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Bon Jovi Drive-In concert screenings cancelled on Gardaí advice and unclear guidelines

Bon Jovi Drive-In concert screenings cancelled on Gardaí advice and unclear guidelines

Last month, I wrote about planned Bon Jovi live concert screenings drive-in style at Leopardstown Racecourse in Dublin, Slane Castle in Meath and Cork Racecourse in Cork.

At the time, it wasn’t clear whether drive-in movie screenings counted as an outdoor activity or a outdoor gathering, but the promoter Retro Movies proceeded with ticket sales.

Currently, guidelines say “No organised outdoor gatherings should take place,” and as noted no gigs or events are allowed outdoors.

After running outdoor drive-in screenings for three weeks, the big planned Bon Jovi screenings have now been pulled on advice of the Gardaí.


The organiser Ryan O’Neill have been talking to Extra.ie, and have said they will now lose €30,000 from advance ticket sales.

Ryan told Extra.ie that confirmation that the event couldn’t go ahead came as a shock because there had always been a distinction in the rules that his drive-in cinema and events could go ahead.

He said: ‘We reopened on April 29 — that was following the announcement from Government that outdoor recreational premises could reopen.

‘We tried in April to get a list of what that included because we’re a niche business and we were told that there was no list available.

‘We had to wait and see what the regulations were when they were released and those regs basically said that premises that were used for outdoor recreational purposes, that didn’t include fun fairs, circuses, theme parks, caravan parks and aquariums could reopen.

‘We weren’t on that list of exclusions. They listed the stuff that couldn’t open as opposed to the stuff that could.

‘Previous regulations have always had a distinction. That distinction has been removed for whatever reason and that means that we’re closed because the line about cinemas supersedes the outdoor recreation.’

‘It’s just unnecessary. It doesn’t need to happen. We just can’t get an answer from anybody.’

It was always risky business to proceed when the guidelines were not clear unfortunately, and that has borne out here. If they were allowed go ahead, it would have been an exception to the rule. Irish Authorities have clearly deemed since last summer, that outdoor gatherings where people in cars are involved are still too much of a risk – as obviously people can’t be trusted.

The organisers are seeking help and clarification on Facebook, and former minister Josepha Madigan has said she is seeking clarity on this from Micheal Martin and Stephen Donnelly.