Take That: The boys are back in town
THERE will be no recession in Dublin this weekend thanks to two performances by pop giants Take That.
Thousands of fans are descending on the capital for Take That's highly anticipated concerts both tonight and tomorrow, and local businesses are bracing themselves for a huge boom.
Just about every hotel room in the capital has been booked out, Irish Rail has been forced to add on extra trains to accommodate those travelling from other parts of the country and nightclubs have beefed up security to cope with the huge numbers expected to attend.
According to the Irish Hotel Federation's website, there is only one hotel room left in Dublin, the penthouse in the Gresham Hotel, which will set you back a cool €2,000.
And Irish Rail has announced the addition of more Intercity, DART and Commuter trains for tonight and tomorrow to cope with the 160,000 ticket holders attending this weekend.
Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams arrived in Dublin early yesterday afternoon and were busy in rehearsals all day, before returning to the Four Seasons Hotel to rest up ahead of tonight.
As first revealed by the Herald, they have booked the entire top floor of the exclusive hotel for both nights.
Although Take That's 2009 Circus tour was also an incredible hit, this year marks their first tour with Robbie Williams in 15 years.
And despite Robbie's panic-filled performance in Croker in 2006, insiders say that they are more prepared than ever to give their fans the show of a lifetime.
Robbie recently revealed: "It was really f***ing scary. Croke Park was waiting for me. I couldn't understand what was happening to me or my body."
But a source put fans' fears at ease and said: "They have done their shows in Manchester and Cardiff and everything seems to be going fine."
In order to accommodate the boys' various different chart success over the years, they will be kicking off as a quartet, with Robbie Williams later taking to the stage to perform some of his solo hits and then finish off as a quintet.
The Pet Shop Boys will be opening tonight and are expected to take to the stage at 7.30pm.
Although Take That spent the majority of their day in soundcheck yesterday, Howard and girlfriend Katie Halil found the time to meet Irish rugby hunk Rob Kearney and his actress girlfriend Susie Amy for dinner at posh restaurant Shanahan's on the Green last night.
Susie jetted into Dublin yesterday alongside a female friend in order to catch up with her beau and will be attending the concert tonight.
Despite the fact that a string of celebrities is expected to descend on the home of GAA tonight, fashionistas face a challenge with the rainy weather predicted for this evening.
Concert promoters MCD are warning ticketholders to dress appropriately, and reminded concert goers that umbrellas will not be permitted.