Sunday date is ‘the only option’ for Madonna’s August concert at Slane

MADONNA will top the bill at Slane on Sunday, August 29, not because of her religious beliefs but because of the logistics of setting up her massive show, Henry Mountcharles confirmed yesterday.

He challenged critics who claimed it will prevent local people from going to mass and local politicians who want Meath County Council to refuse a licence because it is a Sunday.

The Queen of Pop does not begin her Reinvention Tour until next month and the majority of the US and British dates have sold out.

Lord Mountcharles confirmed he has wanted Madonna, “who has icon status, is highly controversial and very interesting,” to play at Slane for a number of years and it was only in the New Year that he received confirmation.

The last Sunday concert at Slane was the infamous Bob Dylan gig in 1984 when riots dominated the headlines. It was some years before concerts resumed at the castle.

“I knew people would stir up memories of 1984. This year Bob Dylan is playing in Galway on Sunday June 27, so if he can play there on a Sunday I am puzzled why there is opposition to Madonna’s date.

“The fact is that Madonna is an extraordinary artist and this is about entertainment. It is very easy to try and knock what we have done in Slane. Where were all these people when I and others tried to have the interpretative centre for Newgrange located in Slane?”

He said he and promoters MCD will go to enormous lengths to facilitate local people including putting back the time the gates open from 12 noon to 2pm so that anyone who wants to can attend mass before the concert starts.

“I fully realise that having 80,000 people in the middle of county Meath does cause inconvenience and disruption; I do actually get grief when the concerts are held on a Saturday.”

There has been wide speculation and rumour that Madonna would not play on a Saturday but Lord Mountcharles said the concert is on a Sunday because it is the only date feasible.

“Madonna plays six dates in London beforehand, the final one is Wembley on the 26th so it would not be possible logistically to get a show ready for Slane on Saturday the 28th,” he said.

Ticket details have yet to be finalised but are expected by the time MCD make a formal application for a licence for the event to Meath County Council.

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