Locals in Stradbally fear it's "too soon" to host the festival this year.
A decision is due from Laois County Council on the licencing application for Electric Picnic in the next week.
Organisers, Festival Republic, sent a proposal to government last week, suggesting up to 70,000 people who've been fully vaccinated or who've recovered from covid could attend the event safely in September.
Local Fianna Fail councillor Paschal McEvoy is among those very vocal about his opposition to this year's festival.
Having said that, he claims all 19 councillors in Laois are against the idea.
He says "it's too much, too soon":
Given the disruption to business over the last year, it's perhaps surprising to hear a number of businesspeople in the town are so opposed to this year's EP going ahead.
Anne Simpson from Simpson's Gala echoes Cllr. McEvoy's sentiments though - that the risk of Covid-19 transmission is too high:
Will you be one of 70k people streaming through these gates for @EPfestival next month?— Ellen Butler (@LN_but) August 3, 2021
The locals I spoke to in #Stradbally today certainly hope not.
The big decision from @LaoisCouncil on the licence application is due in the next seven days.
More on @Midlands103 📻 pic.twitter.com/YJAxj9O50g
The Grandstand newsagents is located just outside the gates into to the Electric Picnic grounds.
However, owner Sylvester Phelan would also prefer to err on the side of caution, as would the majority of people he meets.
He's says there are too many unknowns to risk the health of people in Stradbally for one event:
People on the streets of Stradbally, who say they normally welcome festival-goers with open arms, want to keep them away this September:
Just two people I met yesterday were in favour of running the event - they also so happened to be visiting Stradbally on holidays and weren't locals:
Meanwhile, Festival Republic, EP's organisers, have released '12 Reasons Why Electric Picnic Should Go Ahead'.:
- Electric Picnic will be restricted to individuals who are fully vaccinated 14 days prior to event.
- There will be no entry permitted to those who are not fully vaccinated.
- Advance registration for Department of Health contact tracing.
- Approved Event Management Plan implementing extensive health and safety requirements.
- The above proposed measures would be even more restrictive than the current regulations applicable to indoor hospitality; the rules governing international travel; large sporting events currently being organised by the GAA, IRFU and the FAI with up to 40,000 attendees.
- 3 million adults will be double vaccinated by early September, according to the HSE. As of this week there are more people vaccinated in Ireland than the UK, yet in Ireland we are not permitted to produce events.
- There has been no evidence produced to date showing that any of the Government of Ireland supported music pilot events held last June, or the many recent international events including the British Grand Prix (140,000 spectators 70% of whom camped for 3 days), last week’s UK Latitude music festival (40,000 per day across 3 days) along with the thousands of live arena shows taking place around the world, have resulted in any spike or direct increase in covid numbers.
- TRNSMT Scotland is going ahead from 10th – 12th September 2021. Scotland previously imposed more stringent conditions than Ireland.
- From next week onwards, thousands of music fans from the Republic of Ireland will cross the border to attend live music concerts taking place in Belfast’s Custom House Square (without restrictions) featuring artists such as Tom Jones, James Arthur, Kodaline, Fontaines DC, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Scooter etc. https://www.customhousesquare.com
- The industry is about to lose yet another full summer, something no other sector has suffered. The whole sector and that of the livelihood of 35,000 people employed have been totally and disproportionately impacted above all other sectors by this pandemic.
- The Government have highlighted that the “live entertainment and music sectors are in danger of collapse” and a clear plan for their return is needed. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/live-music-entertainment-sectors-at-danger-of-collapse-ministers-warned-1.4633122
- Over 500 days closed, our sector was the first to close and we are STILL fully closed.