U2 are in Dublin to play to a quarter of a million fans in their home city this weekend.
'It's pretty amazing that we are back here 20 years after playing Croke Park for the first time.' said Manager Paul McGuinness. 'That was a special day for us - but what I remember most is a guy walking across the roof of one of the old stands with a six-pack in his hands. 'We thought he was going to fall off but there was no way he was going to come down from there.'
The hometown shows, he added, are always 'a bit special for the band'. 'They are coming back here to Croke Park 20 years later, bigger than they ever were, making better music than they ever did.
'It's good to go all over the world and be successful, but it's very important to be able to come home and do the scale of shows that we are doing this weekend.'
And Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam are really up for the three shows in Dublin: 'The stadium gigs tend to bring out the gladiatorial spirit in Bono especially - I think this weekend's going to be incredible for everybody.'
On U2.Com we'll be bringing you regular updates in the lead-up to the first show and over the course of the weekend.
Check our review of the first Dublin show here
Check set list of second show here
Meantime here's a few starters - and some useful information.
For those of you lucky enough to have tickets, the Irish police have issued traffic advice for the three show days. 'Concert goers are advised to check which part of the stadium their tickets are for and to follow the colour-coded signs to the area...' More here
More detail (really, lots and lots more) on routes and travel at the foot of this story.
There are six different acts playing with U2 over the three shows. Here's what kind of time you can expect the different bands to perform - subject to last minute changes of course.
24 June 2005
15:00 - Doors
18:15 - Radiators
19:30 - Snow Patrol
20:30 - U2
25 June 2005
15:00 - Doors
18:15 - The Thrills
19:30 - Paddy Casey
20:30 - U2
27 June 2005
15:00 - Doors
18:15 - The Bravery
19:30 - Ash
20:30 - U2
You can read more on The Thrills, Snow Patrol and Paddy Casey in our ever-expanding 'beginners guide'
section which lists some of the great acts playing with the band this summer.
You might not have heard of The Radiators (Plan 9) but they have a unique connection with the band - and they're playing support on Friday night. Their main mover is none other than Steve Averill who has designed almost everything U2 related for the past quarter century - as well as laying claim to coming up with the name 'U2' itself. Check our new interview with Steve.
U2 last played in Dublin four years ago, on the Elevation Tour. Check this report
and if you've got some spare time, you could go further and see where else
- and when - they have played in their home city down the years.
Keep checking back for the latest on U2 in Dublin in 2005.
(Detailed travel and ticketing information courtesy of Ticketmaster as follows)
Entrance To Croke Park
Plan your approach to Croke Park based on the following:
* Ticket holders for the Cusack Stand enter via James Avenue and Foster Terrace
* Ticket holders for the Hogan Stand enter via Jones Road
* Ticket holders for the Canal Stand enter via Jones Road
* Ticket holders for the Pitch enter via James Avenue and Foster Terrace.
* Please note there is no access to the Pitch from Jones Road
Please note the colour of your entrance route to Croke Park as printed on your ticket. Follow the colour coded signage posted on the approach roads to Croke Park.
Special Need Information
* If you have bought a wheelchair ticket for the U2 shows at Croke Park, it will be for the usual Croke Park designated accessible spaces. However you can choose whether you wish to sit there or on the pitch on a wheelchair platform.
* Special Needs parking will be available in the Clonliffe College car park and access to Croke Park is via the Red or Green Route, to gate A2 in the Cusack Stand. There will be a booth just inside gate A2 at which you can choose to swap your ticket for a ticket for the pitch, which will give access to the wheelchair platform.
* A personal assistant will beadmitted for free but must be in possession of a complimentary ticket issued by Ticketmaster. Inorder to facilitate as many wheelchair users as possible, we request that, wherever possible,personal assistants stand in the protected area in front of the wheelchair platform. This area canalso be used by any ambulant person with special needs, in possession of a standing ticket who would feel more comfortable in a protected area. You may bring one companion in with you and entry will beon a first come first served basis.
* Users of the pitch wheelchair platform will be able to use the accessible portaloos on the ground floor under the Canal End.
Garda Traffic Plan - Pre Event 09:00 to 01:00am
* From 9am each morning atraffic restriction cordon will be set up, similar to match days at CrokePark.
* Clonliffe Road will have restricted access atthe junctions of Lower Drumcondra Road and also at Ballybough Road
* The junctions at Fitzroy avenue and Whitworth Place with Lower Drumcondra will alsohave restricted access
* The following junctions withthe North Circular Road will have restricted access - Lower Sherrard Street, Belvedere Avenue,Portland Street North, Russell Street, St. Margarets Avenue, North Richmond Street.
* The following junctions with Ballybough Road willhave restricted access - Sackville Avenue, Fosters Avenue, Clonliffe Road, O'SullivansAvenue.
Garda Traffic Plan - Post Event 22:45 to 01:00am
* From 10.45 an outer traffic cordon will be put in place to deal with the safe exitof patrons from the stadium after the event
* The Following Restrictions will apply to traffic
* All city bound traffic coming from the Marino / Fairview area will useFairview to North Strand Route, all outbound traffic will use Amiens Street to North Strand Route.Summerhill, Ballybough and Fairview Strand will be closed
* North Circular Road will be closed to the junction with Dorset Street Lower to thejunction with Amiens Street. Gardiner Street will be used as an alternative route to and from thecity
* Drumcondra Road Lower will beclosed from the junction of Whitworth Road to Botanic Avenue. All Inbound and outbound traffic willbe diverted via Harts Corner - Botanic Road.
Private Coach - Drop and Park Plan
Two areas have been designated for private buses intending to drop concert goers and park up for the duration of the concert.
The south side of the square will be completely blocked off for private coach parking. The east and north sides will also be used. Parking will be available for approximately 50 coaches.
Both sides of Popular Row will be used to facilitate private coach parking.
These arrangements will be made on a first come first served basis.
Bus and Coach Drop and Go Plan
Both sides of Gardiner Street along Mountjoy Square are designated as the drop and go area for buses and coaches. This will not be used as a collection area after the event. Any operators using this facility must make prior arrangement with their passengers for collection bearing in mind the post event traffic plan.
Admittance Through Garda Cordon
* All concert goers must be in the possesion of a valid concert ticket before they willbe allowed to proceed through the ticket checks at the Garda Cordon.
* All areas of the stadium have a designated point of entry and people should be awareof their route of entry.
* Patrons in possesion of alcohol orarticles likely to cause harm or annoyance will be seized at the Garda cordon
* Use Public Transport
* Note that the concert is an outdoor event and you should dress for the appropriate weather.
* Respect the property and privacy of residents in the vicinity of Croke Park.
* Please co-operate with stewards and Gardai and follow any loud speaker announcements for your safety.
* At the end of the concert please exit the venue the way you came in.
* For your own safety please move slowly and quietly when exiting the venue and co-operate with the stewards directions
* Note that official merchandising will only be available inside the grounds