Laois County Council has said it cannot legally revisit its previous refusal of an event licence for Electric Picnic 2021 and that statutory timelines would not allow for the processing of a new application in time for the original date.

It said the original decision was made on 4 August "having regard to the up to date advice from the Health Services Executive in their statutory submission" and "Government public health measures currently in place".

It said there is no provision in law which enables the council to revisit that refusal or reconsider that application.

"Notwithstanding the comments emanating from yesterday's press briefing from NPHET nothing has changed as regards advice from the HSE, nor has there been any change to the Government Public Health Measures in place in respect of hosting of outdoor events," it said in a statement.

"Even if a new application for an event licence is made, the statutory timelines do not allow for the processing of a new application to facilitate the event on the dates as intended in the application previously submitted," it added.

Earlier, music promoter MCD said it would work "morning, noon and night" to try to put on the Electric Picnic next month if a decision not to allow it proceed is reversed.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Caroline Downey from MCD said that it was a "lovely surprise" to hear the CMO Tony Holohan say that outdoor events could go ahead for the fully-vaccinated.

When asked at yesterday's National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) briefing if concerts such as Electric Picnic could go ahead just for vaccinated people, Dr Holohan said: "We wouldn't have a concern from a public health point of view if everyone is vaccinated."

Dr Holohan said if there are social events taking place indoors and they involve only vaccinated people then that has a much different risk profile than events where there are likely to be other unvaccinated people.

Ms Downey said that in light of his remarks and those made by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, the promoters have re-applied to Laois County Council to run the event.

She said if successful, and unlike Croke Park last weekend, organisers would only allow people to work or attend the festival if they are fully-vaccinated, using a Covid certificate to confirm this.

She said it would be "a wasted journey" for ticket-holders who are not vaccinated to try to enter the festival.

Ms Downey said that by the end of September over 90% of the population will be vaccinated, but she said organisers are "running out of time" and need to get started soon if they are to host the festival.


Events industry pleads its case after Holohan comments


The managing director of MCD Productions earlier called on the Government to allow the Electric Picnic festival to go ahead next month.

Denis Desmond said MCD has written to the Government today asking for a decision to be made on the matter by tomorrow at the latest.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Philip Boucher-Hayes, Mr Desmond said he feels it is very safe to proceed with the event and "it's time to open up and get back to the new normality".

He said indoor shows at full capacity should be allowed to return by October and November, limited to people who are fully vaccinated, but that late September is the latest that Electric Picnic can be held.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael Laois Councillor Aisling Moran said the organisers of Electric Picnic have no other option but to submit a new application for an event licence.

She said the original application was turned down, they cannot appeal that, and they knew that they would have been able to reapply on 4 August for a new licence for a smaller number of patrons.

Cllr Moran said that a new application would take between six and eight weeks under planning rules to allow for people to object and raise concerns about the event.