Slane Castle concert is cancelled as host baulks at 'half-baked scenario'

MUSIC fans were disappointed yesterday when one of Ireland's top summer concerts was cancelled.

The owner of Slane Castle in County Meath said it was not easy to axe the renowned Slane Concert, which has been running since 1981.

Lord Henry Mount Charles had set aside 28 August as a date, and speculation focused on whether top international acts Kings of Leon and AC/DC would appear.

However, he said there will not be a Slane in 2010.

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He added: "I'm sorry that people are disappointed. But it would be much, much worse to put a half-baked scenario together. I just won't do it. I've been too long in the game. I'm very proud of Slane as a venue. It has an international reputation."

That reputation suffered a knock last year when fans flooded internet message boards and radio phone-ins complaining about transport delays, queues and overcrowding at the concert, headlined by Oasis.

Concert promoters MCD insisted the capacity of 80,000 people had not been breached. Mount Charles did not specifically say why he cancelled the concert this year, but told Irish state broadcaster RTE Radio: "You can't do things if it doesn't feel right. In my skin it didn't feel right, so I'm very sorry but that's the decision that's been made."

He said he was aware of the campaigns by fans to have Kings of Leon and AC/DC play at the venue, adding: "I can assure people that both those bands are very much up there to play Slane at some date in the future and possibly even in the quite near future, but not in 2010."

The concert was cancelled in 2005 when Eminem pulled out. There were also no gigs in 2006 and 2008.

Asked if there would be a concert in 2011, the concert's 30th anniversary, Mount Charles said nothing was certain, but added the "30th anniversary is a big, big deal".