Entertainment sector calls for introduction of supports
A spokesperson for the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland has appealed directly to the Taoiseach to intervene and introduce supports for the industry.
On RTÉ’s Drivetime, Matt McGranaghan called for the immediate reinstatement of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, or an equivalent support, for those in the music industry who were forced off the payments in the past couple of months.
“We’re directly appealing to an Taoiseach to intervene, to give us support and show us leadership for the industry, to help save the industry and especially to help to save Christmas for a lot of people because that is a major concern at the moment for a huge amount of workers,” he said.
He said the industry has seen “a flooding of cancellations in the past week” since the new restrictions were introduced, including the cancellation of corporate events and Christmas parties.
Mr McGranaghan said a survey of its members found that three quarters of them have had their gigs cancelled, with some reporting that their gigs for entire month of December have been wiped out.
He said this is not entirely post-midnight gigs, but also events due to be held before midnight.
Separately, he said some musicians who had Covid-19 symptoms were told if they did not show up, they would not be booked again.
“I’m aware of musicians who had symptoms, and didn’t feel well enough to go and gig, but were basically told ‘well if you don’t turn up, there’ll be no more gigs for you’,” he said.
“So they’ve had to turn up and put themselves in that position because people have put that sort of pressure on them. And that is really not good enough, but that goes part and parcel with being in a self-employed industry,” he added.