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Gigs will go ahead in Ballykeeffe this weekend

Organised cultural events where social distancing can be maintained are in the clear

Ballykeeffe is back on, as organised outdoor cultural events are exempt from the new restrictions announced last night.

Organisers of this weekend’s gigs at the Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre had assumed they’d need to cancel when Micheal Martin announced that outdoor gatherings of over 15 people were banned and spectators weren’t allowed into sporting events.

But other events like weddings and funerals are still being allowed to go ahead, and this afternoon it’s emerged that organised cultural events where social distancing can be maintained are also in the clear.

Chairman of Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre Matt O’Sullivan says it’s been a stressful 24 hours:

“We assumed that we were gone. We spoke to the artists and they assumed they were gone as well. But late last night one of the guys involved in booking the acts got a tweet, or an email from some TD, or some connection of a TD, saying that there was a query of cultural events being separate from other events. So that’s the first we heard of it…Then today we were topsy turvy all day, then the news came through this afternoon that the Department of Culture had issued clarification on the matter.”

The news means that Kilkenny’s Watergate Theatre can now operate under the previous limits of 50 people indoors and 200 outdoors.

Cinemas, galleries and theatres are deemed to be controlled environments, with appropriate measures in place such as physical distancing between people.

However, individual groups attending these venues must be limited to six people from no more than three households.