'Tell us tomorrow and we are on our way': EP organisers plead for green light after CMO comments

'Tell Us Tomorrow And We Are On Our Way': Ep Organisers Plead For Green Light After Cmo Comments 'Tell Us Tomorrow And We Are On Our Way': Ep Organisers Plead For Green Light After Cmo Comments
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said there would not be any major public health concerns regarding a festival going ahead with only fully vaccinated attendees. Photo: PA Archive/PA Images
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The organisers of Electric Picnic have called on Laois County Council to reverse a decision to deny a licence for this year's event, leading to its cancellation.

The plea comes after comments made by chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan at a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon. When asked about restrictions on live events, Dr Holohan said there would not be major public health concerns for an event to go ahead with fully vaccinated attendees only.

The remarks have offered a glimmer of hope to event organisers, who believe this year's festival could still go ahead in Stradbally if the council's decision is overturned quickly.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, Melvin Benn of Festival Republic, one of Electric Picnic's organisers, said: "We are asking Laois County Council to immediately reverse the decision it took to refuse the licence and grant it immediately in line with the CMO's conditions: that everyone attending should be vaccinated, exactly as we said a month ago."

The suggestions Mr Benn references are guidelines put forward by organisers at the start of the month to allow the festival to proceed safely, including that all attendees would also be pre-registered to assist with contact tracing.

"What a springboard to the future this could be," Mr Benn added. "Change the decision Laois County Council and let's have the Picnic. Tell us tomorrow and we are on our way."

There has been mounting anger surrounding restrictions on the live events and entertainment sectors over the last number of weeks, heightened by the large crowds seen at the weekend for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final.

At the time of the decision to refuse to grant the licence for Electric Picnic on August 4th, the council said the move was based on "the most up-to-date public health advice made available to the council by the HSE".

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has met with Minister for Arts Catherine Martin to discuss the reopening of the live entertainment and events sector as part of the Government's updated roadmap which is due to be published next week.

A statement from the Department of the Taoiseach confirmed they agreed to hold a meeting with industry stakeholders on Monday, which will be attended by both the Taoiseach and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

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