Electric Picnic organisers denied licence for September festival

Electric Picnic Organisers Denied Licence For September Festival Electric Picnic Organisers Denied Licence For September Festival
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Sarah Slater

Laois County Council have refused to grant Electric Picnic organisers a licence to hold this year’s festival.

In a statement, the Council said they have made the controversial decision due to "the most up-to-date public health advice made available to the Council by the HSE".

The statement added: “Furthermore, it is noted that under current Government measures for the management of Covid-19, events of this nature are restricted to 500 people only.”

The Council has dealt a massive blow to promoters, Festival Republic and MCD, who on Monday gave the local authority a list of 12 reasons why they believe the festival, held in Stradbally, Co Laois, should go ahead late next month.

The promoters wanted to run the festival at full capacity on September 24th-26th, with plans for 70,000 revellers, after last year's event was cancelled due to Covid restrictions.


As part of enhanced safety measures, organisers said only people who were vaccinated would be able to attend the event, adding they would team up with the Department of Health for contact tracing.

The promoters said their proposed measures are even more restrictive than current guidelines surrounding indoor hospitality and large sporting events.

They also highlighted Ireland’s high vaccination rate and the positive outcomes of test events as reasons why the festival should be permitted to go ahead, adding that the live entertainment sector has been hugely impacted by Covid restrictions.

“Three million adults will be double vaccinated by early September, according to the HSE. As of this week there are more people vaccinated in Ireland than the UK, yet in Ireland we are not permitted to produce events,” organisers said.

Laois County Council was required to make a decision on the licence at least four weeks prior to the event, with strong opposition voiced by local councillors.

Earlier this week, councillors called on the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) to provide an urgent recommendation to the Council on whether the event should be given a licence to proceed.

The Government has highlighted the live entertainment and music sectors are in danger of collapse, with a clear plan for their return needed.

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