Indiependence to stay in Mitchelstown for now

Music festival Indiependence will remain in Mitchelstown in 2016, but the promoter behind the three-day event has said he cannot guarantee its long-term future in the Co Cork town.
Indiependence to stay in Mitchelstown for now

Promoters will today reveal details of discounted “early bird” tickets for the festival, due to go on sale this Friday.

The launch follows weeks of speculation that Indiependence’s 10-year association with the North Cork town had come to an end.

Mitchelstown businesses and local politicians had recently held meetings with a view to lobbying festival organisers to retain Indiependence at its Deer Farm location on the northern outskirts of the town.

The festival has hosted acts such as Hozier, The Coronas, Ocean Colour Scene, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Ash and Basement Jaxx in its 10-year history and had been estimated by local business groups to be worth millions to the Mitchelstown economy.

Confirming that it would again be held in Mitchelstown next summer, Indiependence managing director Shane Dunne said that questions surrounding the current site’s ability to host the event and local issues had cast doubt on its future.

“Indiependence has gotten to a size where it is a very expensive event to run, and to run on a green field site where you have no facilities and you need to build everything from scratch,” Mr Dunne said.

“It makes it exceptionally expensive and increases the risk associated with it,” he said.

Mr Dunne also said that there are “issues with regards to queries from individuals regarding the event” that he could not go into in detail.

Last year, Indiependence hosted 8,000 music fans – crossing the 5,000 capacity threshold after which promoters must secure an event licence.

“The bottom line is that it is now an event that needs an event license year-on-year and, without it, we cannot sell the tickets required to cover the costs,” Mr Dunne said.

“When you do everything that’s correct when running an event like this at a high level, ticking all the boxes regarding health and safety, traffic and all the aspects of the event licence, and then there are issues being created, it makes it difficult.”

However, Mr Dunne said that the level of local engagement with the festival’s five-strong organising group had been largely positive.

“Once news did break that there was the possibility that the event might move we had some great meetings with the local county councillors and officials with regards to sustaining the event,” he said.

“At the end of the day, the five of us are from Mitchelstown, we have no interest in moving it from Mitchelstown unless we have to.

“If at any point in the future it does move, it will be for very good reasons and we will have exhausted every other option of keeping it there,” he said.

While the festival was conceived as an event to replace the defunct Mitchesltown Festival which had been held in the town every August Bank Holiday Weekend, Mr Dunne said it had outgrown its origins.

“Indiependence is a business, and a big one, and it costs a huge amount of money to run it every year. It needs to be run correctly and decisions need to be made with the brain and not with the heart, regardless of the fact that we want to stay there,” he said.

Mr Dunne said that the organisers have held their pre-planning meeting and that he envisages that the event will have a capacity of between eight and nine thousand, having sold out last year.

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