On the 6th of July, 1980, Bob Marley played the now historic concert at Dalymount Park on Dublin’s north side, at that time the home of the soccer club Bohs. Rumours abound that Bob had a kickaround before the concert. Dublin was only starting to experience major music acts and Bob Marley was a major attraction. A local band, Bagatelle, set the scene with their classic “Summer in Dublin,” an enduring romantic ballad about the city. The main support act The Average White Band was cancelled, and this caused a lot of confusion outside the gig as the promoters were advising customers when they entered the grounds, offering refunds of the £7 admission charge. No takers, so it was obvious everyone was there to see Bob. A crowd who had gathered outside the event were let in for free halfway through the concert.
The replacement support act was Ronnie Lane and Friends, who did a short set. Ronnie was at this time suffering from MS. The I Threes did a warm up before Bob arrived on stage. He was promoting his Uprising album and played most of the tracks during the first half of the concert. I was reminded by one of the comments on YouTube that “Redemption Song” got a special dedication to the Irish struggle. He was quite animated on stage, and the photographs I took show this clearly. There were no obvious signs he was unwell. I believe this was the last outdoor concert before his untimely death.
From a photographer’s perspective, I was badly placed in the middle of the crowd, and with so much dancing around me it was difficult to get sharp images with a long lens. I got a few good ones and only ever displayed these online. Recently one of the Marley websites asked me to put all the images from the gig up, which I did and got a very positive response from Marley fans all over the world. I have them on Flickr and on YouTube. I have them listed as non-commercial share alike, which has meant they’ve been used on blogs and websites all over the world by Marley fans. Proud to say they have also been used on some special Marley projects worldwide..
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