Bob Marley Gig July 6th 1980

Bob Marley’s last outdoor concert before his death at the age of 36 was at Dalymount Park on Sunday July 6 1980.

It was a novelty at the time, something nobody was used to – a stadium gig in Ireland. There was a big stage at one end of the football pitch and the backdrop for the stage was a large Haile Selassie image.

Almost 25,000 people showed up and tickets had been priced at £7, this was less than originally planned as Bob made clear in a letter to the promoter that he did not want prices to be too high.

About 20,000 tickets were sold and it is estimated that there were about 5,000 counterfeits. In those days in Ireland, tickets were printed on normal printers with no watermarks and Dublin had plenty of opportunistic music fans.

The MC on the day, Dave Fanning recalls that when the stage was being set up, Bob Marley, the band and some roadies started playing football on the pitch with jumpers on the grass for goalposts.

Bob played a two-hour set with his band and the I Threes (female backing singers). It was a bright sunny afternoon gig in which he referred to “solidarity with Ireland” before playing Redemption Song.

It was his only ever Irish show and legendary in Ireland and part of the rich history of Dalymount and Bohemian Football Club.

Inside the stadium is a large painted mural of Marley by artist Niall O’Lochlainn.

Website by Simon Alcock