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Minister for Culture & Arts Catherine Martin says live music will be allowed in pubs, current restrictions on live events are “an anomaly” and an arts taskforce will be established

Minister for Culture & Arts Catherine Martin says live music will be allowed in pubs, current restrictions on live events are “an anomaly” and an arts taskforce will be established

When news came that regular pubs will be allowed to open on September 21st (pending a lockdown situation) with restrictions in place last week, The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) recommended that live music isn’t to be played and the TV volume is turned down.

In light of today’s news of a €6 million support package for live music and the industry from the Minister for Culture, Arts, Media, Tourism, Sport and the Gaeltacht, T.D. Catherine Martin, it now appears that the minister has clarified that regular pubs will be allowed host live music when they reopen on September 21st .

In an interview with Claire Byrne today on RTE, Martin said there is nothing in the guidelines to stop live music from taking place.

The minister also said the €6 million support package made up of two strands “are pilot schemes” and acknowledged that the amount is not enough for a sector which estimates it is worth €3.5 billion, but it encourages people to open up to performances, which will be in the roadmap on September 14th next week.


“I want to see our performers perform again,” she said. “There is nothing agreed in cabinet to stop live music in ‘wet pubs’. I want performers singing and that was not agreed.”

Catherine Martin also said they would be announcing an arts taskforce today chaired by Clare Duignan with a report due to the Minister by October 31st, and that it doesn’t make sense that the 3Arena can host the same number of people, as you can in your house, and also that the indoor and outdoor restrictions don’t make sense.

“Obviously, allowing 6 indoors and 15 outdoors is not viable for the sector, and I want to see those limits lifted and I made that clear to the stakeholders, in a safe and controlled setting.”

Further acknowledging the anomaly of a theatre or venue allowing 50 people at the same time as the above restrictions.

“I think we can deal with that next week,” is how Martin responded.

Listen to the interview.

No surprise on this front, but the role of DJs in pubs was not addressed. Yet, If there’s no guidelines banning DJs specifically, and they are put on safely with restrictions in place, and there is no dancing, then why not?

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