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Live events industry calls for better Government support

The events industry employs 35,000 people and is worth more than three billion euro to the economy.

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(Brian Lawless/PA)

(Brian Lawless/PA)

(Brian Lawless/PA)

Representatives from the live events industry have published a list of demands for the Government to help the tens of thousands of people left out of work in the sector.

The Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group (Epic) launched its pre-budget submission in Stephen Gately Park, Dublin, on Wednesday.

The events industry employs 35,000 people and is worth more than three billion euro to the economy.

Representatives are calling for the full reinstatement of the wage subsidy scheme and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), as well as the implementation of a so-called scaffolding support until the industry has fully reopened.

They are also calling for a reduction in the VAT rate on ticket sales to 5% among a number of other measures.

Tens of thousands of events have been cancelled throughout the year, including local and regional events as well major festivals such as All Together Now, Body and Soul, Slane and Electric Picnic.

Shane Dunne, a music promoter and production manager who sits on the Epic board, said Wednesday’s event aimed to “amplify” the message around the pre-budget submission.

He said if the Government fails to support the industry, it will lose many of its skilled and indigenous workforce.

“When the time does come to turn the lights back on, there is the worry there won’t be anyone here to do it,” he said.

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The Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group launches its report (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group launches its report (Brian Lawless/PA)

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The Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group launches its report (Brian Lawless/PA)

“If you have four artists on stage in Croke Park, it’s taken 3,000 staff to put them there. The staff for Electric Picnic is about 5,000 people.

“All these people are out of work and they have to go and do something else if they can and retrain, like (community minister) Heather Humphreys told us to.

“We have people who we can’t retrain because they have been in the industry a long time.

“The PUP and wage subsidy scheme is designed for industries that are open but we have been closed for 188 days.

“We may be able to do some shows with 50 people capacity over the next couple of months, it’s great there are some green shoots.

“The Taoiseach (Micheal Martin) and the Tanaiste (Leo Varadkar) talk about this industry specifically in what supports may come in October. These supports are needed now from the Government to look after the industry as a whole and protect workers.”

PA Media