Having been closed for 188 days yesterday, Event Production Industry Covid-19 (EPIC) working group launched its Pre-Budget Submission with a nine-point detailed plan
Two days after the NCFA (National Campaign for the Arts) Pre-Budget Submission, EPIC a volunteer-led movement representing the Live Entertainment and Events Sector launched another Pre-Budget Submission plan highlighting the plight and pleas of the Arts and Live Entertainment sector.
EPIC’s Pre-Budget Submission plan listed as nine points, calls upon the government to reinstate EWSS and PUP scheme to the original amount of €410 and €350 and implement a system that allows freelancers to take occasional work without having to sign off the PUP scheme.
Earlier during the month, Minister Catherine Martin had announced the establishment of Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce stating that a cross-departmental taskforce would be established to “sustain the arts and culture sector through the COVID-19 recovery and beyond.”
The Live Entertainment and Events sector represented by EPIC has further asked in the Pre-Budget Submission that the recently announced taskforce be ‘a long-standing body with representation for the commercial live events sector relative to the size of the commercial sector versus the state-funded sector’
Commenting on the representation of the Arts sector in the Taskforce, Liam Fitzgerald, chairperson of AIST (Association of Irish Stage Technicians) said,
” They [Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht] have got two people or you could say people representing the two main facets of the industry… but it’s going to be a lot of pressure on those two individuals to funnel in all the information…a wider opinion base or more representatives on the taskforce would be better but the taskforce being set up is the most important part.“
A new social media campaign called the ‘This is Who We Are’ (#ThisIsWhoWeAre) is being supported by a large number of theatre groups, artists and art makers around the country to encourage the formulation of strong policies for the revival and sustainability of the Arts and Live Events sector.
Explaining the purpose and goals of the campaign, Liam Fitzerald said, “The main goal of the ‘This Is Who We Are’ campaign is to raise the awareness amongst the public and the TD’s to the point, whereby we convince the budget to be influenced by our budget submission and by the other budget submissions that have gone through different groups.“
In addition to the official request of granting various funds under ‘Stimulus Packages to Support Small Businesses and Venues’ the ‘independently elected group of representatives’ have asked for 100% guaranteed loans from banks to support SME’s. This is asked as an extension of the Credit Guarantee Scheme ‘until small businesses can trade again.’
“SMEs are the lifeblood of the Irish economy and none more so than those on the Live Entertainment and Events Sector. They are successful, viable, resilient enterprises that through no fault of their own find themselves shut”EPIC, Pre-Budget Submission 2020
Apart from other Stimulus Packages to support the Live entertainment and Events Sector, EPIC has specifically asked for a fund of €1 Million Euros accessible to theatres and art centres that would further allow them to apply for €400 per night performances. More information on the same is available here.
“The country misses our commemorations, our parades, our favourite bands. But right now, for most in the Live Entertainment & Events Sector, we miss the opportunity to earn a living, to pay our bills, to survive…”EPIC, Pre-Budget Submission 2020