Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

17.37 22 Apr 2020


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MCD boss Denis Desmond says the chances of Electric Picnic happening this year are "not good".

The festival at Stradbally in Co Laois is due to take place at the start of September, with organisers having announced the first batch of acts just over a month ago.

However, it was confirmed yesterday that mass gatherings of more than 5,000 people will not be able to go ahead until at least the end of August.

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Summer festivals such as Longitude, All Together Now and Sea Sessions have now been cancelled this year following yesterday's announcement.

However, it is not yet clear whether the sold-out Electric Picnic festival will be able to proceed.

Managing Director of MCD, Denis Desmond, spoke to The Hard Shoulder about the situation facing the popular festival.

Chances of Electric Picnic happening this year 'not good'

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He said: "It's the week after the [current deadline].

"Will it happen? It would be great if it does... but we'll obviously wait for the Government decision. We're expecting more news on May 5th.

"I would have thought at this stage in time, yeah, it's a long shot. The chances of it happening are not good."

He said he believes the majority of the 70,000 ticket-holders will not mind if the festival is postponed for a year and that the majority "will hold on to their tickets".

He said the economic impact is 'huge', as thousands of people - ranging from security to electrical teams - work on festivals.

Mr Desmond said: "A lot of these people are now unemployed.

"The musicians have no income... [same with] the crews that work for them, all of whom have got families.

"That whole sector is a big loss at the moment, and the way it's looking at the moment it will be the last sector to come back."

Mr Desmond said the impact of COVID-19 means everything is 'at a stop' at the moment and they're now spending a lot of time rescheduling shows.

He observed: "We're in a good position in that a lot of the events were able to be put back 12 months.

"Some events such as the Longitude festival, which is in July... the decision we've made is we're going to cancel that this year and refund everybody."

You can find out more information about the Ticketmaster process for rescheduled or cancelled events here.

Main image: File photo of Electric Picnic. Picture by Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

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