Electic Picnic 2019
The Electric Picnic could still technically take place in Laois but the new Covid-19 exit roadmap appears to further diminish the chance of it happening in Stradbally this year
A number of factors will play a part in determining its fate.
Firstly, the event needs a licence. Festival Republic applied to Laois County Council for a licence in April.
However, this is subject to a five week public consultation process which was delayed by the lockdown. The extension of restrictions to May 18 means such a public consultation would not be complete until mid June at the earliest.
It is not clear if the consultation process can even begin on May 18 as only limited types of work and public interaction can commence on that date.
The HSE and Gardai are among those who must be consulted by the council before reaching a licence decision.
Anoother legal requirement is a drinks licence. A district court judge in Portlaoise would be the person to permit alcohol sales. Gardai would be consulted as part of this application.
The Government's roadmap to ease restrictions will also influence the outcome.
The Stradbally event would be subject to Covid-19 measures set out in the new lockdown exit roadmap.
The first and subsequent four phases of the roadmap to ease restrictions will take at least three weeks each to implement and monitor.
The timing of the start of phases two to five will all depend on the virus and how we manage it.
Restrictions can be reimposed if it flares up. The exit roadmap could be paused or reset in such a scenario.
Another factor not in its favour is that bigger public gatherings will not be allowed until phase five of the roadmap. Even then measures must be taken to guard against further infections.
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said we could reach phase five by August 20. However, he has also suggested that big events like the All-Ireland Finals could take place but behind closed doors.
All of this does not bode well for EP2020.
The Picnic is scheduled to take place over the first weekend of Septmber. Acts have been booked and tickets have sold out.
A previous announcement by Government said mass gatherings can take place from September.
A crowd of 70,000 is due to attend this year.
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