- 29 Jun 20
Stendhal Festival have billed ‘Unlocked’ as being “the first of its kind in the history of Northern Ireland”.
Stendhal Festival are planning to debut Northern Ireland's first ever socially distanced music festival this August, but time will tell whether these plans go ahead considering the current pandemic.
The organisers of ‘Unlocked’ have billed the events series as being the first attempt at a festival which adheres to Government-enforced rules in the province's history after the cancellation of Stendhal 2020.
“Expect special performances from some of the very best talent the island of Ireland has to offer, beer gardens, delicious food and perhaps best of all, over 20 acres of outdoor scenic countryside to enjoy,” the event description reads on Stendhal's social platforms.
If 'Unlocked' goes ahead as planned, it's scheduled to be held at Ballymully Cottage Farm in Limavady on August 21-22 and August 28-29.
These ambitious plans are subject to the government’s policy on mass gatherings in August.
The festival's organisers are hopeful that it will take place over five weekends in August and September, with a capacity of between 500 and 1000 people at each event.
Stendhal intends to create a safe and socially distanced environment for its attendees, with policies and safety measures adhering to the two-metre distancing rule, alcohol limits and thermal temperature checks.
“We are confident that we have come up with an event plan that will make going to outdoor music events safer than going to the supermarket," Festival Director Ross Parkhill explained about 'Unlocked'.
“We will be liaising with the local council, the police, fire service and ambulance service to ensure that we have covered every possible eventuality and how it could relate to social distancing and health and safety," he added.
“We are confident that we have put in place a design that will give these bodies the confidence that what we are proposing can be achieved and achieved safely.”
Parkhill commented that “ultimately the decision on if we can actually go ahead will rest with the executive, but with the recent relaxation of lots of lockdown measures, we see no reason as to why what we are proposing wouldn’t be deemed safe.
“It’s outdoors, we have a huge space to work with and we can set it up so that everyone can abide by social distancing measures at all times," he continued.
“We feel a sense of duty to produce some sort of gathering this year, it certainly won’t be massive, but it will certainly pack a punch as one of the first live music events to proceed this summer – our work is needed now more than ever.”
Tickets for ‘Unlocked’ will be available to purchase from Saturday, July 4.