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Rock blow Disappointment as drive-in virtual Bon Jovi concert postponed due to Covid restrictions

Around 1,000 tickets were sold for the screening of the pre-recorded concert

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Bon Jovi in concert at the RDS, Dublin, in 2011. Photo: Arthur Carron/Collins

Bon Jovi in concert at the RDS, Dublin, in 2011. Photo: Arthur Carron/Collins

Bon Jovi in concert at the RDS, Dublin, in 2011. Photo: Arthur Carron/Collins

Bon Jovi fans will be disappointed after a drive-in broadcast of a concert by the American rockers supposed to take place tomorrow has been postponed due to Covid restrictions.

Around 1,000 tickets were sold for the simultaneous screening of the pre-recorded concert that was due to take place at 6pm and 9pm tomorrow at the Leopardstown Racecourse, in Dublin, as well as Slane Castle and the Cork Racecourse.

While the event, sponsored by American promoters Encore Live, will still go ahead at hundreds of traditional and pop-up drive-in cinemas across North America tomorrow night, Bon Jovi fans in Ireland are hoping they will be able to see their idols on a big screen next month.

Ryan O’Neill, managing director of Retro Drive-in Movies, said he has been forced to postpone the screening here until June 26 as he and other drive-in cinema owners seek clarity from the Government over its apparent about-face on allowing outdoor drive-in cinemas to operate.

Mr O’Neill said he was shocked when he was informed by gardaí on Tuesday that drive-in movies must close immediately.

"We got a bolt out of the blue from gardaí that drive-in movies were in breach of Covid restrictions,” he told Independent.ie.

This is despite being allowed to operate throughout the pandemic last year, he noted in a Facebook post earlier this week.

“Back in 2020, we fought hard to have drive-in movies listed in the legislation allowing us to reopen and to differentiate us from indoor cinemas, after meeting with gardaí and elected officials, we were successful.

“We have always been 100pc compliant with Covid-19 restrictions and have run countless safe screenings giving families an outlet from the safety and comfort of their car.”

The pop-up drive-in movie screenings reopened on April 29 with other outdoor amenities as patrons were able to view films on a large screen while remaining in their own cars.

Yet drive-in cinemas have been removed from the list of venues that are allowed to reopen under the current easing of Covid restrictions.

“All non-essential retail has since reopened, we can travel throughout the country in our cars. Museums, galleries, and libraries are open but for some unknown reason, that will not be disclosed to us, we have to close,” the post read.

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Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Tourism Minister Catherine Martin, whose portfolio also includes art, culture and the media, said: "Drive-in cinemas are not allowed to operate under the current regulations which set out the public health restrictions in place at present.

"At its meeting on April 29, the Government did, however, agree that preparations should be made for the safe reopening of cinemas in June, subject to public health advice at that time. This will be considered, in the context of the public health situation, and decided on by Government shortly.”

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