Riverdance rebounds from Covid losses with profits of €2m

Shutdown of production resulted in ‘significant costs’ to parent company Abhann Productions

Riverdance has rebounded from its Covid-19 losses to record profits of €2 million last year as audiences returned.

The pandemic shut down Riverdance in March 2020 and the production did not perform again until September 2021, resulting in “significant costs” to its parent company Abhann Productions Ltd – which is owned by John McColgan and Moya Doherty – according to a note with the accounts.

In the 12 months to the end of June 2021, revenues at Abhann Productions plummeted to €139,000 due to the absence of touring and the business recorded losses of €1.097 million.

This followed post-tax losses of €747,465 in the previous 12 months to the end of June 2020, the accounts said.


A large part of the 2020 loss was for termination costs, where Riverdance had to close both its US and UK tours at short notice due to Covid-19 shutdowns.

However, the business bounced back last year as touring Riverdance productions generated global audiences of 400,000 which helped to generate revenues of €14 million and the profits of €2 million.

Recalling the Covid-19 impact, director of Riverdance, John McColgan, said on Friday: “It was the most difficult time of our professional life. But we’re back touring and audiences are flocking back.”

On the Covid-19 shutdown of the production in the spring of 2020, Mr McColgan said: “Riverdance was playing in Radio City Music Hall in New York City at the beginning of a six-month tour. At the end of show number three we were told we were being shut down. At the same time, our second touring show in the UK was stopped. We and everybody in the entertainment industry was shut down for over two years.”

Riverdance usually has two productions touring simultaneously, each employing 50 to 55 cast and crew.

One troupe is performing Riverdance 25th anniversary show dates in California this weekend as part of a 50-city tour of the US this year.

The Covid-19-related losses in fiscal 2021 and 2020 reduced accumulated profits to €8,976 at the end of June 2021.

The firm’s cash funds decreased from €1.03 million to €642,928.