Events workers need vital financial supports and clarity about their future as the country continues opening up, with many industry specialists unclear about their future when pubs fully open on July 20. More than 3,500 (full time) and 15,000 (part time) skilled event industry workers – many of whom play in our pubs and clubs – were forced to stop work because of the COVID-19 crisis. It was a first in the industry’s history, leaving many without income.
The live events industry is embedded in the cultural fabric of Ireland – they continue through wars, raise money for famine, raise the spirits of a nation in times of need and provide a focus in times of celebration. “Live events bring joy. They create work. They drive tourism, they boost local economies, contribute to the national economy and are vital for showcasing Ireland as a great place to live, to work, to visit and to do business,” Deputy O’Sullivan said. “Events workers have been left in the dark about what level of supports they can expect to receive during the recovery phase of the pandemic. “Added to this is the very real lack of clarity about safety measures and guidelines around live events, with more venues expected to open in just two short weeks. It’s really tough for these skilled professionals to plan for their futures. “Our government must do its utmost to protect these workers and it must release safety guidelines for live events in a timely manner.”
Deputy O’Sullivan is joining Epic, a lobby group for the live events industry, is calling for a raft of supports to the industry, including an extension of the Wage Subsidy for Event and Arts workers until the mass gathering ban and social distancing are not required for medical safety in Ireland.
Included in this is the removal of commercial rates for empty places of entertainment and warehousing of event equipment, and that recipients of the COVID Payment be eligible for other welfare supports such as rent allowance.