Irish government pauses imminent COVID reopening: “Today is a devastating day”

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Gigs in the country must all be seated, with potential reopening date now set for February 2022

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The Irish government this week shelved plans for a full COVID reopening – news that the country’s music industry has described as “devastating”.

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In plans set out earlier this year, Ireland was set to end all coronavirus restrictions in effect this Friday (22 October). Those plans have now been put on hold due to rising cases and hospitalizations in the country.

  • READ MORE: New UK music report shows one in three music jobs were lost during the pandemic

The Irish government announced yesterday (October 19) that all indoor live music, entertainment and sporting events must be completely seated from Friday, a decision that will also affect live events already scheduled at permanent venues.

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One artist who has already been forced to cancel a show in Ireland is Billy Nomets, who said in a message to fans on Instagram: “I was due to come to Dublin next week, but Dublin just announced new COVID measures today. has been announced, which means that my gig can no longer proceed.

“When that’s about to happen, we’ll just have a good gig.”

Responding to the news of the rule change, Shane Dunne of MCD, Ireland’s biggest live music promoter, said: “There’s some spin here that’s some good news. [but] Make no mistake about it, today is a disastrous day for the commercial live music business in Ireland.”

Another event that has been canceled is the BD Festival in Irish County Wicklow, which was due to take place this weekend.

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Writing on their Facebook page, the organizers of the event said: “The lack of clarity and the resulting uncertainty reinforces our decision to postpone the event until April 2022. The BD Festival operates with no signs of social distancing or public health measures Couldn’t happen. Unfortunately the BD Festival was as planned and tickets were sold out on the grounds that there would be no restrictions or any public health measures.

“This edition of the BD Festival took two years to make. To say that we are devastated and heartbroken is an understatement. “

In addition to a Taoiseach Michael Martin statement Tuesday afternoon, the lack of clarity and the resulting uncertainty…

was published by BD Festival Feather Tuesday, October 19, 2021

From 6 September, indoor events were able to take place at 60 percent venue capacity and with COVID certification measures, but Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) now recommends that mask-wearing and social distancing remain in place until February 2022. .

On Monday (October 18), Ireland reported 1,578 new cases of COVID-19, with 484 people hospitalized with the virus.

The country’s deputy prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said Ireland “is not where we want to be”, adding that the situation is “not without hope”.

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

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