THE VODAFONE Comedy Carnival Galway, one of the major events of the Galway, and indeed Irish festival calendar, has had to be cancelled this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Both culturally and economically, the cancellation of the 2020 festival is a major blow to the city. Last year's festival brought 10,000 people to the city and generated at least €5 million for the local economy - revenue that will be lost to the city this year.
A statement issued by the organisers on Monday read: "We are gutted. We had what we feel was our best line-up ever in place for this October. We were determined to put on the finest comedy festival in Europe this year for Galway’s year as European Capital Of Culture. But alas, it’s not to be.
'There is a silver lining: we can get a head start on bringing you an even better festival in 2021'
"We tried absolutely everything and we just cannot make it happen safely. With the ever-changing guidelines around venue capacities and health advice, it is impossible to produce the festival as safely as we wanted. We are not in a position to move ahead as we lack the certainty that any shows can go ahead or what restrictions will be in place come festival time.
"So, with extreme reluctance, we are taking a break for 2020. We just feel it is not safe to put on a live comedy festival of any scale this year, and the safety of our acts and audiences is the priority. However, there is a silver lining: now we can get a head start on bringing you an even better festival in 2021."