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Music festivals are cancelled after licenced gatherings of 5,000+ halted until September at earliest

The government advised local authorities not to issue licences for events of more than 5,000 attendees.

Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated Apr 21st 2020, 10:14 PM

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced that no licences will be issued for events of over 5,000 people until September at the earliest.

In response to this announcement, a number of music festivals have been cancelled. These include: Body&Soul, Indiependence, and All Together Now.

Founder of Body&Soul, Avril Stanley, said that she was “heartbroken” to confirm that the festival would not be going ahead as planned.

“The ticketing company will be contacting everyone who has purchased a ticket about the refund process. We appreciate your patience on this matter and they will get to you as soon as possible,” Stanley said in a statement.

Indiependence said that it “fully agrees” with the decision and thanked all frontline workers who are “giving their all to keep us safe”.

It said that those who ordered tickets online will receive an email, and those that bought tickets locally should keep an eye on the website and social media for details.

Waterford festival All Together Now said that it had “no choice” but to cancel this year’s event, adding that it will have “severe implications” for its artists, crew, suppliers, and charity partners.

It said that festival tickets would be “fully valid” for 2021, and are asking people to hold on to their tickets to support the independent festival.

Kaleidoscope, which was due to be held in June, said that it also won’t be holding a festival this year, and has said that refunds will be available online.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said tonight that the decision was based on advice given by NPHET. Holohan said that it was still the case that smaller events like weddings should still not take place.

A ban on mass gatherings has been in place since 24 March, with mass indoor gatherings meaning over 100 people and mass outdoor gatherings meaning over 500 people. 

A licence is needed for any event for more than 5,000 people. 

Further health advice will be updated in advance of 5 May, the government said in a statement.

It said that this was decided “taking account of the impacts on the integrity of the licensing process in the short-term due to restrictions on stakeholder involvement”.

This will be kept under review in line with NPHET advice on mass gatherings in general.

Health Minister Simon Harris has said previously that the Irish public will have to learn to live with the virus circulating; hinting that although some restrictions may be lifted during the summer, others like social distancing measures will remain for some time yet.

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