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Irish festival Electric Picnic has licence withdrawn

Electric Picnic said thousands of jobs are at risk after the festival had its licence withdrawn by the local authority in Ireland.

Laois County Council leaders said in a statement that the decision to refuse the application for the event, due to take place next month, was made following the latest public health advice from HSE (Health Service Executive).

Ireland’s HSE provides all its health services in hospitals and communities across the whole of the country.

They added: “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.” 

Electric Picnic organisers said they were “disappointed” at the decision.

A statement read: “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.” 

Electric Picnic’s statement also said that it was a “huge blow” and “a setback to our entire sector” with the further loss of thousands of jobs for workers that “had clung to the hope that Electric Picnic would bring an end to their period of hardship.”

Organisers also said that it will call upon members of government to issue reopening guidelines, with “the implementation of no restrictions from 1st September 2021 onwards.”

This week, Melvin Benn, managing director of organisers Festival Republic, said he “100% fully” expected the event to go ahead.

Festival Republic and MCD Productions recently wrote to Taoiseach, Michael Martin TD, the Arts Minister Catherin Martin and other government members with a proposal on how live events could go ahead. 

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