For the first time since 2005 Mitchelstown will not be reverberating to the sound of music over the August bank-holiday weekend following the enforced cancellation of the this year's Indiependence Music and Arts Festival.
No one was more disappointed at the news there would be no 'Indie 2020' than festival co-founder an organiser Shane Dunne, who told The Corkman the Covid-19 restrictions imposed on mass gatherings meant there was no option but to cancel the event.
"Of course it was a big disappointment to have to cancel Indie this year. It is a big blow for the festival and for Mitchelstown, but given the Covid-19 situation it was something we had been aware was likely to happen before making the announcement in April," said Shane.
While it would be easy for Shane to be downbeat about Indie 2020 being cancelled, he said the festival would return next year albeit with a few minor changes. One of these may include reducing capacity back to 10,000 to create more space for festival-goers at the Deer Park site.
"This is something we are giving consideration to. We will also be looking at trying to bring some of the acts that were supposed to play Indie this year back again next year, but that will depend on their schedule for 2021," said Shane.
"In many ways 2021 will present us with a clean slate and we will use this opportunity to take an overview of the event and see if there are ways to improve it moving forward. One thing is for sure - we will be back next year, beer in hand and grass under our feet."
In the meantime one of the stalwarts of Indie over the years, The Coronas, will be making a somewhat unorthodox visit to Mitchelstown tomorrow (Friday, 31st) as part of a mini Irish tour to mark the release of their forthcoming album 'True Love Waits'.
The band will roll into the town square at around 10am in a Murphy's Ice Cream 'Super Sprinkle's' van to sign copies of the new album and hand out free pots of ice cream to fans.
Coronas lead singer Danny O'Reilly said that when the band realised they were not going to be able to promote the album in the normal way, they decided to think outside the box.
"With no gigs, in-store signings or radio performances permitted, our manager had the idea that we get in an ice cream van and travel the country giving out free ice cream and selling the album," said Danny.
"With everything that's going on at the moment we thought it might add a tiny bit of positivity into the world and we can't wait to get out and see some of our fans and friends that we haven't seen since before lockdown. There's a long way to go before we beat this unfortunately named virus, but, remember, True Love Waits," he added.
Shane Dunne said that the visit of the band to the town would bring a welcome bank-holiday musical buzz to Mitchelstown.
"The Coronas have always been big supporters of Indie, so it will be great to see them back in the town, albeit not quite in the way that any of us would have expected," he said.
The Coronas 'Ice Cream' tour will kick off today (Thursday) when the band will talk to Dave Mac from Red FM at Golden Discs on Patrick Street about the new album and the records that have shaped their lives.