Promoters Festival Republic/MCD have been told they can re-apply for a licence to stage the Electric Picnic festival on 24-26 September at Stradbally Hall Estate, County Laois, after the local council announced last week that it had refused to license the 70,000-capacity Irish festival.

The refusal came despite the promoters having proposed that everyone attending the event, including ticket holders, staff and artists, would have to be fully vaccinated and registered in advance for Department of Health contact tracing.

Currently Irish government Covid-19 regulations restrict attendance at the majority of organised outdoor events to 500 at venues with capacity of more than 5,000.

In response to the license refusal, the promoters have urgently called for an events reopening timeline in Ireland.

Fine Gael Councillor and Council chairman Conor Bergin said that “in theory” Festival Republic and MCD could re-apply for a new licence to stage the event but with a much reduced capacity.

“Under the Planning Act they can’t appeal the Council’s decision to not grant a licence to hold the festival catering for 70,000 people. However, they can in theory re-apply for a new event licence but not for as many festival goers.

“I am firmly against the event going ahead this year in its current format and I share the concerns of the community in Stradbally who do not want the event to go ahead and who agree with the decision of Laois County Council to refuse the licence.”

The festival’s promoters issued a statement that called the license refusal “a huge blow and set back to our entire sector”. It said the decision would result in the loss of employment for more than 3,000 people, and the Irish government should act swiftly to provide a reopening timeline for the events industry.

It said, “We now call upon all members of government to interrupt their summer recess and immediately issue reopening guidelines, as we have being calling for, with a reopening date for the sector of the 14 August on a phased basis, building to the implementation of no restrictions from 1 September 2021 onwards.”