CARLOW County Council refused to let the organisers of this year’s Halloween festival, Scarefest, use Perry’s Warehouse in Carlow as a venue for some of its events.
The large building on Water Lane in Carlow town was supposed to be the location for both a two-day music festival that took place over the bank holiday weekend and for the grand finale of Scarefest on Halloween night.
The council issued a statement last week about the withdrawal of its permission to allow Scarefest organiser Kevin Brady access the venue, citing health and safety reasons. It said Mr Brady hadn’t given it sufficient information about the event management and safety plans and so the council was forced to deny access to the town-centre site.
‘Carlow County Council approved Scarefest permission to utilise Perry’s, subject to licence, which involves active engagement from the promoter around event management and safety,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, despite active engagement by Carlow County Council, an event management and safety plan suitable for the proposed activities of Scarefest was not provided to the standard required for the proposed activities, therefore, in the interest of public safety, access was not granted.’
While the two-day music festival Tribstock went ahead at a different venue, Scarefest organisers were forced to cancel the grand finale spectacle that was to take place on Halloween night and return the cover charge to punters.
In a stroke of bad luck, the inclement weather impacted negatively on Scarefest. Not only did the organisers cancel a ghost-hunting expedition at Duckett’s Grove, they also axed a fancy dress parade through Carlow town on Halloween night because of the wind and heavy rain.
When contacted by The Nationalist for a comment about being denied access to one of the most pivotal venues in the whole festival, Mr Brady declined to say anything until the matter had been fully discussed with the council.
In September, Carlow Chamber of Commerce presented Mr Brady with an award recognising the success of last year’s festival.