An­other fes­ti­val feels the squeeze of slow ticket sales

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

The sum­mer fes­ti­val sea­son has claimed an­other vic­tim.

The Dysart Fes­ti­val, ini­tially sched­uled this week­end for Thomas­town, Co Kilkenny, has been forced to sig­nif­i­cantly down­size its plans and move to a smaller, in­door venue be­cause of poor ticket sales.

Dysart was due to fea­ture Jools Hol­land, classical star Kather­ine Jenk­ins, Kenny Larkin, Stacey Pullen, Cut­mas­ter Swift and a host of Ir­ish bands.

The mo­ti­va­tion be­hind the fes­ti­val was to raise funds to re­pair the 600-year-old Dysart Cas­tle, birth­place of Ir­ish philoso­pher Ge­orge Berke­ley.

How­ever, de­spite the line-up and the set­ting – one press re­lease de­scribed the main stage as “a huge, curv­ing nat­u­ral bowl framed by an­cient Ir­ish forests and the bend of the River Nore” – the pub­lic did not bite.

Ac­cord­ing to Kilken­ny­mu­sic. com, the fes­ti­val pro­mot­ers

ini­tially pinned the can­cel­la­tion on “mon­soon”-like weather con­di­tions, which re­sulted in one of the stages “sink­ing”, in an in­ter­view on Fri­day morn­ing with KCLR 96 FM.

By that evening, though, their tune had changed and the rea­son for the can­cel­la­tion had be­come “an in­suf­fi­cient level of ticket sales to en­able a vi­able in­au­gu­ral event”.

How­ever, the fes­ti­val web­site was not up­dated with in­for­ma­tion about the changes un­til very late on Tues­day, and tick­ets for the orig­i­nal fes­ti­val were still on sale up to Sun­day af­ter­noon.

As a re­sult, many ticket hold­ers first found out about the dif­fi­cul­ties the fes­ti­val was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing through on­line blogs such as Kilken­ny­mu­sic.com and On The Record.

A spokesman for the fes­ti­val says the web­site was not up­dated be­cause they “didn’t have any­thing to con­firm” due to dif­fi­cul­ties find­ing a re­place­ment venue over the bank hol­i­day week­end.

A sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced fes­ti­val will take place this week­end in the Kilford Arms Ho­tel in Kilkenny. The Blind Boys of Alabama and Gemma Hayes will head­line on Satur­day, with the Repub­lic Of Loose, John Mar­tyn, Cathy Davey, a screen­ing of the All-Ire­land hurl­ing semi-fi­nal be­tween Kilkenny and Cork and a DJ set from The Orb amongst Sun­day’s star at­trac­tions.

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