Ireland announces €50 million of new funding for live music sector

Including a €25 million expansion of its popular Live Performance Support Scheme

The Irish government has announced €50 million of new funding for its live music sector during the coronavirus crisis, including a €25 million expansion of its popular Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS).

Government minister Catherine Martin unveiled the new measures yesterday (March 9), which also includes €14m for a new programme called the Music Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS), that will contribute to the overheads of music businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The LPSS was first launched last November as a €5 million and saw “exceptional demand.” Initial recipients of LPSS funding received grands ranging from €10,000 to €400,000. and included gig promoters, theatre producers and venues of all sizes.

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The new MEBAS scheme, which is expected to open for applications next month, will offer music companies a flat payment between €2,500 and €5,000, depending on their turnover.

€5m has been allocated to local authorities for them to organise outdoor live shows this summer, and a separate €5m will go towards grants for venues to install equipment that will allow them to livestream shows.

Electric Picnic Festival 2019 in Stradbally, Ireland CREDIT: Kieran Frost/Redferns

“This range of measures will assist commercial venues, producers and promoters to do what they do best – make work for audiences – and provide a valuable asset to our society missing culture and entertainment,” Martin said (via IQ).

“In addition, the new measures support the indispensable bedrock of our music industry assisting businesses, performers, musicians and crew.”

“We as a nation need to continue to see and experience Irish art, and this scheme will provide wellbeing benefits to both participants and members of the public through the high-quality performances made available online in 2021. I look forward to the roll out of these support schemes, which will provide a much needed and vital support for the live performance sector.”

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In the UK, meanwhile, independent festival bosses and industry insiders have warned that their 2021 events risk cancellation if they fail to receive government-backed insurance by the end of this month.

The government recently outlined plans for England to gradually exit lockdown by the end of June, with a selection of festivals confirming that they provisionally plan to go ahead in the wake of the announcement.

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