03 Jul 2022

Covid-19 quenches new music and arts Forest Festival in Laois

coronavirus covid-19

Forest Fire doused by Covid-19

The organisers of the Forest Fest music and arts festival planned for Emo in County Laois this summer have announced that the event is cancelled and committed to fully refunding all ticket holders.

The organisers say Forest Fest which was launched a year ago and was the brainchild of solicitor and restauranteur, Philip Meagher. He says he has reluctantly announced its cancellation.

“It is with a heavy heart and profound disappointment that I and the Forest Fest team are making the decision to cancel our festival. However, in fairness to everyone who has supported us, the hundreds of fans who have purchased tickets in keen anticipation of the fantastic line-up, it is only right and fair that we make a clear and definitive announcement at this time.

“As supporters and the local community, who enthusiastically backed the festival concept and the programme of events since we made the first announcement last March will be aware, it was originally scheduled for last July. 

“With the outbreak of Covid and the subsequent lockdown restrictions we quickly realised that would not be a runner and moved promptly to retain the programme intact and rescheduled for June of this year. Unfortunately, that is no longer feasible or safe in the current circumstances and therefore we have come to the conclusion that to cancel is our only responsible option,” Mr Meagher said.

Forest Fest was originally due to take place on July 10 to 12 last year and was later rescheduled for June 4 to 6, over the bank holiday weekend this year.

The headline acts included The Stunning, Something Happens, Jack Lukeman and Harvest with a strong supporting line-up of 20 bands, an arts and cultural programme and children’s events.

Mr Meagher said restrictions left him with no choice.

“Unfortunately with the ongoing lockdown, hospitality sector restrictions and necessary health and safety protocols it is not possible to proceed with Forest Fest as had been intended over the June bank holiday in Emo. 

“A further deferral was considered but that too is impossible in the prevailing circumstances and therefore we are left with no choice but to cancel entirely. 

“All ticket holders will be automatically refunded and do not need to apply for a full refund.  This will be processed directly by the Forest Fest team and our Eventbrite booking system on our website,” pointed out Philip Meagher who is also the well-known proprietor of the Gate House Bar and Batoni’s Restaurant in Emo.

A statement said all ticket refunds will be processed automatically through the event website 

It said there is no requirement for ticket holders to seek or apply for a refund as it will be issued to them over the next week.

"Each ticket holder will receive a full refund, including Eventbrite ticket fees. Once fans are refunded they will receive an email notification to confirm their refund. Patrons are advised to allow 7 working days for the funds to arrive in their account. This process will be handled entirely by the festival organisers and requires no further action on behalf of those who have purchased tickets.

"The organisers of Forest Fest wish to extend their sincere thanks to all those who supported this event - the local community, the music fans, the bands and performers, and all the media outlets. We wish you all a safe and fun summer," concluded the statement.

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