Tennent’s Vital set to rock city from today

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It has been a year in preparation, and workmen have been toiling on site for weeks.

Later today the gates will be flung open at the first of the annual two-day Tennent’s Vital concerts, drawing a huge stream of revellers to south Belfast across today and Sunday.

Jim Cummings enjoys a Tennents Vital Cupcake.

Jim Cummings enjoys a Tennents Vital Cupcake.

Though smaller than last year, when it ran over three days, it is still expected to bring 50,000 concert-goers to Boucher Road playing fields over both days combined.

Yesterday workmen were putting the finishing touches to the rigging as ominous grey clouds hovered overhead.

But by this evening the gigantic open venue will be heaving with gig-goers as Bastille and headline act The Killers take to the stage – with the Met Office predicting that the weather from 7pm onwards should be sunny.

Though it has been running since 2002, is the third year the concert has been held at its present location.

The organisers said 400 stewards will be on duty for security, and pledged that there will be no repeat of the 2012 sound fiasco, when residents as far away as Comber had complained that they could hear the concert from their homes.

Last year they re-aligned the stage to solve the problem, and spokeswoman Sarah Shimmons said that it should present no issues again this year.

Mrs Shimmons, from Tennent’s NI, said: “We’re really excited – we can’t wait for it.

“It’s such a big gig this year. We’ve added in a few extras this year such as the Ferris wheel that we have on site.”

She said among the other novelties will be scratchcards that will be given away, with prizes including free pints of beer.

Asked how big a logistical undertaking it is, she said: “It’s massive. A lot of people have been here for maybe two weeks already.

“We ourselves would be working on this year-round; it’s a year-round job for some of us...

“It really comes alive when consumers get here, so we’re really looking forward to the doors opening at around five o’clock”.

Translink will be running special train, bus and coach services for the gigs – but reminded concert-goers that drink will not be permitted on board.

For details, see: www.translink.co.uk/tennentsvital or call (028)90 666630.

The second of the two gigs will see dance music superstar David Guetta headline the concert, backed up by Steve Angello (formerly of Swedish House Mafia).

The gates will open slightly earlier, at 4pm.

Tickets cost £49.50, and are still available for both of the concerts.

For more information, see www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

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