BY SEÁN P. FEENY
A NORTHERN Ireland based promoter’s decision to cancel a festival that was due to take place this weekend has disappointed hundreds of fans.
The well-known Dungloe band Goats Don ‘t Shave were due to perform for the first time after many years at the Keltic Hooley in the Clanree Hotel Complex, Letterkenny alongside headline acts such as Shane MacGowan and Damien Dempsey. The festival was to take place over two nights and feature over forty acts.
Despite the cancellation of the festival, the Goats don’t want to disappoint all their fans who sent messages by email and Facebook and so they are going to proceed with a full concert and support act on Sunday night, July 10, at the Clanree Hotel – doors open at 8.30pm (Admission €20 at door).
“The band is very anxious to go ahead with the concert not to disappoint their fans as this was to mark their big comeback.
“Anyone who has bought a ticket for the Keltic Hooley is urged to return to their point of purchase for a full refund,” a spokesperson for the band said.
The promoters, JW Promotions informed bands on Tuesday that the Keltic Hooley would not go ahead due to lack of ticket sales.
James McGarrity of JW Promotions, blamed the cancellation on poor tickets sales and the headline acts’ demands for deposits.
“We had sold less than ten per cent of the tickets and the headline acts like Shane MacGowan and Damien Dempsey wanted half the money upfront and towards the end when we looked at it we knew we would need to draw a huge crowd to break even.
“People just don’t have the surplus money anymore, not even Oxegen is selling out, but the tickets for the Keltic Hooley were cheap, yet still there was no demand.”
The Donegal News understands the official Shane MacGowan website had posted a message as early as last week that the Pogues star was not due to perform in Letterkenny.
The following was posted on shanemacgowan.com: ‘There is a promoter in Donegal advertising Shane for a show in Donegal on 9th July. Shane is NOT booked for this and will be on tour with the Pogues.’
The website’s tour dates section clearly states that Shane MacGowan is performing with The Pogues in Amsterdam on Saurday night.
However, Mr McGarrity said it had originally been planned that Mr MacGowan was due to come over and perform in Letterkenny and then fly over to The Netherlands.
A spokesperson for Damien Dempsey’s booking agents Free Trade Agency in London confirmed that the Dublin singer/songwriter had been booked for the festival, however, as they had not worked with JW Promotions before, a deposit was requested.
“As we haven’t worked with this company before we did ask for a desposit and as they couldn’t provide us with this we decided to pull out,” the spokesperson said.