Music

When Queen headlined Slane Castle

 Flamboyant Queen frontman Freddie Mercury on stage. Pictures by Hugh Russell
Liz Trainor

IT'S hard to believe it was almost 33 years ago, but these pictures capture Queen on the band's final tour with Freddie Mercury as lead singer.

Delving through the archives we have uncovered some of the most memorable images from Queen's iconic 1986 Slane Castle concert.

The flamboyant frontman, who was gifted with one of the greatest voices in rock, died on November 24 1991 from bronchial pneumonia resulting from Aids.

The 45-year-old rock star only revealed his condition to the public in the hours before his death

With Mercury back in the spotlight with the box office hit biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, we look back at the chart-topping rock band's biggest ever gig in Ireland - the Slane Castle concert on July 5 1986.

The band played to an estimated 80,000-strong crowd. A somewhat raucous affair, there were around 70 arrests when some fans broke through a barrier in a bid to get backstage. A total of 600 security guards and 1,000 Gardaí were on duty at the concert to quell trouble. 

 The 80,000-strong crowd at Slane to see Queen in 1986. Picture by Hugh Russell.

Other bands on the day included The Hits, Chris Rea, The Fountainhead and The Bangles.

Queen drummer Roger Taylor recalled how the Slane concert, which formed part of the band's Magic Tour, was "really hairy".

 Guitarist Brian May. Picture by Hugh Russell

"That one was pretty hairy, from what I remember," he told the Irish Independent in 2013.

"I mean really hairy. The size of the crowd was incredible. There was so much mud and drunkenness. Freddie stopped the show at one point. People had been there for hours and dehydrated from drinking. Well, it's rock 'n' roll, isn't it?"

 Always the showman....Freddie Mercury. Picture by Hugh Russell

 Freddie Mercury on what would be his final tour with the band. Picture by Hugh Russell

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Music

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope: