Light at the end of the tunnel for Irish performers?

A dedicated Taskforce for the Arts and Culture sector, a pilot live performance event scheme and further engagement from the Government around supporting live event organisers and workers may lay in store for Irish performers, according to a statement from Catherine Martin TD.
“Sunset over Bord Gais Energy theatre, Dublin, Ireland” by Giuseppe Milo (www.pixael.com) is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A dedicated Taskforce for the Arts and Culture sector, a pilot live performance event scheme and further engagement from the Government around supporting live event organisers and workers may lay in store for Irish performers, according to a statement from Catherine Martin TD.

The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht heard firsthand the concerns of the events industry and voiced her intent to establish a dedicated Taskforce for the Arts and Culture Sector which she hoped would feed into the national recovery plan. 

“I am a musician myself and understand the difficulties faced by the sector,” said Minister Martin in the statement which was published after her meeting with the Events Industry Alliance (EIA). “I am eager to get our musicians, our performers and all their behind-the-scenes technical support people back to earning a living and doing what they do so well. Irish society needs live performance and events.”

Mindful of the balance needed between the health guidelines and sustaining livelihoods, the Minister acknowledged the sector’s fears about any loss of skill sets during the pandemic. She said she hoped to soon announce details of a pilot live performance event scheme which was provided for in the July stimulus package and she pledged to engage further around supporting live event organisers and workers. 

In the meantime, EIA has developed a number of Covid-19 training and induction courses for industry workers, performers, event organisers and anyone else from the Irish events industry. According to their official website, the courses are due to launch from mid-September. 

Among the organisations involved in the EIA are the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland, the Event Production Industry Covid-19 working group (EPIC), the Association of Irish Festival Events, the Association of Irish Stage Technicians, and the Event Industry Association of Ireland.

Sophie Ridley and Liam Fitzgerald, chair of EPIC working group and chair of the Association of Irish Stage Technicians respectively, previously gave an interview to Theatremaker.ie in our Stage Door Live show.

You can watch the whole episode here. The interview with Sophie Ridley and Liam Fitzgerald can be found between 00:11:38 – 00:31:50.

According to a publication on the website of the Department of Taoiseach, the government will finalise and publish the Roadmap for Resilience and Recovery in advance of 13 September. “This will map how we balance public health, economic and social aspects of living with COVID-19 in the short to medium term and try to bring some greater certainty so that society and business can at least plan forward.” 

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