Northern Ireland news

Snow Patrol: Thousands to descend on Bangor for Ward Park 3

Snow Patrol are will play to 35,000 fans at Ward Park in Bangor tomorrow
Marie Louise McConville

THOUSANDS of music fans are expected to descend on Bangor on Saturday to watch home-grown heroes Snow Patrol and a host of other Northern Ireland music talent take to the stage at Ward Park.

Support acts including Two Door Cinema Club, Foy Vance - both with links to Bangor - and Ash, from Downpatrick, are due on stage from 5.30pm while headliners Snow Patrol, are expected on stage at 9pm.

It will be third gig for Snow Patrol - who are celebrating 25 years together as a band - at Ward Park having previously headlined in 2010 and 2007.

Final preparations were today taking place at the venue where dressing rooms were being set up and security and safety arrangements were being finalised for the gig which is expected to attract up to 35,000 music fans.

The stage for Ward Park 3 is the height of an eight-storey house. Picture: Hugh Russell

More than 1200 people have come together to make the concert happen, including 300 bar staff, 200 catering staff, 450 security staff, 100 site crew and around 100 production staff.

There venue boasts two bars, 36 catering outlets and around 500 portaloos.

In planning since Christmas, on site will be a full medical team, including an A&E consultant, an electrical engineer and a structural engineer.

The stage, which has taken 10 days to build, is the height of an eight-storey property, while the number of generators on site is enough to "power a small town".

Paul Scott, Event Controller, at Ward Park yesterday. Picture by Hugh Russell

Those attending the gig have been advised to use public transport with Translink running special train and coach services.

Car parking is available at Bloomfield Playing Fields and Valentine’s Playing Fields.

Ticket holders have also been warned that "stringent security check.

Paul Scott, Event Controller, said organising such a concert is a massive operation, including two bridges having to be constructed over streams at the site in recent days.

Final preparations for Ward Park 3. Picture: Hugh Russell

Mr Scott said draft plans were developed to determine how to get 35,000 fans into Bangor, car parking arrangements and then "figure out how we process them into site and look after them on site, feed them, keep them safe".

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody is also lined up to take part in a walk from Belfast to Derry in memory of murdered journalist, Lyra McKee.

It will set off today from Belfast's Writer's Square and finish up 68 miles later in Derry on Monday afternoon.

Lightbody will join the walk in the final leg at Dungiven and is expected to speak at the finale event at Ebrington Square in Derry.

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