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Friday 23 February 2018

Recession blamed as plug pulled on Flatley's Cliffs show

Ralph Riegel and Pat Flynn

MICHAEL FLATLEY's much publicised 'Lord of the Dance' show planned for the Cliffs of Moher next month has been postponed.

The Edge of the World outdoor event had been earmarked to help the Clare attraction to secure a prestigious 'world wonder award'.

But the concert was postponed as the promoters, MPO, claimed it was a victim of Ireland's "tough economic climate".

It is understood no future dates have been set for new concerts.

Those who purchased tickets for the shows on September 1 and 2 will receive full refunds.

"We are very disappointed for the thousands of ticket buyers that the show has been postponed," Flatley told the Irish Independent.

"It would have been a dream come true to bring the 'Lord of the Dance' show to the Cliffs of Moher, one of the most spectacular locations in the world," he added.

"I think all our focus now should be on getting this Seven Wonders of Nature designation for this incredible Irish attraction," he said.

The postponement came as a major blow, given the enormous publicity that the shows had attracted due to their spectacular setting.

The decision is understood to have been taken by the promoter and had nothing to do with the dancer or his Unicorn productions company.

The Edge of the World festival was also to have featured Finbar Furey and the Kilfenora Ceili Band.

MPO had also planned to create a special food and drink village at the venue.

Efforts to contact MPO were unsuccessful last night.

It is understood that while ticket sales were quite good, problems arose over the staging costs.

Mr Flatley had agreed to bring the show to the Cliffs of Moher at a specially discounted rate to help promote the Clare attraction.

Last year, his 'Lord of the Dance' show series in Dublin proved a sell-out success.

Clare County Council also expressed disappointment at the decision to postpone the event.

"The council recognises the considerable efforts of MPO Promotions in attempting to stage a truly unique event at the world famous site. This ambitious and innovative project formed part of Ireland's efforts to make the Cliffs of Moher one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature."

"The council wishes to thank MPO Promotions and Michael Flatley for their ongoing support of the Cliffs of Moher," a council spokesman said.

Irish Hotels Federation Shannon branch chairman, Michael Vaughan, said the cancellation was a blow.

"We are very disappointed that such an international headline event which would have been a real eye-catcher as a tourism product has to go by the wayside like this," he said.

The Cliffs of Moher are vying to join the Grand Canyon, River Amazon and Great Barrier Reef on the list of the world's top seven natural wonders.

Over one billion votes will decide the top seven slots -- and the Cliffs of Moher was last ranked as seventh to clinch the final designation on offer.

The designation will be decided after a global vote on November 11.

Irish Independent

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