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Dublin: 20 °C Friday 25 July, 2014

Concert-goers walk hours home after Marlay Park gig (or get lift from pizza delivery man)

Some had to walk along the M50 in order to try and get home.

Win Butler from Arcade Fire
Win Butler from Arcade Fire
Image: AP/Press Association Images

SOME PEOPLE ATTENDING the Arcade Fire and Pixies gig at Marlay Park in Dublin last night found themselves having to walk for hours when they couldn’t access buses or taxis.

In one case, a man got a lift from a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver after he got wind of his difficulty getting home.

The park has a capacity of 32,000 people and is located in Rathfarnham, about 9km (5.5 miles) from the city centre of Dublin.

Getting there

One young woman, who didn’t get home until 2am though she left the concert grounds at 11pm, told TheJournal.ie that there were issues with buses heading into Marlay Park.

“We got to Custom House Quay at 5pm and they said there would be no more buses until 6.30pm,” she said.

They got a taxi and then walked the rest of the way to the venue, as there was a “big queue” for the buses, run by Marathon Sports Travel, with people who had bought tickets online getting priority.

After the concert

At the conclusion of the concert, the person TheJournal.ie spoke to exited by the left of the stage with her friends.

They made their way through the venue grounds and, not finding any buses, ended up exiting by foot onto the M50.

However they were still unable to access a bus or taxi, and walked to the Rathfarnham Road before getting in touch with a taxi firm. They eventually got home at 2am after waiting at a service station for over an hour.

Another concert-goer told us she had to walk for an hour to get a taxi as there were no buses left.

What the transport operators said

In its comprehensive information guide on transport to the concerts, concert promoter MCD said that Marathon Sports Travel would operate a bus service from Customs House at 2pm, 3pm, and every half hour from 4pm.

When TheJournal.ie contacted Marathon Sports Travel, Francis Roche said that nobody who booked a ticket online with them missed a bus.

“We carried all the people [who booked a ticket online],” said Roche.

He said that the “big message” is that:

An awful lot of people just expect that there will be transport there. You can book our transport online with us. If you are going [to Marlay Park], it is a remote site so book in advance. If they book service, they are guaranteed to get service.

On the issue of the buses not running exactly to schedule, he said they had experienced a surge of people after the Dublin match, and that in order to manage expectations they told customers that it might be 6.30pm before they could get a bus.

However, he said that they had “all those people moved by 6pm”. He said the staff did not sell tickets to people unless they realised they would have to wait longer than expected for the bus.

Dublin Bus was also running buses to the venue. A spokesperson said that they put additional buses on their 16c services, with 35 buses in total: 27 bringing people home, and seven going to Marlay park.

“We did supplement the service the best we could,” she said.

That is what we will be doing for all the gigs in Marlay Park this summer, we will be putting on additional buses to deal with the extra people.

On Boards.ie, the issue of public transport to the gig was also discussed, with one user saying that getting home “was a nightmare”.

Some people had journeyed from outside Dublin – one said that she had missed her bus to Cork due to the delays, and had to stay in Dublin.

People were also describing their experiences on Twitter:

arcade 1

Source: Malcolm Rule via Twitter

arcade 2

Source: Kenneth Hayden via Twitter

arcade 3

Source: Barry Quinn via Twiter

arcade 4

Source: Damo Kenny via Twitter

Read: The Pope ripped up a photo of Miley Cyrus at the Arcade Fire gig last night*>

Read: Heading to Arcade Fire tomorrow? Their Glastonbury set had Ireland divided>

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