The first outdoor performances of Michael Flatley’s “The Lord of the Dance”. at the Cliffs of Moher, in County Clare, has been cancelled due to the economic climate in Ireland. The two shows, on September 1 and 2, were set to coincide with the Cliffs of Moher’s campaign to be named as one of the "New7Wonders of Nature".

It was expected that up to 10,000 people would attend the performances, which would include the Kilfenora Ceili Band and Finbar Furey, as part of The Edge of the World festival.

The postponement is a major blow to the local community and those involved in the festival given the publicity for the event which has already been put in place. It is also understood that Michael Flatley, and his company Unicorn Productions, were not involved in the decision.

According to Irish Independent reports ticket sales for the event were quite good however problems arose over the staging costs of the show. The promotion company has said that all tickets will be refunded and said the show is merely being postponed.

In a statement they said “What was to be the event of the decade at Co Clare’s iconic tourist location has been postponed by MPO Promotions. All ticket holders will be refunded in full by contacting Ticketmaster or point of sale outlets.

"MPO Promotions would like to thank everyone who purchased tickets for this event, and regret the decision, but Ireland’s tough economic climate has been a major factor in the promoter’s decision."

The company has made no indications as to when the show might be rescheduled. According to reports in the Irish Examiner there are fears, locally, that the performance has been abandoned completely.

Michael Vaughan, Chairman of the Shannon branch of the Irish Hotels Federation "We are very disappointed that such an international headline event which would have been a real eye-catcher as a tourism product, has to go by the wayside like this. There would have been quite a good level of inquiry about accommodation in the area and even from golfing groups who planned to include the show in their itinerary."

"The event would have been great for north Clare, especially at the start of the annual Lisdoonvarna festival. It is great that the council was involved but the promoters also deserve every credit and maybe luck wasn’t on their side especially in the current climate."

The Clare County Council said they were disappointed by the cancellation.  They said “The council recognizes the considerable efforts of MPO Promotions in attempting to stage a truly unique event at the world famous site. This ambitious and innovative project formed part of Ireland’s efforts to make the Cliffs of Moher one of the new seven wonders of nature in the global competition that concludes on 11th November 2011.

"The council wishes to thank MPO Promotions and Michael Flatley for their ongoing support of the Cliffs of Moher."