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safety measures Electric Picnic organiser says he is '100% expecting' festival to go ahead this year

Mr Benn told RTÉ’s News at One that everyone involved in the festival was working on the basis that the event was going ahead and were putting safety measures in place

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Crowds at a previous Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally, County Laois (Niall Carson/PA)

Crowds at a previous Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally, County Laois (Niall Carson/PA)

Crowds at a previous Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally, County Laois (Niall Carson/PA)

The organisers of Electric Picnic have insisted the music festival will go ahead this year.

Melvin Benn, the managing director of promoter Festival Republic, said he was “100% fully expecting the Electric Picnic to be going ahead on the basis 100% nobody has told me I won't be able to".

Along with the rest of the country’s music festivals, the annual event in Stradbally, Co Laois, was cancelled last year due to Covid restrictions.

Mr Benn told RTÉ’s News at One that everyone involved in the festival was working on the basis that the event was going ahead and were putting safety measures in place.

"I'm investing, and all of the teams are investing in the effort to try and make sure that the Picnic can happen by presuming that we are going ahead and I'm saying presuming that we are going ahead, because let's be 100% clear here, nobody's told me I can't go ahead,” Mr Benn said.

The three-day festival normally has 70,000 attendees each day, but current guidelines only allow 500 people to attend outdoor events in venues with a capacity of greater than 5,000.

Last week, promoters Festival Republic and MCD wrote to the government proposing the festival be allowed to go ahead in full with enhanced safety protocols, including that attendees must be fully vaccinated. If they have only had one shot, they must undergo a Covid test. Unvaccinated people would not be allowed to attend the event from September 24-26.

Many people held onto their tickets when Electric Picnic was cancelled last year, but the remaining passes will go on sale at the end of the month when the line-up is finalised.

"I very actively believe that the Electric Picnic will take place and I say that because I can't see any reason at this point in time why it wouldn't take place at the end of September. We are two months away from it,” Mr Benn told RTÉ.

Last week Tánaiste Leo Varadkar dampened hopes that festivals could resume in full, warning: “The pandemic is not over.” When asked on Newstalk whether he would go to Electric Picnic himself, he said: “When asked on Newstalk if he could see himself at Electric Picnic this year, Mr Varadkar said: "I wouldn't go that far just yet. We are still in a pandemic. We haven't seen this Delta wave peak yet.”

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