19 May 2022

Ireland's event industry 'deeply disappointed' after meeting with Arts Minister

Ireland's event industry 'deeply disappointed' after meeting Minister for Arts

Electric Picnic

No progress is said to have been made on when fully vaccinated events can take place in Ireland, following a meeting between industry representatives and the Minister for Arts this Wednesday, August 18.

A meeting was held between Event Industry Alliance (EIA) and the Minister for Arts, Catherine Martin to ask when Ireland's festivals, live music gigs and circuses can resume

It follows their intense campaign and urgent request for engagement with all key stakeholders within the Event Industry.

In a statement released afterwards, they say they are disappointed that An Taoiseach or Tánaiste or Minister for Health did not attend. 

"We acknowledged the fact that the Minister Catherine Martin took the time to meet with our industry representatives however we were disappointed that An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, or Minister Stephen Donnelly did NOT attend today’s meeting. While we also acknowledge that representatives from the ministers’ departments did attend, this was the first time this has happened.

"The sector requires a whole cross Government approach to ensure that the severity of the situation that the Industry now finds itself in is fully appreciated. In addition, we are very concerned that after 17 months of closure each group had just a two to three minute opportunity to make a contribution towards the proposed reopening roadmap. This does not amount to constructive engagement but we do hope that this is a start.   

 The Event Industry Alliance reiterated their following key proposals for reopening:

1) A SAFE reopening date from 1st September 2021 for those full vaccinated at full capacity for indoor and outdoor events. These events need to be a viable and Food & Beverages should be allowed as this is a key source of income.

2) Vital industry business and workers supports remain in place and are extended until June 2022.

3) Meaningful engagement with Minister Martin & her department including schedule of weekly review meetings.

4) The sector are prepared to go above and beyond - Enhanced safety measures to include advance lead party registration/entry temperature checks/one way system/Children under 12 allowed with a fully vaccinated adult.

5) Urgent need for a “whole of government approach” and cross departmental collaboration, as a significant part of our industry still stands on the side lines with little or no engagement and are being bounced from department to department.

"We are deeply disappointed that there still is no confirmed reopening date, despite being mandated to close for 17 months, and ongoing requests for meaningful engagement with all sectors within our industry.

"There is an urgent and obvious requirement for cross department collaboration to ensure a strong aligned reopening. In various departments there is a perceived difference between culture based and other events. The reality is that strictly non cultural events account for 30-40% of the total €3.5bn industry value - however ALL EVENTS WILL be obliged to follow the same over-arching procedures, guidelines and industry restrictions.

"There is also an obvious collaboration with the Department of Health required.

"We again call for an urgent meeting with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister Eamon Ryan, Minister Stephen Donnelly and the Cabinet Sub Committee on COVID to urgently engage with our sector, the EIA say.

The EIA represent:

AIST- Association of Irish Stage Technicians

AOIFE: Association of Irish Festivals and Events

EIAI- Event Industry Association of Ireland.

EII- Event Industry Ireland

EPIC- Event Production Industry C19 working group

IEOA- Irish Exhibition Organisers association

ISG- Irish Showman’s Guild (Funfairs &Circuses).

WBA- Wedding Band Association

VOPF- Venue Operators and Promoters forum.

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