Our Table was one of the best events I’ve ever attended anywhere, and both the idea – that of Jack Crotty of Rocketman – and execution in 2015 was a great example of the kind of thing that can happen when imagination meets cooperation.
Sadly, after just one year, it all seems to have fallen apart, and the event described two weeks ago by the Irish Times as ‘sold out’, has been cancelled with just three weeks to go, as revealed on the Cork’s 96fm Opinion Line this morning.
It was announced with great fanfare at the Midsummer Festival launch in May. Unfortunately, a number of restaurants named as participating had not even been asked to do so again. When asked, many were reluctant to go ahead again.
Last year, restaurants and cafes provided staff, food and drink to the event at cost, in the name of community spirit. This year, spirits seem to have been more to the fore than spirit, with more than one person I spoke to suggesting that a row between the pubs on Oliver Plunkett Street about the street being closed during the Euros was the main factor in the event’s cancellation.
I contacted a number of business owners in Cork about this – all refused to go on the record. I’ve also contacted Cork City Council and Cork Midsummer Festival and will update when we have some more information.
The Our Table event was the kind of thing that could have gone a long way towards restoring the city’s reputation as a food destination (lack of Michelin stars notwithstanding). It was complimentary to all that’s best about the city – the English Market, the cafe culture, and the ‘best street in Britain and Ireland‘, Oliver Plunkett Street.
Whatever the reasons for its cancellation, it’s a big loss to the city’s summer schedule.
Here’s the response from the Midsummer Festival.
“Cork Midsummer Festival, along with the partners of the Our Table event, regret to announce that the event is cancelled. All ticket holders will be refunded for this year’s Our Table, which was due to be held on Sunday, 26th of June, 2016.
All ticket holders will receive a 100% refund on their ticket, including booking fees, directly into their accounts within three to five working days. The Festival will be the point of contact for all refunds.
Last year’s Our Table was a fantastic success and the Festival is deeply disappointed that this year’s sold-out event had to be cancelled.
Cork Midsummer Festival partners with a number of event organisers for the city’s biggest arts festival, and this year’s organisers of Our Table encountered unforeseen difficulties presenting the event in the format advertised.
The date for Our Table was set prior to the announcement of the Euro 2016 fixtures, as the event had to happen during the two weekends of the Festival. The event plans hadn’t factored in the additional numbers of people who would be in the city centre on the 26thof June. The organisers looked into moving the event to a number of different locations. However, they felt that it wasn’t going to live up to last year’s event or the advertised format. After much consideration the very difficult decision was made to cancel this year’s event.
Cork Midsummer Festival intends to be a part of the event again in 2017 and will be actively involved in the consultation process with all Our Table partners.
Cork Midsummer Festival runs from 17th – 19th, 21st, 24th – 26th June 2016 with over 40 events throughout Cork city. For further information go to www.corkmidsummer.com“