'Wet pubs' will be allowed to hold live-music sessions when they reopen

ireland
'Wet Pubs' Will Be Allowed To Hold Live-Music Sessions When They Reopen
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Vivienne Clarke

‘Wet pubs’ will be allowed to host live music when they reopen on September 21st, according to informed Government sources.

As part of a wider drive to give support to the entertainment sector, which has also been hit hard by the pandemic, the sources told The Irish Times that the Government will not discourage live music or sessions in public houses involving small bands, or individuals.

Earlier, Minister for Arts Catherine Martin said she wanted to see the current restrictions on gatherings lifted to support the arts and music industry, so they can get back to work as she wanted to see performers performing again.

The current restrictions on numbers attending events were not viable for the industry and were an anomaly, she told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.

“I want our musicians to play, to sing again, to earn a living.”

Ms Martin added that she fully accepted the social and economic impacts restrictions had on the arts, music and sports sectors and she wanted to see audiences back and the “turnstiles open.”

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Financial supports for sports organisations were being considered as the loss of ticketing and the closure of stadiums was being felt. She said she was “more about opening up than closing down” and understood the demands on performers as she had worked in the sector and busked on Grafton Street.

Public health was central to all decisions, she said, but she felt numbers could be increased in line with what had happened abroad. “Let's open up as safely as possible.”

There was nothing to stop live performances in pubs when they all reopened, once it was done safely, she said. Funding for the arts sector would be available under a new arts task force along with two pilot schemes launched this week.

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