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Government to ‘engage’ with Electric Picnic festival organisers

The Cabinet Covid-19 sub-committee met today to discuss the next steps in the easing of restrictions.

Image: Shutterstock/Dirk Hudson

THE GOVERNMENT SAID today it will be consulting with the organisers of the Electric Picnic music and arts festival over the weekend.

Earlier today, Culture Minister Catherine Martin said she was exploring “all possible options” regarding the hosting of the event.

On Wednesday, Laois County Council said it could not revisit or reconsider its decision to refuse a licence for the festival to be held this year.

This came as a blow to organisers after chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said he would have no concerns about the event taking place with only fully-vaccinated people in attendance.

In a statement released today, following a meeting of the Covid-19 Cabinet sub-committee, a Government spokesperson said there will be “further engagement over the weekend across Government and also with the organisers of Electric Picnic”.

The Cabinet Covid-19 sub-committee met today to discuss the next steps in the easing of restrictions.

The spokesperson said:

The subcommittee received presentations from officials on various matters including the most recent Nphet advice, progress of the vaccine programme and current situation with health services.
Possible next steps were discussed and it was agreed to adjourn until Monday.
At Monday’s meeting, the draft plan will be discussed, prior to full Cabinet consideration on Tuesday.

It is understood the Government will next week give the green light to the return of live music events in September.

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The industry has been highly critical of the Government in recent days and has called for clarity about when live music will be permitted to return.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting of the sub-committee, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan declined to say whether or not Electric Picnic would go ahead.

“The meeting today wasn’t to decide yes or no to a particular event,” he said.

Read our liveblog on all of today’s restrictions discussions, as they evolved throughout the day.

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