Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival has been refused a license for this year’s edition by its local council.
The festival had been due to take place between September 24 and 26, but this is now in serious jeopardy due to Laois County Council’s decision.
Electric Picnic responded to the news, saying it was “extremely disappointed” with the ruling, and said they had proposed to ensure that everyone attending the event would be fully vaccinated and registered in advance for contact tracing.
“To see Scotland, a country with a similar population and virtually identical vaccine rollout and uptake as our own, only announce yesterday that they were easing restrictions and allowing events such as TRNSMT Festival in Glasgow go ahead in September makes this decision even more difficult to accept,” it said.
— Electric Picnic (@EPfestival) August 5, 2021
It described the news as a “huge blow and set back to our entire sector, which was mandated to close on the 12th March 2020 (over 500 days ago).” The statement said that the decision means “the further loss of employment for over 3,000 people, who had clung to the hope that Electric Picnic would bring an end to their period of hardship.”
The statement went on to call on the Irish government to interrupt its summer recess and “immediately issue reopening guidelines,” and thanked fans and local residents “for their huge ongoing support during this difficult time.”
Indicating that he was due to play the festival this year, Liam Gallagher said: “Gutted to hear electric picnic has been cancelled was looking forward to seeing my brothers n sisters and my cousin Guinness.”
Gutted to hear electric picnic has been cancelled was looking forward to seeing my Irish ☘️ brothers n sisters and my cousin Guinness
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) August 5, 2021
The council said in a statement that the decision was made “following the most up-to-date public health advice made available to the council from the Health Service Executive”.
“Furthermore, it is noted that under current Government measures for the management of COVID-19 events of this nature are restricted to an attendance of 500 people only.”
“This was a very difficult decision for the council to make and I’m sure it will be disappointing to thousands of music fans and the live music industry,” added the council’s chairman, Cllr Conor Bergin. “However, in the current climate, it’s the lack of certainty over COVID. We’d all love to see it go ahead but with no certainty, it’s very hard.”
Should Electric Picnic 2021 be cancelled, as expected, it will mark two years in a row without the festival.