Posted on by Oran

Minister Catherine Martin launches a new €50m suite of measures to support the Live Performance Sector. Find out more details below…

Slipknot – 3 Arena, Dublin January 14th 2015

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., today announced a new €50m suite of measures to support the commercial live performance sector to assist producers, promoters, venues and musicians.

An overall breakdown of the funding is as follows:

€25m new Live Performance Support Scheme
€14m new support scheme for live entertainment businesses
€5m to local authorities for outdoor live performances
€5m capital supports for live entertainment sector
€1m to St. Patrick’s Festival

Included in the suite announced today is a significantly enhanced Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS); a new support for sole traders and music businesses to pay fixed costs; a new capital fund to install recording facilities for live streaming; and a new local performance scheme this summer for villages and town centres.

Following exceptional demand for the pilot LPSS in 2020, a fund of €25m will now be made available for 2021. The scheme will provide significant job opportunities in the live performance sector. It will support the continued production of high-quality artistic output, as was demonstrated during the pilot phase of the Live Performance Support Scheme, which recently provided thousands of days of employment to hundreds of musicians, actors, crew and technicians when no other opportunities were available.

Building on those successful outcomes, the Department has gained valuable insights and applied these in the new scheme where appropriate. The objective now is to support employment and wellbeing opportunities in the live performance sector across all genres and continued high-quality artistic output for the general public.

Key features of the Live Performance Support Scheme include:
* Support live performances that will occur on or before 30th September 2021.
* Support the creation of employment and wellbeing opportunities in the culture and creative industries and the generation of high-quality artistic output.
* The scheme is aimed at commercial venues, producers and promoters in the culture sector (e.g. music, entertainment and theatre).
* Awards will range from €10k upwards.

The Live Performance Support Scheme 2021 will be open for applications from 19th March 2021 until Wednesday 14th April. Further information can be found here.

As a further support measure for those in the live music entertainment industry, the Minister is announcing funding of up to €14m for a new scheme to make a contribution to the overheads of businesses that have been significantly negatively affected by COVID-19 and that do not qualify for other business supports.

The main features of this new Music Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) will see support offered by way of two levels of flat payments:
* €2,500 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of €20,000 – €100,000;
* €5,000 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover in excess of €100,000.

Self-employed businesses whether sole traders, partnerships and incorporated entities operating exclusively within the commercial live entertainment sector are eligible to apply. The scheme is expected to open next month.

€5m will be allocated to local authorities to facilitate programming of outdoor live performances in summer 2021 animating town centres for local communities, should public health considerations permit. The Department will develop guidance to mitigate the risk of congregation.

It will allow for the procurement by local authorities of performances by local performers. Performances can be recorded or streamed if health restrictions prevent live events. Local authorities will be encouraged to engage events companies to develop and deliver a programme of performances.

A separate €5m will be available for a scheme of capital supports for the commercial live entertainment sector. This will be applied to supporting the installation of high-quality recording and streaming facilities in venues through a competitive grant application process.

Lastly, as previously announced, up to €1 million has been allocated for the St. Patrick’s Festival 2021 to support the employment of performers, producers, artists, technicians, creatives and support staff.

With gatherings still restricted, SPF 2021 has curated a rich and dynamic programme of events involving hundreds of artists, musicians, performers, creators, and community organisations that will be broadcast on the St. Patrick’s Festival TV online channel over six days and nights, marking the national day.

In addition, the Minister announced today that she is establishing the Return to Live Entertainment Working Group to develop overarching Covid-19 sectoral guidance for the live entertainment sector. The membership of the Working Group would include stakeholders with appropriate technical knowledge in the planning, management and delivery of events who will be charged with ensuring that the necessary guidance will be in place to facilitate the reopening of the sector when it safe to do so.

The establishment of this group addresses a recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce.

The Department will have regard to the recommendations of the Night-time Economy Taskforce within the implementation and rollout of the measures.

Oran O’Beirne

Photos – Exposing Shadows Photography / Down The Barrel Photography © 2021 2021