Plug pulled on Killarney festival

The plug was pulled last night on a major music festival due to be held in Killarney, Co Kerry, at the weekend.

Plug pulled on Killarney festival

The organisers of the two-day Killarney Festival of Music & Food, who now face huge losses, had to cancel it after failing to meet conditions for use of Killarney Racecourse as an alternative venue.

Tickets sales were also very poor and an attendance of less than 5,000 was expected each day — earlier this year, the organisers said the event would attract 36,000 attendees.

Uncertainty surrounded the festival after the organisers were forced to make a late withdrawal from the original venue, in Killarney National Park, due to “additional costs” arising from a deal with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to use the park.

They then approached the race company last Thursday and the company decided at a board meeting on Monday night to allow them use the facilities, subject to conditions based on satisfying the gardaí and Kerry County Council in relation to traffic and other arrangements.

Insurance turned out to be a key issue.

Amid growing confusion, the organisers said on Tuesday that the festival would be going ahead and all acts on the bill would be performing.

However, race company chairman John Buckley last night told the Irish Examiner they were unable to meet the conditions.

“We’re very disappointed the event has to be called off, but we had to make sure all conditions were complied with,” he said.

“We had nothing to do with the festival as such — we merely provided a location. We would hope that, in the future, something like this might happen, but we would need more notice.”

Acts on the festival lineup included Texas, The Stunning, Duran Duran, Burt Bacharach, and Jools Holland.

The festival had been successfully staged in Westport, Co Mayo, for three years, and was enthusiastically welcomed to Killarney.

Last night, there was an air of disappointment in the town that the event will not be going ahead. Adult tickets were priced at €76 daily and €142 for two days.

In a brief statement, the organisers said “regretfully”, the festival will not go ahead due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control.

A spokeswomen said: “We are devastated that the festival has been cancelled — we did everything in our power to make it happen this weekend.

“We would like to extend our sincere apologies to all the festival-goers who were planning to attend the event in Killarney and we would like to thank all the local businesses and statutory agencies for their help and support.”

She said the promoters were in discussions with some of the acts about performing in an alternative indoor venue in Killarney over the weekend and hoped to make an announcement as soon possible.

Ticketholders seeking refunds should go to ticketmaster.ie/h/cancelled.html

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