The stage is almost set for Ed Sheeran’s European tour opening gig in Cork this weekend.
Up to 200 stage and production crew are working flat out in Páirc Uí Chaoimh to prepare the stage and pitch for Friday’s gig - the first concert in the regenerated stadium.
Up to 1,500 people will be working on site across the bank holiday weekend, with some 40,000 fans expected on each of the three concert nights.
It will be one of the biggest concert series the city has ever hosted with publicans, restaurateurs and hoteliers poised for a massive economic boost.
Concert promoter, Peter Aiken, told a media briefing at the stadium today that concert-goers can expect an “incendiary performance” from a global superstar he described as “the best rockstar there is in the world”.
“He’s a remarkable young man with a lot of Irish roots. He’s on the stage on his own and he puts on an incendiary performance. If you’re not an Ed fan, you will be halfway through the show. The guy is remarkable,” he said.
Event controller, Sophie Ridley, said tickets will be subject to ID checks and concert-goers using tickets purchased by someone else should have a copy of the credit card used to buy the tickets, with the name, and last four digits of the card number visible.
Superintendent John Quilter said a comprehensive policing plan, including a detailed traffic management plan, will be in place right across the weekend.
There is no parking available at the venue, with tow-away in operation.
Supt Quilter urged people to plan their journey, and to walk or use public transport to get to the venue. He also warned of traffic delays.
Bus Eireann is providing three bus routes to Pairc Ui Chaoimh on each of the concert days.
It will operate a shuttle service from Lapps Quay, and another one from Kent railway station, to within 400-yards of the stadium, every five minutes from 3pm to 8pm each concert day.
Its 202 bus, which operates from Merchant's Quay to Mahon, via Ballintemple, will run as normal, with additional services being laid on post concerts, departing from Blackrock Rd, close to the Venue Bar, for the city.
There will be a designated drop-off point for mini buses and coaches on Boreenmanna Rd, between Wallace's Ave and Pairc Ui Rinn, a 10-minute walk to the stadium.
Irish Rail has laid on extra post-concert trains departing from Kent Station for Cobh at 11.30pm, for Mallow at 11.35pm and for Midleton at 11.40pm each concert night.
The Paul St (740 spaces) and North Main St (400 spaces) car parks will remain open until 1am each concert night.
The Q-Park facilities at Carroll's Quay, Grand Parade, St Finbarr's and City Hall are open 24-hours.
St Patrick's Quay (187 spaces), Blackrock GAA Club (250 spaces), Cork Camogie Club, Mahon (300 spaces) and Cork Con RFC (800 spaces) will also be available.
Real-time parking data is available from www.data.corkcity.ie/dataset/parking
The concert promoter has contacted people who bought disabled concert tickets with specific access and parking information. Other concert goers with disabilities have been advised to travel to the venue in a wheelchair accessible taxi, which will be allowed drop fares near Sutton Coals. Early booking of these taxis is advised.
Sheeran is due to play the Boucher Playing Fields in Belfast next Wednesday, May 9, Galway's Pearse Stadium on Saturday May 12 and Sunday May 13, before finishing his Irish tour with three nights in Dublin's Phoenix Park on Wednesday, May 16, Friday, May 18 and Saturday May 19.
Sgt Peter Murphy, who is coordinating a major communications initiative around the Cork concerts, urged people to download the EdTour 2018 App, which has information about each of the concert venues, and answers to frequently asked questions.
He also advised people to follow live updates for the Cork tour, including travel information, by using the #EdCork hashtag.