Edinburgh’s big weekend: City braced for massive influx as Stones arrive

The Rolling Stones are coming to Edinburgh
The Rolling Stones are coming to Edinburgh
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AS the rock legends’ customised jet touched down in the Capital, gig organisers provided fans with a checklist for the big night.

The plane, daubed with their instantly recognisable Tongue and Lips design by John Pasche, taxied to the terminal yesterday.

With security tight and searches certain, concert goers are being warned not to bring big bags with them.

Only bags under A5 size will be allowed into the stadium – while stadium bosses are warning no left luggage facilities will be laid on.

Fans are being advised to arrive at Murrayfield in plenty of time.

Security searches will mean there may be queues at turnstiles.

Banned items include umbrellas – though the weather forecast is good – and liquid containers such as perfume bottles and water.

With extra trams laid on, travelling by public transport is advised. No parking will be available in or around BT Murrayfield.

Haymarket train station and the West End are walkable from the stadium after the concert – which might be quicker than waiting for a tram.

Speculation is rife, meanwhile, as to what will make up the band’s playlist.

Their last outing in Manchester on Tuesday was a tour de force through their back catalogue of classics.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It) and Let’s Spend the Night Together all made the cut.

As did You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Paint It Black and Honky Tonk Women – transporting fans back to their heroes’ prime.

There was also a classic eponymous cover thrown in for good measure – Like a Rolling Stone by fellow 60s legend Bob Dylan.

Sympathy for the Devil, Start Me Up and Brown Sugar built to the finale, while an encore of Gimme Shelter and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction closed proceedings.

ANYONE in a last-minute rush to see the Stones can get some satisfaction – tickets are still available in every section of the stadium from the band’s own website.

Tickets range from £59.95 in the upper tier all the way to £249.95 in the premium golden circle, where you’ll be able to see every wrinkle on Mick Jagger’s time-worn face.

General admission tickets, which are still available, will set you back £89.95 each, plus a £10.50 service charge, meaning a pair will cost a total of £200.90 to see the legendary rockers.

Single tickets are only available in two sections of the stadium – lower tier C and B.

READ MORE: Rolling Stones plane touches down at Edinburgh Airport

It comes after the Evening News revealed this week that touts are selling tickets for up to four times their face value.

But although visitors can avoid paying rip off prices for tickets, many may have to pay an arm and a leg for a hotel.

Scores of hotels across the city have raised their prices in anticipation of a fan influx, with many increasing prices for single and double rooms by hundreds of pounds.

The cheapest price available for a single room at the Raddison Blu Hotel on the Royal Mile was £507 yesterday, up two-thirds on the lowest prices available next weekend.

Similarly, the west end’s Hampton Hotel was charging rooms upwards from £344, a 94 per cent difference from this Saturday to the following weekend.

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THOUSANDS of revellers, fundraisers and campaigners heading to the Capital this weekend are being issued urgent travel advice by transport chiefs.

More train carriages and trams are being laid on while some roads are closed and buses diverted as the city creaks under a host of popular events.

The wrinkly rockers play Murrayfield on Saturday, the same night as the Moonwalk charity event in Holyrood Park, while Sunday sees a massive procession in the Meadows.

City transport convenor, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “We want everyone coming to Edinburgh to have a great experience and a weekend to remember.

“For many others in the city, however, it will be business as usual and we want them to have as little disruption as possible.

READ MORE: Rolling Stones in Edinburgh: Everything you need to know

“The event organisers have put an enormous amount of effort towards these aims, for which we are very grateful.

“We are encouraging everyone to plan their journey, build in enough time and to be flexible, especially as it is predicted that thousands of people will be in the city centre to enjoy the Rolling Stones, the Moonwalk and the other events on offer.

“On Sunday, the city will be particularly busy, as there will be diversions in place and additional congestion on the roads.

“Participants are strongly advised to plan ahead, expect diversions and use public transport or walk and bike, wherever possible.”

More than 50,000 fans are expected to flock to Murrayfield to see the Stones’ first gig at the venue for nearly 20 years.

Stadium bosses have warned no parking will be available and have been advised to turn up early with searches and queuing likely amid tight security.

Tram bosses have announced services every three minutes on Saturday, as opposed to every seven as usual, with the last tram extended to 1am.

The Robbie Williams gig at Murrayfield last year saw the number of tram passengers double on the day.

Sarah Singh, operations manager at Edinburgh Trams, explained: “We’re extending our service beyond midnight to ensure concert goers can get home safely after what promises to be a fantastic show.

“As well as choosing from a range of fares that offer fantastic value for money, Rolling Stones fans can also avoid the traffic and the hassle of finding a parking space close to the stadium by taking the tram.”

On the same night, the MoonWalk will see thousands of walkers take to Holyrood Park to raise money for breast cancer research.

READ MORE: Let’s Spend the Night Together: How you can still see Rolling Stones in Edinburgh

And the following afternoon, Edinburgh will join other major cities in hosting a Processions event – a mass commemoration of women winning the right to vote.

Anyone making journeys to and from these events and into the city centre over the weekend is being warned of delays and to check travel advice.

Councillor Amy McNeese Mechan, the city’s vice-convener for culture and communities, will join thousands of others at the Processions event in the Meadows.

“On Sunday, thousands of women and girls will unite in Edinburgh to process, carry banners and fly the flag for women’s rights,” said Cllr McNeese Mechan.

“Together, we will commemorate the incredible perseverance and bravery of those women who fought for the right to vote and marched through the city’s streets. It will feel all the more poignant to walk along the same street Scotland’s suffragettes marched down over 100 years ago.”

Organisers predict that 10,000 participants and spectators will attend the poignant commemoration.

Council bosses sought to reassure the public that support has been given to organisers of the Processions and Moonwalk parades in trying to manage security and public safety.

Measures have been taken also in a bid to minimise disruption to public transport and traffic. Other smaller events taking place in the city this weekend include the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, the West End Classic Car show and the Leith Festival Gala Day.

Others will be heading out of the city too, as Hampden Park hosts a huge Beyoncé and Jay-Z show.

ScotRail assured added carriages on trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as on trains between Glasgow Central and Mount Florida – the closest station to Hampden Park.

Queuing systems will be in place at Glasgow Central before the concert, as well as at Haymarket and Mount Florida stations afterwards.

Fans are also being advised to get to the station as quickly as possible after the event finishes and join the queues as the last services of the evening will depart soon after and are expected to be exceptionally busy.

ScotRail Alliance head of customer experience Graham Heald said: “We’re looking forward to helping fans get to these massive concerts by train this weekend.

“To help things run smoothly, we’re adding extra carriages between our biggest cities, as well as to Hampden, so that we can get everyone where they need to be.”