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06th Sep 2021

Events industry calls for 100% capacity reopening after Varadkar’s festival jaunt

Dave Hanratty

The Tánaiste has come under fire following his appearance at a UK music festival over the weekend.

The events industry in Ireland has called upon the government to accelerate reopening plans for its sector in the wake of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s reported appearance at a music festival in the UK last weekend.

An image of Varadkar circulated on social media on Saturday evening, purporting to show the Tánaiste relaxing by himself at the Mighty Hoopla event at Brockwell Park in London.

Varadkar’s appearance at the festival comes just days after he reportedly criticised the UK’s approach to reopening.

As the fallout begins, the Event Industry Alliance (EIA) in Ireland has issued a statement on Monday morning, noting that it is “glad to see An Tánaiste recognises and trusts the safety measures put in place by our UK colleagues” while calling on the government to open the events sector at 100% capacity “without further delay”.

The EIA adds that it requires 100% capacity in order for the affected industry to remain financially viable.

“It has been repeatedly stated and acknowledged by An Taoiseach and the Tánaiste that the commercial event sector requires 100% capacity to be viable,” the statement continues.

“It must be noted that the commercial events sector does not receive any public funding, unlike the arts/non-commercial event sector who receive €130m annually.

“No explanation or supporting data has been given to our industry for continuing to keep us closed or at reduced capacity until 22 October, at which time we will be closed for 19 months.”

The EIA has also underlined that it remains “extremely focused on” the continuation of both business and employee / personal supports into July of 2022, though the alliance has yet to be notified of the full details thereof.

Tánaiste Varadkar has yet to comment on the matter, though he did meet with fellow music enthusiast Michael Gove on Monday morning for business purposes.

Featured image via Sasko Lazarov /