Music

Locals in Stradbally feel 2021 might be a year too early for Electric Picnic

Some locals in Stradbally, Co Laois feel 2021 might be a year too early for Electric Picnic to go ahead as normal.

It's currently not known for sure when festivals will be allowed to resume.

In a statement this morning, Electric Picnic bosses said they were hopeful the vaccination rollout would be completed in sufficient time to allow this year's event to go ahead.

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Posted by Electric Picnic on Monday, March 8, 2021

It was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like many other events in the live music and entertainment sector.

Ann Simpson, who runs Simpson's Gala in Stradbally, feels apprehensive about it going ahead in full this year:

"I would like to see smaller events happening and see what happens there.

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"The very first Electric Picnic that happened here had 5,000 people at it.

"Wouldn't something like that nearly be better, to start from scratch again."

Over in the UK, the Reading and Leeds festivals are due to go ahead as part of the country's reopening plan.

However many festivals here, like Electric Picnic, don't have the same guarantees from the government.

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Ann Simpson suggests a smaller event could go ahead if enough people are vaccinated:

"We are hoping that most of the population of Ireland will be vaccinated by June.

"I don't know if that's enough time between June and the first week in September to allow us to see how the vaccination is working.

"Of course we would still like to see Electric Picnic go ahead and I would say a lot of people feel the same way about it."

Having already lost nearly a year of live events, the damage to the sector could be detrimental if another summer is lost.

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