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EPIC launch a 9-point pre-budget plan & an Uplift campaign for the survival of the Irish live music industry & its workers

EPIC launch a 9-point pre-budget plan & an Uplift campaign for the survival of the Irish live music industry & its workers

EPIC, the Event Production Industry Covid19 Working Group (EPIC), which was started during the pandemic to highlight the needs of the live entertainment and events industry has today launched its pre-budget submission detailing what the commercial non-funded live music sector in Ireland needs to survive, along with an Uplift campaign to urge live music fans to email their TDs to help support the industry.

As the submission outlines, it has now been 188 days since the live music and entertainment industry in Ireland was closed.

” It is the only sector with such a strict lockdown for such a long period of time.


Photo: Leo Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

35,000 jobs,
over €3.5 billion Euro to the economy
in excess of 3 million annual bed nights to the wider tourism sector. 

The country misses gigs, concerts, theatres, dances, choirs, orchestras, festivals, food festivals – the country misses our commemorations, our parades, our favourite bands and entertainers. But right now, for most in the Live Entertainment & Events Sector, they miss the opportunity to earn a living, to pay their bills, to survive. This is not possible due to the devastation of the sector by the ongoing Covid19 Pandemic and the mandated closure of the entire sector.

EPIC’s pre-budget submission asks:

  1. Reinstatement of the support payment of €410 (being the previous level of the TWSS) and €350 (being the previous level of the PUP) which is vital for the skilled workforce of the sector until it fully recovers. The sector is unique in that it is almost entirely closed under government mandate with no opportunity to trade.
  2. Implementation of a “scaffolding support fund” equivalent to the level allocated to the state funded sector, to help protect and hold the sector upright and together, allowing it to survive, until such time as organised and ticketed live entertainment events can return to full capacity safely. 
  3. An extension of business rates waiver for a period of thirty-six months to allow SMEs, Venues and the other businesses of the sector to recover. 
  4. Reduction in the rate of VAT on ticket sales to 5% to aid with the staged re-opening of the sector at likely greatly reduced capacity. 
  5. A VAT Tax Credit for the personnel and SMEs of the sector to inspire trade at reduced capacity and enhance the opportunity for businesses to return to work. 
  6.  Implement a taskforce on insurance to review cancellation insurance for events. 
  7. Extension of the credit guarantee scheme to ensure SMEs can borrow 100% loan requirements due to extreme difficulty with securing the remaining 20% from Irish banks. 
  8. Stimulus packages to support the sole owner businesses and small businesses & venues: 
    1. Schools and Colleges: €2 million fund, to provide seat loss compensation grant up to €2,500 in each case. 
    2. Musical Societies, Drama Societies, Stage Schools and Dance Schools: A €1 Million Euro fund accessible to theatres and arts centres to be distributed by the Department of Culture. The fund would allow the theatre or arts centre to apply for €400 per night of performance and pass the saving on to the society in reduced rent. 
    3. c. Small Venue Supports: A €3m euro fund allowing for grants of €1,000 per performance in small music venues to compensate for reduced capacity and to encourage venues to open with less capacity.
  9. Confirmation that the recently announced Cross Departmental Taskforce for the Arts, Culture & Live Events Sector will be a long standing body with representation on the taskforce for the commercial live events sector relative to the size of the commercial sector versus the state funded sector. 

EPIC’s full Pre-Budget Submission is viewable here:  https://www.epicwg.com/

The National Campaign for the Arts also outlined 9 measures needed to save the arts in Ireland in their Pre-Budget Submission 2021

DeBarras, Clonakilty, West Cork, #thisiswhoweare pictured: Back L-R Hotelier Tommy O’Donovan, Red Cross/venue Brian Blackwell, Security/Electrician Gerdie O’Donoghue, Clonakilty mayor/ Fireman Pádraig O’Reilly
Front L-R: Musician/Teacher/Clonakilty International Guitar Festival Kevin McNally,
Venue/Clonakilty International Guitar Festival Ray Blackwell, Restauranteur/Guesthouse owner Sinead O’Crowley, Butcher Mike O’Neill
Photographer credit: Sean Phair -Ambiguous Fiddle Media

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