Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts and Culture, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, has called on Minister Martin to finally deliver a long overdue roadmap for the safe reopening of the live entertainment sector.
Speaking today, Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:
“I welcome that Minister Martin is finally having a meeting with representatives of the live entertainment sector today. This meeting is long overdue and comes after months of confusion and contradiction.
“However, Minister Martin must ensure that this is not just a box ticking exercise. She must provide certainty and clarity to those working in the sector, who have been left in the dark for so long.
“Thousands of workers depend on the live entertainment sector for their livelihoods- including performers, technicians, cleaners, promoters and admin staff, to name just a few.
“They were one of the first sectors to be shut at the beginning of the pandemic and they are now one of the only sectors left without a roadmap for reopening safely.
“Minister Martin’s much hyped pilot schemes earlier this summer appear to have amounted to nothing. Those in the sector feel they are being left in the dark with no leadership. Meanwhile, they look to the north, where live events have returned.
“Minister Martin needs to ensure that the sector has a clear roadmap for reopening in a safe way which is in line with public health advice. She must engage with stakeholders who are affected and listen carefully to their needs.
“No one is asking for the sector to reopen entirely overnight. People in the industry want a pathway setting out how reopening can be managed carefully and safely over time.
“The sector also needs clarity on the future of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, if the sector remains shut. Many fear that if they take on an occasional gig or other temporary work, they will be removed from the PUP and forced on to Job Seekers. The Minister needs to make a clear commitment on maintaining financial support for those prevented from working, so that workers can have the certainty and clarity that they need.
“Those working in the live entertainment industry need more than just sympathy and vague promises from the Minister, they need to see a clear pathway towards a safe reopening. Minister Martin needs to stop the empty words and finally deliver.”