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08th Dec 2021

Funding of €50m for entertainment sector to compensate for curfews and closures

Katy Brennan

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 9 January 2022.

The decision affected many venues throughout the country who had scheduled upcoming events for Christmas.

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 RTE radio’s news at one, the Minister 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,” she 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  funding from February to June 2022.

Main Image Credit: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/