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More than 12,000 arts events cancelled due to Covid-19 crisis

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Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan in Government Buildings, Dublin, as the media is briefed on the latest measures Government Departments have introduced in response to Covid-19. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan in Government Buildings, Dublin, as the media is briefed on the latest measures Government Departments have introduced in response to Covid-19. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

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Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan in Government Buildings, Dublin, as the media is briefed on the latest measures Government Departments have introduced in response to Covid-19. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

MORE than 12,000 arts events from music and theatre performances to exhibitions have been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

This will lead to a lost audience of 2.4m people by the end of May according to research by the Arts Council.

It was also revealed that 112,000 tickets have already been sold for events that won't now take place.

Arts Council chairman Kevin Rafter revealed the figures as he joined Culture Minister Josepha Madigan to launch measures to support Irish artistic and cultural life during the coronavirus emergency.

Mr Rafter said the research his organisation has carried out on the impact on audiences, employment and finances of arts organisations will help understand how to help the sector respond to the challenging months ahead.

The main measure announced today is a €1m fund for creating artistic work that can be shared on the internet.

The fund is open to anyone who can demonstrate a track record of professional practice as an artist with no restriction on the type or form of art that can be created.

Mr Madigan also listed some projects that will proceed during the crisis including a "reimagined Fleadh Cheoil" to be broadcast by TG4 and an Abbey theatre initiative that will see 50 writers produce monologues for 50 actors to be performed this month.

She also announced plans for a 'Shine Your Light' event to happen around the country on Easter Saturday at 9pm.

Ms Madigan said: "On Easter Saturday evening, we are asking everyone to shine a light for all the people who are sick, for those who have lost their lives and their loved ones".

She said the event would also acknowledge the frontline staff and healthcare workers "who are keeping us going through these dark times".

Public buildings will be lit up and Irish Embassies around the world will also be taking part.

Online Editors