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Forever Young Festival 2023 14th-16th July



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,060 ✭✭✭✭bodhrandude

    Did anyone get to see Neville Staple, did he do any of the Specials classics.

    If you want to get into it, you got to get out of it. (Hawkwind 1982)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,978 ✭✭✭Sexual Chocolate

    Another statement realised from Sharon

    Hi everyone,

    Well what can we say, that was a weekend we will all remember, but not all for the same reasons. I know a large number of you had a brilliant time despite the weather, your posts and anecdotes have been just fabulous after such a testing weekend, thank you.

    And for a large number of you, the decisions made around safety at the event meant you missed out on the Saturday at Forever Young. I personally hated having to do that to you, it wasn’t based on anything other than a directive from the safety team, as the site could not take a large influx of additional customers on the Saturday. 

    I have added further information/explanation at the end of this email, for those affected, to try and explain the rationale behind this very difficult decision. I assure you that it was not a decision taken lightly, it had nothing to do with cost or value of tickets, it was to minimise the risk of very serious accidents occurring on site. No one could risk that, we have a duty of care to protect you, our customers. It was as simple as that, I'm truly sorry. I am working to bring key Saturday artists back next year to try and look after those who missed them. Genuinely if there was any option of doing things differently I would have. 

    Regarding further queries around the site, I have added detail of those also below, hoping it will provide clarity, as a lot of misinformation has circulated on social media. 

    I hope you understand Forever Young is your festival, we put a huge effort in to make it the best weekend possible, for you to enjoy, and it’s devastating to us that this has happened and people feel let down. 

    We will respond to all queries as quickly as possible, but we are a small team so please bear with us. We will look after everyone the best we can, and as promptly as we can.

    All requests need to be received by Friday 12th August. 

    Many thanks for your patience

    Sharon x 

    Contrary to the misinformation being shared on social media, on the Monday before the event, the event management team ordered in additional resources due to the forecast. Even on the Friday, Met Eireann- who we have a direct line to, gave a prediction of 2ml of rainfall for Saturday, which the site would have held. Unfortunately more than 12ml fell, 6x the predicted rainfall. Nothing could have prepared the ground for that persistent deluge. We use the top event safety company in the country, their expertise and experience is unrivalled. We held a crisis meeting between all the relevant bodies at 10am, and as the rain showed no sign of letting up, it looked very likely the festival would be cancelled. 

    The safety team assessed the site in detail, and their conclusion was that the arena would not be safe if the numbers exceeded the camping/hotel package holders combined numbers. The arena was structured to be safe for 15,000 people in normal conditions. This is a number calculated on the available exits to safe spaces, should there be any major incident in the arena. With the ground conditions slowing up any potential exit, the number had to be halved. Sadly that meant that anyone due to arrive on the Saturday, above that number, could not be safely admitted. 

    It was a horrible decision to have to relay to you all, but we had no choice, I am so sorry. If you imagine that this hadn't been made, and an incident occurred, people could have died. No day out is worth that risk. We had to chose safety knowing the huge upset it would cause. It was deemed that closing the event and trying to vacate the event in such unprecedented conditions was a more significant safety issue than continuing with the reduced numbers. 

    The gates were instructed to only admit campers and hotel package guests. If anyone else got in, this should not have happened. We are reviewing CCTV to try and ascertain if there is any truth to the reports that others gained entry. 

    There have been many queries over the siting of the toilets in the standard campsite. There was a large number of toilets in standard camping, considerably more than was required for the numbers (we never provide the regulation number as we want to provide the best we can for our customers). The standard camping area was split into campervans/caravans area and the camping/tent area. The toilets were mapped to be in the middle of the 2 areas- see map. However the area around where the toilets were sited and the access route became flooded, which meant they were inaccessible to the cleaning trucks. You cannot have toilets in situ that can't be cleaned, it’s against the regulations and would be very unpleasant for our customers. Therefore the toilets were moved to the far end of the standard campsite where they could be regularly serviced.

    After Friday’s rain, with the Met Eireann prediction of less rain for Saturday, I requested the team move the toilets back if at all possible, however, as the rainfall worsened it became evident this was not possible. We know this meant a longer walk than people would like, however the toilets were sited in the standard campsite, as required.  

    I designed Forever Young from a customer perspective, I go over the site designs meticulously from a customer perspective, to try and give the experience I would want at the festival myself. I requested that all facilities were as close to each area as possible, and all parking was as close to each area as possible. All these changes do cost extra to provide, but a design that I hoped would improve the experience for our customers. 

    Unfortunately the weather beat us this year, and decisions had to be made that were far from ideal, but necessary. Whatever we did, there were people that would be disappointed. I run Forever Young for you, and for animal welfare. These issues have cost us our first clinic opening this year, and that is devastating. Please understand, the weather forced these issues, we all lost out because of it. I will do my best to make it up to you in 2024. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,978 ✭✭✭Sexual Chocolate

    Missed that one. He played early I remember right.

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 ✭✭✭Lad GAGA

    I got to see him and he was excellent, the crowd really enjoyed him. From memory he did play a few specials songs. In fairness most of the performers were really good the only disappointment for me was Andy Bell.

    Genuinely feel sorry for Sharon and it looks like it will go ahead next year. I'm sure there will be big lessons learned form this year, more so than previous years. I know a lot of people won't go next year but I got the sense from a few people I was talking to over the weekend that they would definitely go back next year. Most, like myself, have been going since the first festival and really enjoy the uniqueness of it. I was actually surprised at the number of visitors from the UK. The music, the crowd and the venue make for a great few days. Now if only the weather would behave itself......

  • Registered Users Posts: 49 seekenee

    Yes, he did Gangsters, Nite Klub, Message to You Rudy, Ghost Town, Monkey Man, Guns of Navarone, Long Shot kick de Bucket, plus Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,265 ✭✭✭✭Goldengirl

    Thanks would have liked to see him .

    Never got back on the Sunday because if the weather .

    Btw on the subject of drink prices we paid €8 for Heineken and €9 for wine ..more than Malahide and St Anne's. Still you have to have a drink, we all know , and so do the organisers.

    Next year I will be the one in the waders . :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,153 ✭✭✭Fanirish

    Why yes transport, chilling, labour costs and setting up a bar in a field are much more expensive than a pub with that infrastructure built in and which operates 364 days a years.

    its not rocket science that setting up anything in a field for a weekend come with additional costs beyond those of your local pub, hence a slight premium per pint to offset the extra costs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭crl84

    Everyone understands that prices are going to be more at a temporary venue in a field than a pub.

    The issue is claiming that €8 a pint is reasonable under the assertion that they're "cheaper than most events and most Dublin pubs", when that is demonstrably untrue, so either they're an utter moron, or they're deliberately lying. And knowing the usual festival PR spin, it's almost certainly the latter. Most Dublin pubs are not charging €8 for a pint of Heineken. 99% of Dublin pubs are charging less than that.

    So they're full of sh1t.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 193 ✭✭Granite Head

    Pints at Forest Fest were €7, including craft beers - seems very reasonable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,825 ✭✭✭Ricosruffneck

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,791 ✭✭✭Demonique

    Is there an accessible camp site at Forever Young?