Electric Picnic organisers have written letters to the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and several Ministers outlining how they plan to ‘safely’ stage this year’s festival at full capacity.
Hot Press is reporting that promoters Festival Republic and MCD wish to run the festival at full capacity in late September – with plans for 70,000 revellers.
The promoters want to see the festival in Stradbally proceed from September 24-26 with ‘enhanced Covid safety measures’.
These enhanced measures would see only people who have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before the festival permitted entry.
Those with one dose of the vaccine can attend but they must be tested prior to entry.
While, under the plan, people who are not vaccinated would not be permitted to attend the Electric Picnic.
Registration for contact tracing, and an event management plan with extensive health and safety requirements is also proposed.
The promotors say they have staged ‘Living with Covid’ live events worldwide including Lollapalooza in the US and Latitude in the UK, and have gained first hand knowledge and experience in safely running large scale covid pilot events and festivals.
According to Hot Press, the letter is signed by Justin Green of Wide Awake Communications and says that the proposed measures ‘would resemble the regulations applicable to indoor hospitality, the rules governing international travel and the protocols implemented at live events currently underway throughout Europe, within the UK and the USA’.
The letter ends with a request that the proposal be taken to the next Cabinet meeting for urgent consideration.
This development comes just days after Laois County Councillors made their opposition to the festival known at a meeting of Laois County Council.
NPHET should provide an urgent recommendation to Laois County Council on whether Electric Picnic should be given a license to proceed in Stradbally at the end of September.
Stradbally-based councillor Paschal McEvoy called on NPHET to provide an urgent recommendation to Laois County Council on whether Electric Picnic should be given a license to proceed – with Council CEO John Mulholland agreeing with the fears expressed by the councillor despite not normally commenting on a live licence application.
There was unanimous view expressed that the Electric Picnic should not be allowed to proceed this year – though the Council will only be in a position to rule on it once due process has been followed in accordance with the law.
A decision has to be made no less than four weeks before the event, which will be the last week in August.
“The idea of 70,000 people coming into Stradbally over four days is absolutely crazy,” said Cllr Paschal McEvoy who has been steadfast in his opposition to the festival proceeding this year for a number of months.
“I’m getting calls on a daily basis. People are terrified it’s going to happen. These are real people with real concerns.
“There was 20 deaths in our Nursing Home earlier this year and that is still very raw.
“I accept there are as many young people want this old people don’t want it – but there are many younger people who aren’t comfortable with it either.
“The timing of this is really wrong.”