Main image – PR handout
Words by Adrian Harmon
Following a year’s hiatus, Saturday 27th May marks the much-anticipated return of the annual Slane concert. Over the last 36 years, the venue has attracted some of the world’s biggest acts including U2, the Rolling Stones, Oasis, Eminem and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This year’s event will prove no different, as Guns N’ Roses return to the Slane stage they first rocked in 1992. Axl Rose and co. will be joined on the day by special guests Royal Blood, Mark Lanegan Band and young Dublin band Otherkin.
Some 80,000 tickets sold out in less than 24 hours, and for us traffic nerds at Roadwatch that translates as one hell of a traffic jam, before and after. Welcome to the jungle!
So let us help you beat the traffic and get straight to the music because, let’s face it, your problem is our problem when it comes to delays. Below is all you need to know on how to get there safe and sound.
Restrictions on routes around Slane will be in place from 7am, with the village totally closed at 10am. Resident passes will be issued to everyone residing within the barriers to allow pedestrian access. Diversions will be in place on outer routes. Restrictions will be lifted early Sunday morning.
Slane is located in County Meath where the N2 Dublin/Monaghan Rd and the N51 Navan/Drogheda Rd meet. On a good day it’s roughly a 50-minute drive from Dublin via the M1/N51. Below are the routes the Gardaí are requesting you take to the event.
From south Dublin, take the M50 to the M1 Interchange and travel north, exiting at J10 Drogheda North and onto the N51 towards Slane. Follow signs to the Pink Car Park. You are on the PINK ROUTE for exit.
From north Dublin, take the M1 northbound, exit at J10 Drogheda North and take the N51 towards Slane. Follow signs to the Pink Car Park. You are on the PINK ROUTE for exit.
From the south-east, take the M7/M9/M11 north to Dublin’s M50 before exiting at the M1 Interchange onto the M1 northbound. Exit at J10 Drogheda North and onto the N51 towards Slane. Follow signs to the Pink Car Park. You are on the PINK ROUTE for exit.
From the midlands, be aware that the N52 is closed between Mullingar and Delvin for roadworks so give yourself extra time to get to the event. Via the N4 or Mullingar, follow the N52 diversions towards Kells before taking the Kells/Slane Rd (R163) to the Red Car Park. You are on the RED ROUTE for entry and exit.
From Northern Ireland via the M1/Dundalk, exit at J12 Dunleer and on to Slane via Collon (R169/N2). You are on the BLUE ROUTE for entry and exit.
From Northern Ireland via the N2/Monaghan/Ardee, note that rolling road closures will be in place along the N2 between Carrickmaross and Ardee from 2pm to 3pm for An Post Rás. Ardee village will also be closed until 4:30pm. Anyone travelling to Slane during this period is advised to divert via the N33 Link Rd and M1, before following the M1 directions above. Outside this period, travel south through Ardee and Collon towards Slane. Gardaí will direct you right at Balrenny Cross towards Grangegeeth before turning left again into Car Park 6.
From the west, again note that the N52 is closed between Mulligar and Delvin for roadworks, so take the following as an alternative: travel east towards Cavan and follow the N3/M3 south before exiting at J9 Navan North. From there, travel along the N51 to Slane and into the Red Car Park. You are on the RED ROUTE for exit.
From Galway, travel east along the M6 before exiting at J2 Kinnegad West onto the Old N4 (R148) through Clonard. Just after the village, take the Trim Rd (R160) and then continue towards Navan (R161). Follow signage for Slane along the N51 to Car Park 4. You are on the RED ROUTE for entry and exit.
From Limerick, take the M7 to Dublin and travel along the M50 northbound before exiting at J6 Blanchardstown onto the M3 outbound. Continue north and exit at J9 Navan North onto the N51 towards Slane and the Red Car Park. You are on the RED ROUTE for entry and exit.
From Cork, take the M8/M7 to Dublin before following the Limerick directions above. You are on the RED ROUTE for entry and exit.
From Dublin, Marathon Coaches depart Custom House Quay at every 30 minutes between 11am and 5pm. You will be dropped off on the Green Route into the venue. A return service from Slane will leave directly after the concert from the Dublin Transport Hub (closest bus stop to the concert) to O’Connell St. Tickets are priced at €25 or €30 depending when you buy them: www.bushiredublin.net
Dublin Bus will depart every 15 minutes between midday and 5pm, from Parnell Square West outside the Rotunda Hospital. You will be dropped off on the Green Route into the venue. A return service will depart from Slane straight after the concert from Dublin Transport Hub (closest bus stop to the concert). Tickets are priced €30 plus booking fee when purchased in advance from Ticketmaster outlets or online. You can contact them by phone on (01) 8734222 for information.
Bus Éireann will be providing a shuttle service from Navan to Slane departing every 30 minutes between 1:30pm and 7pm. A return service will operate every 20 minutes between 10pm and 12:40am. Both will operate via the Red Coach Park. Tickets are €5 single and €10 return and can be purchased from the bus driver.
Kelly Travel have five routes which are as follows:
Route 1 – Limerick (9am departure), Nenagh, Roscrea
Route 2 – Pallasgreen (8:30am departure), Tipperary (Abbey St), Cashel, Portlaoise
Route 3 – Cork (9am departure from St. Patrick’s Quay), Mitchelstown, Cahir
Route 4 – Birr (10am departure from Loughnanes Service Station), Tullamore, Kilbeggan
Route 5 – Shannon (8:30am departure from the Oakwood Arms Hotel), Ennis, Gort, Loughrea
Return services will be 30 minutes after the concert via the designated coach park. Bookings can be made online or by phoning 061384422.
Irish Concert Travel will be providing five routes to the concert:
Route 1 – Sligo (9am departure, Markievicz Rd), Collooney, Carrick on Shannon, Longford, Mullingar
Route 2 – Castlebar (8:30am departure, Stephen Garvey Way), Castlerea, Roscommon
Route 3 – Dublin (departures from 3Arena, North Wall Quay at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm)
Route 4 – Donegal Town (departure 9am, Quay St), Ballyshannon, Cavan
Route 5 – Galway Cathedral (departure at 9:45am), Galway Plaza, Athlone
Pick-up afterwards will be at the original drop-off point 40 minutes after the concert.
Tickets and further details can be found here.
Translink services will depart the Europa Bus Centre in Belfast at 10am with tickets priced at £28. A return service will be provided following the concert (check with your driver upon arrival in Slane for the departure point). Tickets must be purchased in advance online.
Services from Derry’s Foyle St Bus Centre depart at 10am and stop in Strabane and Omagh on the way. Tickets are between £30 and £33. A return service will be provided following the concert (check with your driver upon arrival in Slane for the departure point). Tickets must be purchased in advance online.
Finnegan Bray services will depart from Main St, Bray (opposite the Royal Hotel) at midday. Pick-up will be one hour after the concert at the Blue Coach Park.
Tickets are €40 return and are available by calling 01-2860061.
Gates are expected to open at 2pm and no queuing will be permitted. This time is subject to change though, so keep an eye on the MCD website for the latest information.
There will be limited ATM facilities available so you are strongly advised however to bring cash with you.
The Gardaí have produced a website with lots of useful information – it’s here.
AA Membership is available for as little as €8.25 per month and offers 24/7 emergency cover so we’ll never see you stuck. See here for more.