Electric Picnic festival cancelled for 2021

‘We have now run out of time,’ organisers say as council refuses to reverse licencing decision

‘We have now run out of time,’ the festival said in a statement. Photograph: Kieran Frost/Redferns

‘We have now run out of time,’ the festival said in a statement. Photograph: Kieran Frost/Redferns

 

The team behind Electric Picnic has announced the cancellation of this year’s festival.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions the festival, which takes place in Stradbally, Co Laois, had been rescheduled with organisers hoping it could take place from September 24th to 26th as curbs on mass gatherings eased.

However, Laois County Council refused to grant a licence for the event at the beginning of August. The organisers had asked the local authority to reverse the decision but it has refused to do so.

“We have now run out of time,” the festival said in a statement.

“Regrettably, we have no other choice but to cancel this year’s edition. We would not be able to do the festival justice this close to show day, and it would be unfair to ask ticket holders who’ve stood by us throughout this pandemic to come to EP and not get the full experience they are used to and deserve.”

Ticketholders now have the option of obtaining a full refund or holding onto them for next year’s event, scheduled to take place from September 2nd to 4th, 2022.

Shortly after the announcement, the Department of Tourism, Culture and the Arts described it as a commercial decision for Festival Republic, the organiser, and a licensing matter for the relevant local authority, which is Laois County Council.

A spokeswoman said the Government had decided on Tuesday to lift a number of Covid-19 restrictions and to bring in new conditions under which live events can take place.

From September 6th, live events outdoors will be permitted with audience participation of 75 per cent of capacity where those attending are fully vaccinated or recovered from the virus, or 50 per cent of capacity where there is a mix.

“Accordingly, events in line with these new conditions would now be possible,” she said.

Meanwhile, the GAA has said it will increase numbers allowed to attend the All Ireland senior football final on September 11th to 50 per cent of Croke Park’s capacity following changes to limits on outdoor gatherings.

“This means there will be an additional 1,150 tickets for distribution,” the GAA said in a statement.

“With approximately half of our tickets already distributed and unrealistic logistical challenges around processing Covid passports on a match day for a crowd in excess of 41,150 coming from all over the country and abroad, it was decided to proceed on the basis of a 50 per cent attendance.

“The GAA acknowledges the work of the Department of Sport on this issue and looks forward to the benefit that Tuesday evening’s announcement will have on club games in the weeks and months ahead.”

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