Mountcharles: 'surprised'

Lord Henry Mountcharles has officially confirmed that next year's Slane concert will go ahead with negotiations to secure a headline act set to conclude soon.

The owner of Slane Castle was forced to cancel this year's event when he could not find a big-name act he liked, but he said Slane 2011 has been confirmed and will be the biggest yet as the venue celebrates its 30th anniversary.

"I can say that there will definitely be a concert next year and it will be big due to the fact it is our 30th anniversary since the first concert. We are working on all the plans at the moment."

Mountcharles said that while he was not in a position to reveal the headline act as of yet, concert-goers "might be surprised" by the choice.

He also said he was further prompted into the decision after seeing dozens of online petitions.

"I saw all the petitions on Facebook and on the internet and I'm glad that people wanted to see the concert back. I do watch the opinions of people out there and try to keep my ear as close to the ground as possible. It was a very difficult decision for me to make when this year's concert was cancelled.

"A lot of people did not understand that you need to find the right headline act... There were no acts which I was comfortable with and so I said we would take this year out."

Last year's sell-out concert, which was headlined by Oasis, was beset with problems, prompting a review of security arrangements and transport. Approximately 80,000 revellers filled the venue, but a number of fans said they could not get in or out for over two and a half hours because of a narrow entry path, while there were also reports of people sleeping at the side of the road because they could not get on a bus.

Mountcharles admitted at the time that there had been serious issues with the concert.