love Oasis.
I know my love is true and I know this for a reason. I have seen them 7 times live. I have defended every song they have ever made. I have even defended the songs I don’t like out of utter loyalty. I have worn t-shirts, tracksuit tops and fisherman’s hats in tribute. I’d even buy a Man City shirt if I ever saw one for sale.
I was genuinely distraught when my copy of “Heathen Chemistry” got eaten by
giant beast of a cd player that could fit 8 cds in a vast turntable. I was
shocked and appalled when the mate who owned the cursed machine prised the CD out with a fork and threw it around like a discus. I have faced cops down with the friend in question and plotted revolt all night with him, but I can’t forgive that act.
continues after the leap…
I cried when I first heard “Go let it out”, the first single from “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”. I still think that it is that good. My old band used to play that song.
But the reason I know my love is true is that if the Slane gig of Saturday last was put on again next weekend, I would still go.
This years Slane was quite simply the worst organised thing I have ever
encountered and I couldn’t dream of anything being put on in a more shambolic
way (bear in mind I have attended Oxygen twice). In fact, it wasn’t organised
at all and that was the problem.
Before I go into it, let me say that Oasis were majestic. All Oasis need to
do is turn up and plug in. That’s all they ever do and all they did last
At 2.30, myself and my mate boarded the Dublin Bus and arrived in Slane at about an hour later. We were peeved at having to walk the remaining 5km to the village after the bus hit heavy traffic. Compared to what would happen later, this was the easy bit.
We hit the first hurdle when we approached the first checkpoint, situated at the entrance to the famous traffic blackspot that is the Slane bridge, which happens to be one of Ireland’s most dangerous strips of road.
The road was covered solidly in bottles and cans. A group of terrified looking young fellas asked us to show tickets and checked the odd bag in a confused manner. It was now around 4.30. There was a light crush but it was handled in a fairly typical Irish manner. Everyone was laughing, making jokes about Hillsborough and making the most of it. At this stage, we had walked for around 5 miles, in the company of literally thousands of people. There wasn’t even a single bin. A small group of fairly disenchanted looking workers were picking up the odd can and bagging it, a task akin to dredging the river Liffey with a tea cup.
It took us an hour to make it from the entrance to the bridge to the entrance to the gig. The path between the famous entrance of the castle and the gig was narrow and a bit muddy but tolerable.
Incredibly, a ticket checkpoint was set up right at the end of this path, just at the entrance to the hill and field that make up the Slane venue. There was a bottle neck of 3 or 4 hundred people and an almighty crush. It was genuinely dangerous situation.
One hefty man from Manchester threatened to throw a much younger woman over a fence. But he was no rebel. As soon as he saw a Guard, he was straight up to him, shaking his hand and licking his arse.
I entered at around 6. You had to queUE for an hour to buy ale from one of the three small bars. Incredibly, they charged 6 euro’s per plastic cup, slowing the process down further. Some fans didn’t help by seeking to buy drinks other than Heineken or the bags of wine. Others demanding to see managers, protesting about the strictly applied 2 drink maximum.
I was part of a terrible crush just after Kasabian has left the stage. I attempted to enter the furthest bar from the stage. You could only get to it by walking up the path that doubled up as the main entrance to the venue.
Once in, I discovered that the bars had been shut for safety reasons .I joined the disorderly queue to get out. Around 100 people were forcing their way through a narrow gate that supposedly served as the exit for this bar, and they were faced with around the same number trying to get out and a wall of security guards. The wrestling efforts with the young security stewards were fairly heroic and there were punters gaining the upper hand. But it was a fairly rough melee.
I counted myself lucky that I am so big and strong and was able to get out in one piece, a bit winded but generally fit for purpose.
The reports of the transport home are true. The scabby basts who organised the thing neglected to put up any lighting, so everybody had to walk in the dark for miles to get to buses. Thousands made this walk in vein and had to make their own way back to Dublin as they were not nearly enough buses.
Some Soundtracks for Them readers may think I am an old fogey, under the influence of the Joe Duffy class. This isn’t true. This gig was genuinely dangerous. And the reason? The wankers at MCD took the 90 quid off 100,000 people, made all the rip related rip off cash and then did a legger, not bothering to organise a damn thing. That’s entertainment in modern Ireland.
By the way, Oasis were still majestic.
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