Government urged to support events industry with 35,000 jobs at risk

Covid-19 restrictions have put 35,000 jobs in the events industry at risk, according to a group representing the sector.

The Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group (EPIC) said it is impossible to earn a living, pay bills and survive while entertainment and live events are closed.

The group wants the Government to reinstate Covid payments back to previous levels in October's Budget, and for a scaffolding support fund until events can resume safely.

EPIC said: "The country misses gigs, concerts, theatres, dances, choirs, orchestras, festivals, food festivals – the country misses our commemorations, our parades, our favourite bands and entertainers. But right now, for most in the Live Entertainment & Events Sector, they miss the opportunity to earn a living, to pay their bills, to survive.

"This is not possible due to the devastation of the sector by the ongoing Covid19 Pandemic and the mandated closure of the entire sector. The Non-Funded Event Industry supports over 35,000 jobs, contributes over €3.5 billion Euro to the economy and in excess of 3 million annual bed nights to the wider tourism sector."

The group has called on the Government to introduce a number of support measures for the events industry.

This includes reinstatement of the support payment of €410 (being the previous level of the TWSS) and €350 (being the previous level of the PUP) which is "vital for the skilled workforce of the sector until it fully recovers".

A VAT reduction of 5 per cent on ticket sales to aid in the reopening of the sector has also been recommended along with a VAT tax credit for the personnel and SMEs in the sector.

The Government has also been called on to provide stimulus packages totalling €6 million for different areas in the industry including schools and colleges (€2 million), theatres and art centres (€1 million), and €3 million in small venue supports.