Electric Picnic organisers say they plan to review their options after Laois County Council refused to grant a licence for the music festival this year.

Ticket holders will be contacted directly over the next week, according to a statement issued this morning.

The event had been due to take place from 24 to 26 September at Stradbally Hall Estate.

Organisers have expressed their disappointment at the decision, which, according to the local authority, was made following the most up-to-date public health advice made available to the council from the Health Service Executive.

"This is a huge blow and set back to our entire sector, which was mandated to close on the 12 March 2020 and such a decision now means the further loss of employment for over 3,000 people, who had clung to the hope that Electric Picnic would bring an end to their period of hardship," the organisers said.

"We now call upon all members of Government to interrupt their summer recess and immediately issue reopening guidelines, as we have been calling for, with a reopening date for the sector of the 16 August on a phased basis, building to the implementation of no restrictions from 1 September onwards."

Decision based on public health advice - council

The Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council has said the decision was taken "on the basis of public health advice from HSE that was unambiguous".

"This was a very difficult decision for Council to make and I'm sure it will be disappointing to thousands of music fans and the live music industry - however; in the current climate it's the lack of certainty over Covid," Councillor Conor Bergin said.


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"We'd all love to see it go ahead but with no certainty, it's very hard," the Fine Gael councillor added.

Fine Gael TD for Laois-Offaly Charlie Flanagan said on Twitter: "Good decision on Electric Picnic, having considered all aspects involved and in particular matters of public health.

"Local people in Laois unhappy with lack of consultation and some of the statements of organising group."

Earlier this week, Managing Director of Festival Republic, which runs the Electric Picnic, Melvin Benn, said that the festival in Stradbally will go ahead this year.

Mr Benn said that he was "100% fully expecting the Electric Picnic to be going ahead on the basis (that) 100% nobody has told me I won't be able to".

Last week MCD Productions and Festival Republic had written to Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Minister for the Arts Catherine Martin and other members of Government with proposals of how events, including Electric Picnic, could go ahead later this year.

The letter proposed that Electric Picnic would go ahead in September with enhanced safety protocols.