Savour Kilkenny, one of the highlights of the Irish food festival calendar, will not be taking place for 2020 – though there may be light at the end of the tunnel for food lovers in the area
Slated for 22-26 October (the bank holiday weekend), the festival usually sees thousands descend on Kilkenny city centre to soak up the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the offerings around The Parade.
As with many other festivals in 2020, yet despite the lateness in the calendar, organisers confirmed on Saturday that it won’t be going ahead in its usual form.
Speaking to my KCLR colleague Edward Hayden on The Saturday Show this morning, festival director Marian Flannery outlined the details.
“With the times we’re in, it’s not possible that Savour as we all know and love it in its normal form can happen for 2020.”
“We’ve got crowds in or around 50,000 over the course of the four days that we run the festival and that is a mass gathering. I suppose no matter what happens it’s not likely there will be any possibility that [the gathering] can happen.”
“Savour has had a fantastic 13 years, this is the 14th year the festival has been in operation and we are looking very carefully at how we can support and help the food industry and food producers and the hospitality sector in Kilkenny towards the end of the year. We’re putting some plans together.”
“We’ll be back bigger and better in 2021, I have no doubt. It’s obviously with a heavy heart, but it’s the right thing to do under the circumstances. There isn’t any other way to handle it really.
12 weeks of popup events in planning
While the sights and sounds on The Parade will be missed along with rafts of talks, demos the occasion it self may still be marked this October.
Our partners – our hotels, restaurants, cafés, gastropubs, food producers, food communities, in Kilkenny have been a really important partners in Savour and have played a very major part in making the festival the success it has become over the years.
With that in mind, we’re looking at how Savour possibly this year in conjunction with Kilkenny County Council, LEO, LEADER, Taste Kilkenny can work with that community to lend a hand in terms of regenerating economic activity in the sector. We’re at the early stages at looking at the possibility of working with that group and organising a series of food events over the months of October, November, December, the last quarter of the year.
Every weekend over those three months, there would be a couple of events running – unusual, innovative, thematic events that happen in Kilkenny, obviously with social distancing and adhering to all the Covid rules and regulations.
We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to put a programme of events together. The direct impact of that is obviously on the businesses themselves, but also with tourism in bringing people to Kilkenny every weekend over the 12 weeks.