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Arthur's Day axed: Guinness confirms celebration will not be returning

However, the company says the decision was NOT related to the backlash against the event.

Image: Photocall Ireland

GUINNESS HAS CONFIRMED that there will be no Arthur’s Day event this year, saying that its new Guinness Amplify project will take its place.

The company’s marketing manager Lisa Fitzsimons told DailyEdge.ie that the new project, which promises to help emerging artists in Ireland, ”effectively replaces Arthur’s Day as our music programme.”

However, the company said that the decision to end Arthur’s Day was not related to the backlash against it which gathered pace last year.

“Arthur’s Day was hugely successful,” Fitzsimons said.

It was only ever intended to be a one-year event, but it captured the hearts and minds of consumers, and publicans, and even the media – so we rolled it out. We’ve had five now and we decided we needed to refresh.

Asked whether the event’s detractors had played a part in its demise, Fitzsimons said:

Being honest, no. We were obviously very very aware of it. And we are a drink company, and we are very passionate and committed to the responsible enjoyment of our products.

She said alcohol was an “important debate” in Ireland, and that some of those speaking out against the event had “openly admitted that they were using Arthur’s Day as a platform” to raise issues around it.

Last year the debate around Arthur’s Day claimed international attention, with the Guardian noting its “dark side” and the Associated Press quoting a critic who said it should be called “vomit day”.

Christy Moore released a single called Arthur’s Day:

Source: ChristyMooreOfficial/YouTube

However, Guinness maintained today that market research after each event had showed that consumers still “absolutely loved it”. Fitzsimons said:

Literally hundreds of thousands of people celebrated it. We’re conscious that there are some Guinness fans out there who might be disappointed when they hear it isn’t going on any more. But we’re trying to incorporate some of the magic of Arthur’s Day into Guinness Amplify.

Kodaline, Ellie Goulding and Walking on Cars are among the big-name acts that will perform in secret gigs as part of Guinness Amplify – in which the company says it will invest €1million. The event takes place over five weekends beginning on September 11.

More major acts will be announced in August and September, the company said.

First published 2.46pm

More: Guinness announce €1 million fund for emerging Irish musicians>

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Michael Freeman

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