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Industry experts will advise on post-Covid gigs and events

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Crowds enjoying the Electric Picnic festival in 2018. Picture by Caroline Quinn

Crowds enjoying the Electric Picnic festival in 2018. Picture by Caroline Quinn

Crowds enjoying the Electric Picnic festival in 2018. Picture by Caroline Quinn

The resumption of major concerts and events after the pandemic moved a step closer with the establishment of a new advisory group on reopening the live entertainment sector.

Promoters and entertainment industry experts will advise Nphet and the Government on requirements to safely manage events as lockdown restrictions are eased.

The consultative stakeholder forum, established by Culture Minister Catherine Martin, will provide technical expertise and practical know-how on the staging of events when the sector reopens, a government source said.

The group is made up of officials from Ms Martin's department, the Events Industry Alliance of Ireland and the Live Venue Operators Forum, members of the City and County Managers Association, event safety consultants, the Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group, Department of Housing officials and the Live Venue Collective - a recently established group of small- to medium-sized venues working to sustain the industry.

"The operators of those venues and festivals have a very high level of expertise in health and safety which is fundamental to their operation," Ms Martin said. "My department will be drawing on that expertise through the working group to finalise guidance so we can be ready for a resumption of activity when public health circumstances permit."

The working group - which was established last Thursday - must ensure its guidance provides for a consistent approach across all live performance venues and will develop principles that promoters can adapt for specific indoor or outdoor events.

Once its guidance document has been produced, Ms Martin will bring the report to the Department of the Taoiseach, Nphet and the Department of Health for consideration.

This is expected to be ready within weeks, but public health circumstances and progress on the vaccine roll-out programme will determine the timeline on restarting the sector.

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