Northern Ireland football supporters will have to wait until this morning to discover if they will be able to watch this weekend’s Euro 2016 match in the massive Fan Zone at Titanic Belfast.
All three of the team’s games at Euro 2016 in France so far have been televised live at the venue, supported by huge crowds of fans who were not able to join their compatriots in France.
But with Titanic due to host the Belsonic music festival this weekend, it looks unlikely that the football fans could be accommodated in the same area when the first music acts are due to take to the stage early in the evening.
Last night’s 1-0 victory for the Republic of Ireland over Italy means Martin O’Neill’s men leapfrog Northern Ireland in the third placed team standings and will play France in Lyon on Sunday at 2pm – a game that would also have been screened at Titanic but now occurs just hours before the Belsonic concert.
Northern Ireland will play Wales on Saturday at 5pm.
A spokesman for Belsonic said they have been thrilled by the success of the Fan Zone during Euro 2016 and wanted to put off making any announcement until a clearer picture emerged following the outcome of last night’s Republic march, and the game between Portugal and Iceland.
“We won’t be making any comment today,” he said yesterday.
“The Titanic Fan Zone has been a massive success and we want to look at all options. It has been a huge success and has been massive for the country.”
He added: “Obviously Belsonic is happening on Saturday and Sunday so we want to make sure all aspects of this have been considered before making an announcement.”
A final decision is expected this morning, he said.
“The Fan Zone has been an absolutely overwhelming success for the country and we are so happy to be part of that.
“We will endeavour to look at all the options,” the spokesman added.
Northern Ireland’s third and final group match against world champions Germany saw the largest crowd at Titanic of them all, with more than 13,000 people packed onto the slipways where the famous liner was built.
There were also hearty renditions of ‘We’re the Ulster boys making all the noise’ and ‘We’re not Brazil, we’re Northern Ireland.’
Biffy Clyro is the headline act at Belsonic on Saturday, supported by Lonely The Brave and Vant.
David Guetta will close Sunday night’s entertainment – taking to the stage after Robin Schulz and Jonas Blue.
Both concerts are due to start at 6.30pm.