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Ireland announces further €50m for live entertainment

The new funding will go towards the Live Performance Support Scheme, as well as one-off payments for Covid-affected music businesses and €5m in capital grants

By IQ on 10 Mar 2021

Irish culture minister Catherine Martin

image © The Green Party/An Comhaontas Glas

The Republic of Ireland has announced €50 million of new funding for the live entertainment sector, including a further €25m for its Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS).

The new measures, unveiled yesterday (9 March) by Catherine Martin, minister for tourism, culture, arts, the Gaeltacht, sport and media, also includes €14m for a new programme, the Music Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS), that will contribute to the overheads of music businesses negatively affected by the Covid-19 shutdown.

The LPSS saw “exceptional demand” for its €5m pilot scheme, launched at the tail end of 2020, and will now be extended to allow a greater number of artists, crew and technicians to benefit from the job opportunities it provided, says Martin (pictured).

The MEBAS scheme, which is expected to open for applications next month, will offer music companies a flat payment of €2,500 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of €20,000–€100,000, and €5,000 for those with a turnover in excess of €100,000.

Elsewhere, the Irish government has allocated €5m to local authorities to enable them to organise outdoor live performances this summer, while a separate €5m will go towards a scheme of capital grants for venues to install recording and streaming facilities to allow the production of livestreamed shows.

Another €1m has been made available for the 2021 St Patrick’s Day festival “to support the employment of performers, producers, artists, technicians, creatives and support staff”.

“I am very pleased to announce the commencement of these schemes, which will help support Ireland’s entertainment industry so they can weather the storm of ongoing closures due to the crisis,” says Martin.

“I want to see the safe return to live music and entertainment as soon as public health restrictions allow”

“This range of measures will assist commercial venues, producers and promoters to do what they do best – make work for audiences – and provide a valuable asset to our society missing culture and entertainment.

“In addition, the new measures support the indispensable bedrock of our music industry assisting businesses, performers, musicians and crew.

“We as a nation need to continue to see and experience Irish art, and this scheme will provide wellbeing benefits to both participants and members of the public through the high-quality performances made available online in 2021. I look forward to the roll out of these support schemes, which will provide a much needed and vital support for the live performance sector.”

In addition to the new funding, Martin has announced the formation of the Return to Live Entertainment Working Group, which will develop coronavirus-related guidance for the Republic of Ireland’s live entertainment sector.

“I want to see the safe return to live music and entertainment as soon as public health restrictions allow. The schemes announced today will see the sector supported in the months ahead and return to work, albeit in a limited capacity,” she continues.

“The live entertainment industry has extensive expertise in developing health and safety protocols and, following two successful test pilot events in 2020, I now intend to establish a consultative stakeholder forum that will help solidify the guidance for reopening and returning to live performance.”


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