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Madonna for Slane: the story so far [April 16]
Meath County Council have received a formal licence application from Slane promoters, with the date - confirmed as "the Lord's Day" - drawing protests from the local parish priest and tabloid media
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 16 Apr 2004
Lord Henry Mountcharles has finally confirmed the worst kept secret in Irish rock 'n' roll which is that this year's Slane Festival will be headlined on Sunday August 29 by Madonna.
Having received a formal licence application from MCD, Meath County Council will allow five weeks for objectors to make their views known. The promoters could be in for a tougher than normal ride with local churchgoers threatening High Court action to prevent the gig going ahead on that particular date.
"The Lord's Day for a lot of people around this part of the world is Sunday and it seems a bit inconsiderate and insensitive that our religious beliefs are not being taken into account," complains Slane's parish priest, Joe Deegan, who adds that he's no objection to Madonna playing on any other day of the week.
The wrangle was immediately picked up on by the world's press with 'Madonna To Crash The Lord's Day' (Arizona Republic), 'Madonna Concert Draws Irish Ire' (Times Of India) and 'Madonna Upsets Catholics' (The Malaysia Star) typical of the headlines generated.
Denying that Madge is refusing to play on Saturday due to her affiliation – "it's the only date feasible" – Lord Henry goes on to note that: "This year Bob Dylan is playing in Galway on Sunday June 27. If he can play there on a Sunday, I'm puzzled why there's opposition to Madonna playing Slane on a Sunday."
Meanwhile, rehearsals for the Re-Invention tour gather apace with an insider revealing, "Part of the set is very electronic, while the other part is very old school. She's rehearsing 'Nothing Really Matters', 'Ray Of Light', 'Deeper And Deeper', 'Die Another Day' – and the encore will be 'Like A Prayer' and 'Vogue' which has been rewritten."
Having previously rapped the praises of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, Madonna now bigs up, "Britney Spears and Minogue/Aguilera and J-Lo'/Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne/On the cover of a magazine/They have style, they have sass/Missy E kicks some ass."