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In a new article on RTÉ numerous people in the industry have detailed their struggles.

According to a new piece by RTÉ workers in the creative industry have lost around €10 million since venues closed due to COVID-19.

With around 12,000 cultural events cancelled, an estimated 19,000 days of paid work lost in the creative sector and arts organisations losing around €3 million in income every month it paints a bleak picture for those working in the industry.

Speaking to head of production for Electric Picnic Pearse Doherty, there doesn’t seem to be any daylight just yet.

“We’ve been on shutdown since March. Optimistically, it’s probably going to be 12 months before we can do large outdoor events again, looking towards St Patrick’s festival 2021,” he said.

“And I’m saying that optimistically, but basically it’s nothing. We’re grateful for the COVID-19 payments extension, but we need to have a wider discussion about the future of the industry.”

“There are 3,000 people employed full-time in the arts. At the peak of the season this number increases to about 13,000.”

“We have a lot of SMEs that are going to go to the wall if this is not addressed. A lot of talented professionals are going to leave the industry.”

Highlighting the demise of professional theatre due to lack of funding, actor Actor Owen Roe is on the board of the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire and asserted its decline was accelerated by COVID-19. Unsure of where it can go from here he stated that plans for reduced audiences won’t work financially unless they are given more help.

“The auditorium usually holds more than 300 people. We’re now looking at playing to 40 or 50 people, but that’s not viable. It won’t make money and we all need to make a living. We can’t let theatre die, it won’t die.”

In response to the global pandemic The National Campaign for the Art published a 13-point plan calling for the government to provide additional funding for the survival and recovery of the sector.

It calls for the Irish government to extend COVID-19 “Wage Subsidy scheme to arts organisations until it is financially and logistically viable for arts and cultural events to take place” among a number of other actions. You can read the plan here.

Minding Creative Minds has set up the first free 24/7 wellbeing support programme for those in the Irish music sector.

Click here to read more.

Words: Dylan Murphy 
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