Hotels urged to offer refunds to Killarney festival goers

The Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels’ Federation (IHF) has asked all its members to make full refunds to people who made weekend accommodation reservations for the cancelled Killarney Festival of Music and Food.

Hotels urged to offer refunds to Killarney festival goers

Yesterday, branch spokesman Michael Rosney estimated more than 1,000 beds had been booked for the festival, due to be staged tomorrow and Sunday, and said he was confident all the hotels would comply with the request.

“This cancellation is a disappointment, but we will recover from it,” he said.

“What might be a major economic blow to many smaller destinations is not necessarily the same to a bigger destination like Killarney.”

Like other hoteliers, Mr Rosney said he was hoping many of the people who had planned to attend the festival will still come to Killarney at the weekend.

“And this might be a good time to go looking for special deals in Killarney this weekend,” he suggested.

While reluctant to comment on the reasons for the late cancellation of the much-hyped festival, he felt organisers had dramatically misread the level of demand for the event.

“It would appear to me as an outsider that they were overly optimistic in their projections,” he said.

The organisers initially projected a 36,000 attendance and a financial windfall for the tourist town, but ticket sales flopped and were well below 5,000 for each of the two days. It had previously been held in Westport, Co Mayo, where it drew crowds of around 20,000.

The Killarney business community had been expecting a bonanza weekend and had fully supported the event.

Ticketmaster, meanwhile, said for people who had purchased tickets online, or over the phone, there is no need to do anything and a full refund will be issued to the credit/debit card used to make the booking within the next five to seven working days.

People who bought their tickets in an outlet have been asked to return and present their tickets for a full refund. Irish Rail said they would giving a full refund on train tickets.

Upwards of 70 acts — including Duran Duran, Jools Holland, and Texas — had been booked to perform at the festival.

Duran Duran tweeted that they learned about the cancellation at last minute. They said it was unexpected news, but the band confirmed their commitment to return as soon as possible to perform for their Irish fans. They said they “could not be more disappointed”.

Meanwhile, a number of Irish acts — previously lined up to play the festival — will now perform at the INEC, Killarney, at the weekend, with all proceeds going to charity.

“They are determined not to disappoint their loyal fans and, as our venues have no acts scheduled for this weekend, we are able to oblige,” said INEC and Gleneagle Hotel managing director Patrick O’Donoghue.

Walking on Cars, Mick Flannery, Little Hours and guests will perform on Saturday night, while on Sunday, Damien Dempsey, Mundy and guests, will be at the INEC. Tickets cost €20, including booking fee, per night.

The INEC Acoustic Club will host Aprés Match, Colm O’Regan and guests, on Saturday night, and Jason Byrne and guests, on Sunday night (tickets €15 per night).

Proceeds from the week-end will be donated to the oncology unit at Kerry General Hospital, Tralee, and Cuan Counselling.

“The artists we have spoken to want to play Killarney and they are happy to donate the proceeds to charity. We feel that it is in the best interest of everyone to help make this happen,” said Mr O’Donoghue.

  • Tickets will be on sale on ticketmaster.ie and outlets nationwide, and the INEC box office on 064 6671555.

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