Slane Couldn’t Find Headliner

One of Ireland’s most popular outdoor events won’t be happening in 2010 because it can’t find a headline act.

Henry Mountcharles, the owner of Slane Castle, has told RTE Radio that he would rather miss a year than produce a “half-baked” event.

“I don’t want to get it wrong,” he said. “You can’t do things if it doesn’t feel right and in my skin it didn’t feel right.”

He originally intended to put on a show in the castle’s 80,000-capacity grounds Aug. 28 but abandoned the idea because he couldn’t find an act capable of selling out.

He denied reports that he approached Paul McCartney and AC/DC and wouldn’t divulge who’d been on his wish-list. He did admit to paying some attention to a Facebook campaign to book Kings of Leon.

“I don’t just do it for the sake of doing a gig. This is not easy and I’m sorry that people are disappointed but it would be much, much worse to put a half-baked scenario together,” he explained.

He said he’s taking the “long view” about what’s best for Slane’s reputation, despite the loss of revenue. He also said he turned down “a substantial amount of money” for Bon Jovi to headline in 2005 because they were not “right at the time for the venue.”

Last year’s concert, with Oasis topping the bill, was criticised for transport chaos, long queues and overcrowding. At the time, Mountcharles said he was satisfied that promoter MCD would rectify the problems before the next Slane Castle show.

“There was no overcrowding as a whole. The difficulty was that people congregated at certain areas, particularly at bar three, near the Dublin Road entrance. This prevented other people moving onto the site proper,” Meath County Council spokesman Bill Sweeney told The Sunday Times.

Dublin-based MCD, which admitted there had been “a system failure,” was determined to have not oversold the show.