€50 million funding allocated to entertainment sector after restrictions
It comes as the industry faces uncertainty in light of recent restrictions.
Minister for Arts and Culture Catherine Martin has announced details of a €50 million support package for the entertainment sector.
The Minister described the new initiative for the live entertainment sector as a way “to keep the doors open”.
It comes after the Government made the decision last week to introduce venue capacity limits, imposing a 50% limit on numbers allowed to attend indoor events.
These measures are set to remain in place until at least 9 January, 2022.
The decision affected many venues throughout the country who had scheduled upcoming events for Christmas.
Just announced - new supports for live performance:
🟢€5m- seasonal musical theatre/panto
🟢min. €34m- Live Performance Support Schemes
🟢€5m- adaptation grants for live venues
🟢€1m- St Patrick's Festival 2022
🟢€5m- Local Authorities to support artists/performance
— Catherine Martin TD (@cathmartingreen) December 8, 2021
The Gaiety Theatre announced that it would have to cancel half of the tickets it had already sold for this year's pantomime, The Little Mermaid, which is due to start this week.
Speaking on RTÉ News at One, Minister Martin said that the €50 million fund includes €2.5 million for seasonal events like pantomimes and €5 million for “town hall performances”.
It also includes a €34 million live performance support scheme for all events that have had to be cancelled, rescheduled, or lower capacity.
"The live entertainment sector has been asked to shoulder a heavy burden with these new restrictions," Martin said.
“This is not where we wanted to be but the epidemiological situation is such that we must try to reduce socialisation to manage Covid-19 case numbers over the coming weeks.”
“I know audiences are still seeking live performance experiences after venues were closed for so long and I do not want to see stages going dark in the coming weeks.”
She said her "absolute focus” was to keep performers on stage as well as to provide certainty for those working in the sector.
She added that there would be another €14 million of funding provided from February to June of 2022.
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