Vital revellers asked to ‘keep safe’

Staging area for this year's Belfast Vital
Staging area for this year's Belfast Vital
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Police have appealed for the 40,000 attending the Vital / Foo Fighters concert at the Boucher playing fields in south Belfast tonight (19 August) to respect the law and keep safe.

Chief Inspector Stephen McCauley said: “Police have been working in partnership with the event organisers and various agencies over the last number of months in planning for the Vital concerts and we want everyone attending to enjoy the music, have a good time, to stay safe and respect the local community.

“We are also encouraging those who are planning on attending the concerts to plan their journey to and from the concerts in advance. Once again, we are also asking parents and guardians to speak with their young people who are attending to ensure that they behave responsibly, not only while they are at the event, but particularly when they are travelling to and from it.

“Anyone planning on driving to the event is advised to park their vehicle legally and to ensure that it is not obstructing the driveway of a residential property. Also, if you are planning on drinking at the concert, please do not drive. It only takes one drink to impair your decision making ability. The only right decision is to leave the car at home if you’re drinking.

“If you are going to drink, please do so responsibly as drunk people can be more vulnerable to becoming involved in crime, or tragically ending up the victim of crime. Our message is that we want people to enjoy the concert responsibly.

“If you are planning on getting a lift home after the concert with a friend or relative, please be advised that the concert organisers have applied for a series of road closures, which will see BOTH motorway offslips at Stockmans Lane / Kennedy Way will be closed between 10pm and midnight – with traffic diverted via the Broadway roundabout.

“Boucher Road and Stockmans Lane will also be closed to traffic between 10pm and midnight at the latest. Again, ‘Pick ups’ should be arranged at locations well away from the Event site. Motorists must comply with directions of police officers and any mobile variable message signs or overhead gantrys on the Westlink/ M1.

“This is to ensure the safe exit of people from the venue. Please agree your collection points bearing in mind that this road will be closed to through traffic which may cause disruption to traffic in the area.”

Chief Inspector McCauley also reminded concert goers to be respectful of the law and mindful of the consequences of breaking the law.

“Being drunk in a public place can attract a court fine of up to £250, with the potential for a criminal record,” he said. “Police can also issue a fixed penalty of £40 for being drunk in a public place and £80 for disorderly behaviour or behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace.

“We will also have our specialist drugs dogs on duty, who are incredibly effective at detecting even the smallest amounts of drugs.

“We want to see everyone attending these concerts not only enjoying themselves but also obeying the law, acting responsibly and staying safe.”

Motorists whould be aware that BOTH motorway offslips at Stockmans Lane / Kennedy Way will be closed between 10pm and midnight – with traffic diverted via the Broadway roundabout.

Boucher Road and Stockmans Lane will also be closed to traffic between 10pm and midnight at the latest. Again, ‘Pick ups’ should be arranged at locations well away from the Event site. Motorists must comply with directions of police officers and any mobile variable message signs or overhead gantrys on Westlink/ M1.

For more information on the concert or how to access the event, visit www.mcd.ie