- 15 Jun 22
Green Day will kick off next weeks festivities in Marlay Park on Monday, followed by Guns N Roses on Tuesday, Red Hot Chilli Peppers on Wednesday and the Longitude festival will take place over the weekend.
A briefing held today with Superintendent Ian Lackey of An Garda Síochána, laid out the traffic management and safety plan for Longitude and the three headline shows taking place in Marlay Park next week.
Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn and Therese Langan of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council were also on the panel which emphasised the importance of enjoying the upcoming events safely and responsibly.
With over 240 to 250 Gardaí working each event in the park, Superintendent Lackey acknowledged the impact these concerts can have on the local community, noting that managing traffic congestion in the area was a key part of their message.
"It does inconvenience the local community, we are very aware of that, we try to minimise that as much as we can and for that reason I would ask anybody going to any of the six days of the concert that they would use either the Luas, public transport or the bus providers from all around the country that will be coming here," he said.
Adding that the that the last few years of events have gone by "without major incident", Superintendent Lackey when on to address the anti-social behaviour that can occur with over-drinking.
"We take a zero tolerance approach to the public consumption of alcohol and that will continue - Once people arrive, there will be no alcohol allowed to be consumed in public areas and people will be shepherded into the event to enjoy themselves in here and that’s again to minimise the destruction to the local community.”
In preparation for next weeks line-up, An Garda Síochana have been working in cooperation with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, with Superintendent Lackey adding, "it's an enjoyable event, it’s a logistical headache but we want people to enjoy it, we have children ourselves that come to these events, we want people to come, enjoy it and get home safely.”
Thrilled that events were now back following their long absence during the Covid-19 pandemic, Councillor Therese Langdon said "we really now appreciate the concerts and their huge role in shaping the cultural identity of the capital.”
Councillor Langdon also stressed the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the residents and businesses in the surrounding area, and "ameliorating the negative impacts" on the community, adding that the entirety of the money received by the council is invested back into Marlay Park.
"There’s no point in pretending the impact isn’t there, making sure that they know about the impact, that they know we are mitigating that impact as best as we can," venue manager Melvin Benn, the CEO of Festival Republic, said.
“We’re looking forward to six nights of extraordinary music, six nights of very different audiences, but I would go as far as saying six nights of joy, that might be an overstatement for the person taking responsibility for it all, but trust me it is six nights of joy and I can’t wait," Benn said.
In terms of transport, attendees are advised to leave two hours of additional travel to and from the venue, with Benn urging visitors to make use of public transport and those driving are encouraged to pre-book their parking. Taxis were not suggested as a viable mode of transport, “everybody in Dublin is aware of the shortage of taxis, and to that end we don’t think anyone will be coming thinking that it will be easy to get one,” he said.
This year marks the first time that Longitude tickets will be entirely digital, with Superintendent Lackey warning ticketholders to be vigilant in regards to duplicated entry passes, "the last thing we want to do and we have to do is disappoint people and turn them away," he said.
Speaking on the recovery of the events industry, Benn said, "there’s an awful lot of events happening this year because of the backlog of two years, there’s a supply chain issue - the stage that we used in Malahide last night for the Killers, we had to get that from the Middle East, because there wasn’t a stage in Europe that was capable of holding the Killers lighting rig that was available." He also noted that he has found there to be no shortage of staff for events, adding that the extra benefit of being able to enjoy some of the concert has "come to our rescue."
On the topic of drug use in festival settings Superintendent Lackey said “people are liable to be searched as they come in first and foremost- but we will also have undercover drugs officers here as well - but I have looked at the figures for this particular concert over the past couple of years and they are not significant."
A Code Blue medical tent will be on hand at Longitude, with Superintendent Lackey saying, "the biggest issue we had was about three years ago and it was due to the weather, in relation to people just being dehydrated, but it was managed and managed well," he said.
Check out our recent issue where MuRli discusses his guide to Longitude below.
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