65,000 to descend on Belfast this weekend for Tennent’s Vital

Jazz, the PSNI K9 unit drug sniffer dog, will be on patrol with her handler
Jazz, the PSNI K9 unit drug sniffer dog, will be on patrol with her handler

A staggering 65,000 people are set to descend on the Tennent’s Vital festival site in Belfast this weekend.

Rock, pop and dance music lovers will see acts such as superstar DJ Calvin Harris and pop princess Ellie Goulding take to the stage on Saturday night, while Irish rockers The Script and Kodaline are set to close the festival at the Boucher Road Playing Fields on Sunday night.

According to organisers MCD, the event is set to be one of the biggest outdoor festivals Belfast has seen in a number of years.

The PSNI are keen to ensure the massive event passes off without incident.

Speaking at the site yesterday, Superintendent Bobby Singleton said while the event was going to mean a “huge public safety operation” for the PSNI, they were “looking forward to it”.

However, he added that many measures were being put in place to reduce illegal drinking and drug taking.

“Police want everyone attending this year’s concerts to enjoy the music, have a good time, but most importantly, to stay safe.

“If you are going to drink, please do so responsibly. We will also have our specialist drugs dogs on duty,

“We’ll be monitoring coaches approaching the venue. Drinking on buses is illegal and can pose a major road safety risk by distracting the driver. We will also confiscate alcohol from anyone under 18 years of age.”

People travelling to and from the playing fields are being asked to plan their journeys in advance and Translink are increasing their service provision across the weekend.

Ursula Kelleher from Translink said: “With Balmoral Train Station situated close to Boucher Road Playing Fields, we will operate late night NI Railways services from Balmoral in both directions travelling as far as Portadown and Coleraine.

“Special festival coaches will run from locations right across Northern Ireland, and there will also be a Metro shuttle bus service travelling between Belfast City Centre and Boucher Crescent on each concert day.”

Also performing are John Newman, Disciples, and Burns on Saturday, and Clean Bandit, Annie Mac and Jack Savoretti on Sunday.

There will also be an 80 metre (262ft) Tennent’s bar stretching across the site.