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One a day Live
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Oktoberfest Beag could move to Kerry instead of Cork, organiser suggests

Cork's loss could be Kerry's gain as the organiser of Oktoberfest Beag has suggested the festival could move to Killarney later this year following its cancellation in the city in recent days.

Daryl Cronin said the festival's organisers have received support from the INEC in Kerry.

He said the cancelled festival is a disappointing development.

"There's months and months of hard work and effort done by all of us to deliver a really exciting event, something different that I think Cork city needs," he told the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s RedFM.

"It certainly has been very welcomed by the Cork people over the past nine years. [The cancellation] is very disappointing."

Up to 15,000 tickets had been sold for the event.

Mr Cronin claimed the festival's sponsors withdrew support following pressure from the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI).

"At the start of this year we went back to our previous sponsor, and again we were very thankful for the support they gave.

"They informed us that they with the pressure from the vintners they could not support the event going forward. I don't have that in writing but it was clearly communicated to me and that's very stressful hearing that. We couldn't survive without having [a sponsor]."

Daryl Cronin

He said Oktoberfest was serving the same strength beer as vintners in the city, despite suggestions that their beers are stronger.

"Oktoberfest is a celebration of all things Bavarian. We invested much money into the food we deliver down at the event, for the entertainment, we deliver authentic Oompah bands that are flown over. It's not high-risk entertainment, this is light-hearted, enjoyable entertainment.

"Of course beer is a part of it but I'm hearing very misleading messages that it's a ridiculous ABV. The percentage of the beer the last couple of years is the same percentage of the beer that publicans are pouring, the VFI members' pubs are pouring.

[quote]There's a lot of people travelling into Cork for this event and this is really disappointing.[/quote]

He said the festival organisers were disappointed with the VFI's statement in response to the cancellation.

"I think there's been a clear agenda here, that they just didn't like Oktoberfest and they didn't want it happening," he said.

"I appreciate it's getting much more difficult for pubs and I do understand the frustrations they had but it's not just about the pubs. I do feel we benefit pubs in Cork city but there's other businesses in Cork too; the hotels, the restaurants, the taxis. It's not just about the publicans in this case.

"I do feel Cork is losing out. I feel Cork is after losing so many events. It's just sickening, it really is."

The VFI said it told Mr Cronin on Friday afternoon that it was withdrawing its concerns and wished him luck with the event.

"Subsequently, Mr Cronin cancelled the event," it said.

[quote]The VFI Cork committee would like to state it is disappointed Oktoberfest Beag is not proceeding.[/quote]

Mr Cronin said notification of the withdrawal at 4.23pm came too late for him to respond.

He says they now more than likely will hold the festival in Killarney at the INEC.

"There's very little space in Cork. I do events in various parts of the country and they're very welcoming and there's a choice of sites. It's very frustrating and I can envisage much bigger problems down the road. In the end, Cork loses.

"There is a possibility we might be down in the INEC so Oktoberfest comes to the INEC instead of Cork, possibly towards the end of October."

Mr Cronin said he is worried for the future of other events in Cork.

"This is not just the short-term, this is really the long-term," he said.

"Does Oktoberfest, or Nightmare Realm or other events like this, take place in Cork next year and the year after? We have the Jazz Festival, which is a superb festival in Cork, The Decades Festival, that's gone. The Spiegeltent is gone, the Food Festival [is also gone].

[quote]I think there's too many things leaving Cork and it's Cork is losing.[/quote]