Ireland's First Festival Demonstration Takes place in Sligo





The first practical demonstration outlining how Irish music festivals can be run safely in the era of Covid-19 is taking place in Co. Sligo today (14.05.2021). This morning organisers of the Wild Roots Music, Performing Arts & Adventure Festival brought members of the media and key industry stakeholders on the first look at their new festival site on the shores of Lough Gill. During the site visit, Live bands played on the festival's “Wild West Stage” and industry experts gave a demonstration of the world’s first AI-powered Rapid Antigen technology for Live events. It marks the first time that this new technology has been used in Ireland.


Wild Roots is a new boutique festival that is due to take place August 13-15 with musical performances including the Kaiser Chiefs, Damien Dempsey and Tolü Makay. Speaking at the event, Niall O’Dowd from InnovateOut, the festival’s testing partner, outlined the process for how festival patrons would be tested prior to entry:


“The system that we are using is the world’s first AI-Powered Covid-19 antigen test. It scans for the virus using a simple nasal swab and gives us back results within about five minutes and with around 97% accuracy. Festival patrons download an app and a QR code day pass is issued to their phone to gain access to the festival site. Although there is privacy built-in for the user the app is designed to plug straight into the HSE’s reporting system. What we are looking at here is the future of Live events in the era of Covid-19. This is the first time this technology has been demonstrated in Ireland.”


The festival’s Wild West Village, a largescale immersive art installation of a Western-style town is currently under construction and during the site tour, a number of bands played on the festival’s "Wild Roots Stage" including Soda Blonde, JyellowL and ROE. Speaking at the event the festival's Director, Neil O’Connell said:


“The event today has given us a unique insight into how Live outdoor events can be run in the era of Covid-19. To see bands on stage even without an audience is a very special moment for everyone present. We’re a smaller festival with a limited capacity so we have been able to design the event with Covid-19 in mind. Today represents an important milestone in the reopening of the Live events industry in Ireland, in that we have demonstrated how festivals can operate safely. If rapid antigen testing is employed properly, events like ours will even help to identify cases in the community”.


Wild Roots is a new boutique festival that celebrates music, performing arts and outdoor adventure. The event will take place along the freshwater lake of Lough Gill, Co. Sligo (August 13-15) made famous by W.B Yeats. Festival patrons can sample a range of outdoor activities including boat rides, kayaking, rock climbing and aerial yoga. Other musical highlights will include Soda Blonde, Daithí, Booka Shade, Mark Blair and King Kong Company.


Subject to licence. For tickets and further information, see https://wildroots.ie/