The organizers behind Northern Ireland's Stendhal Festival have announced plans to host an impending socially distanced music festival called "Unlocked." Billed as "the first of its kind in the history of Northern Ireland," the fest is scheduled to occur over the course of two weekends at Ballymully Cottage Farm in Limavady from August 21st to 22nd and August 28th to 29th, respectively.
According to the official event description located on the festival's microsite, fans can "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."
As promoters and event planners continue to painstakingly navigate the complex process of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they must comply with local government-mandated safety guidelines. Those mandates are quite mercurial, however, and government officials can instate new guidelines at any time that have the potential to kneecap the festival.
"Unlocked" organizers stated that they will maintain a capacity of between 500 and 1000 attendees at each event. Other policies and safety measures include enforcement of a two-meter distancing rule, routine temperature checks, and limits on the amount of alcohol revelers can drink. "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," said festival director Ross Parkhill. Parkhill also noted that organizers will be liaising with fire service, ambulance service, local council, and police throughout the event's entirety.
"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," Parkhill added. "Our work is needed now more than ever."
Tickets are going on sale this Saturday, July 4th. "Unlocked" representatives took to social media to share the news, which you can check out below.