A CO Down man is campaigning against plans to bring controversial rapper Eminem to Northern Ireland.
The Tennent’s Vital festival is set to take place in Ward Park, Bangor, on August 24. It is set to be headlined by Eminem, with Jimmy Eat World, D12 and the Kaiser Chiefs also appearing.
Brian Ashworth appeared before North Down Borough Council last night, objecting to an entertainment licence application for the concert.
He claimed that local residents had been given little information about the plans. He said: “I’ve been round door to door, and there has been very little information about what is being planned. Some nearby residents had candy-coloured leaflet announcements from the concert promoter, but other than that there’s been very little information.
“The lyrics of these songs (Eminem’s) contain some of the foulest, most inappropriate language. There are residential care homes and retired people in the area. I’ve spoken to other councillors, MLAs and politicians. No one is defending the situation except the politicians in Bangor who see the profit-making aspects. What is morally acceptable is being trampled on by financial interests.”
A Snow Patrol concert during 2010 attracted thousands to the area. Mr Ashworth claimed that excessive disruption took place then.
“We had people fighting, urinating in gardens and all sorts of stuff. One 98-year-old woman told me she was so frightened that she called her cousin to take her away from there.”
North Down MLA Peter Weir argued that measures had been put in place to reduce residents’ fears.
He said: “I can understand concerns particularly around noise and disruption. But we’ve had assurances from the concert promoter that noise levels will be kept within the legal levels. Eminem may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t believe that is legally any reason to refuse an entertainment licence.”
Further concerns have been expressed that the concert clashes with the 75th Bangor Missionary Convention, which takes place at Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church.
Mr Weir said: “I think it’s regrettable that the two events are clashing. But bear in mind that while the two events are both in the Woodside area, they are not side by side. The principal acts at the concert won’t be appearing until around 10pm, so there should be little interference with the convention.”