The Forever Young festival says it will fully open on Sunday after closing day-ticket holders on Saturday due to safety concerns over wet and muddy conditions.
In a post on Twitter on Sunday morning, organizers of the Co Kildare event said: “Yesterday was a difficult and scary day for many. But we plan to be fully open today to all visitors. All Saturday tickets are valid until Sunday.
Asked about refunds, organizers said Saturday tickets would remain valid for the 2024 festival and all weekend non-camping ticket holders would receive the equivalent of one free day next year.
“If it does not suit our valued customers, we will deal with all refund requests next week. We hope to bring back specific acts that people missed yesterday on the 24th. Your patience and understanding in this dire situation is truly appreciated.
On Saturday, organizers of the 1980s Nostalgia Festival at Palmerstown House Estate, near Naas, said they had been forced to postpone all day visitors to the festival until Sunday “due to fantastic weather”. This means Saturday’s acts will only be playing for those camping there for the weekend.
“We are heartbroken to bring you this news, but everyone’s safety is our priority. Saturday ticket holders and weekend camping ticket holders will not be admitted to the site. No one on site is currently affected and we intend to run the show to a smaller audience.
The 1980s themed music festival is being organized by Music for Animal Welfare Ltd who are running the event with the sole aim of “raising a fund to help start a new animal welfare charity in Ireland”.
The spokesperson said the festival security committee decided not to allow day ticket holders on Saturday morning. The announcement was made before the first bus left Dublin on Saturday morning for the festival.
This hasn’t stopped fans from complaining about the late announcement on the festival’s Twitter page. “My mam sister and brother in law got there by coach and they turned back,” one person tweeted. Another stated: “Disgracefully late call. People traveling from all corners of Ireland, making arrangements with hotels, babysitters etc for weeks! You pull it when people are literally in the way. Disgusting.”
However, others said they appreciated the organizers prioritizing safety and mobility at the site following the heavy rains that ended last week.
Organizers hope the charity, which will be called Animal Welfare and Veterinary Care Ireland, will launch later this year.
Meanwhile, the festival has partnered with the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help make an immediate impact on the lives of animals across the country.
Promoted under the guise of “a festival for adults where we take you back to your youth”, the event kicked off on Friday with Squeeze and Hothouse Flowers on top billing.
With a wide range of golf buggies, hot showers and “glamping” options to help people get to their camping pitch, the festival is a far cry from some of its competitors.
Nostalgia-related features include a retro arcade and Opel display arrangement, with some 1980s classics on view.
Friday’s fairgoers were full of praise for the organizers.
“We were a bit apprehensive coming to a festival at our age but it seems to be going really well,” said one half of a Donegal couple who attended. “Everything we need is here. All I missed was my hot water bottle.
“It’s been years since we went to something like this, certainly before our kids were born. But we’re definitely glad we gave it a go and are thinking of coming back next year.
On Saturday, there was some criticism of the handling of the decision to restrict entry due to bad weather. It was only after some day travelers arrived at the site that they discovered they would not be admitted. Videos posted on social media showed muddy and slippery underfoot following overnight rain.
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