Minister Catherine Martin meeting staff of the Hawk's Well Theatre in Sligo recently.

€5 million scheme to help music and live performance industry launched

The Minister for Culture, Arts, Media, Tourism, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin, today launched a number of new music and performance support schemes to aid employment in the creative industries given the unprecedented nature of the challenge facing the music and live performance sectors owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

An allocation of €5 million is being made available under the “Live Performance Support Scheme” which aims to assist commercial venues, producers and promoters of live performances and provide employment to workers in the creative industries. The scheme will help to de-risk the costs of preparing for new productions which may subsequently have to be postponed, cancelled or curtailed due to restrictions to safeguard public health. The main objective of the scheme is to provide employment opportunities in the ticketed performance sector and allow commercial organisers of live performances to commence preparations immediately and productions to go ahead in the near future while also complying with public health protection measures. This scheme has been developed following consultation with the sector and will be managed directly by the Department.

A further support package, the Music Stimulus Package, involves three funding schemes designed to help sustain the popular and commercial music sector across all music genres, including rock, pop, hip hop, indie, jazz, country and western and traditional and folk. Under this package, a fund of €1,000,000 is being put in place to stimulate areas of work which artists would usually fund with income from own sources including live event fees.

The music support schemes are targeted at professional musicians and their teams and will support song writing camps, recording and album releases. The aim is to ensure that Irish musicians, engineers, PR, media, agents, labels and publishers can continue to develop and share their work in the context of COVID restrictions. The Music Stimulus Package schemes will be managed on behalf of the Department by First Music Contact and will be subject to peer panel assessment.

Announcing the new measure of support Minister Catherine Martin said:

“I am conscious of the unprecedented nature of the challenge facing live performance promoters and producers, not least from a financial point of view and accordingly am pleased to announce this funding response that will assist established commercial venues and promoters to employ performers, artists, technicians, creative and performance support staff up to the end of 2020 in anticipation of the return of audiences to live performance. Further, to help ensure the survival and revival of the music industry in Ireland, I am announcing the introduction of a number of schemes which have been designed to provide incentives for creating new work, the recording of new music from all music genres and the promotion and release of work, which might not otherwise happen in 2020. These schemes will also support the music professionals who work with artists and facilitate music performance, recording and album release.”

Key features of the these Support Schemes include-

• Support the creation of employment opportunities in the culture, creative and music industries.

• Address the large gap left by the absence of income from live performances

• Support performances/work that will commence on or before 31 December 2020.

• Support commercial venues, producers and promoters in the culture sector (e.g. music, entertainment and theatre).

• Support the music professionals and aim to ensure that Irish musicians, engineers, PR, media, agents, labels and publishers can continue to develop and share their work in the context of COVID restrictions.

Applications can be made immediately.

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