Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media

Impact of Covid-19 on the Entertainment Sector: Music Entertainment Association of Ireland

Photo of Niamh SmythNiamh Smyth (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

It is fair to say that this committee could do some work on that aspect and extrapolate on the basis of the information. As Mr. McGranaghan said, it must be acknowledged that the Minister has done Trojan work to champion the industry. I am sure, however, that she would welcome the opportunity to provide the relevant information to the committee and, ultimately, to the MEAI concerning the plans for the €50 million in non-competitive funding which must be made available to the artists and crews. Mr. McGranaghan was right when he mentioned the timeframe and it having been seven or eight months since that announcement. A great deal of money is still to be disbursed to artists. An announcement was made last week concerning live performance venues that had been successful in their applications to the LPSS, and that was welcome. In my constituency, however, only one venue was successful in that regard. Such a successful application can be a lifeline for the bands, musicians and crews involved, and it is important. That may be another strand of work for this committee to undertake.

With the blessing of the members, I suggest that we write to the Minister regarding Mr. McGranaghan's final point concerning the €50 million in funding which was announced and how it is intended or expected that the remainder of that funding will be disbursed to those most in need of such support. It is really a survival mechanism. As Mr. Conboy stated, bands and musicians are selling equipment, and for far less than it is worth, because there is no timeline in sight yet for the type of reopening which will allow those in the sector to use such equipment to perform again. It is awful to hear those stories, but they are a reality and it is important that we hear them. Is it agreed that the committee will write to the Minister regarding this issue? Agreed. I thank everyone. Once we get that feedback, we will communicate it to the MEAI for some feedback.

The meeting may have felt short, but it was very informative. I thank the witnesses and the members of the committee. Our next session on 30 June will have representatives before the committee from the Arts Council, Theatre Forum Ireland, the Drama League of Ireland, the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland and the Association of Irish Musical Societies to discuss the challenges facing arts venues and theatres as a result of the impact of Covid-19. That will be a very nice follow-up in the context of what we have heard about today. Following that session, we will have a shorter one with restaurateur, Mr. Paul Treyvaud, to discuss the challenges facing the restaurant sector due to the impact of Covid-19.


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