Government provides further €25m for live events in 2022

Budget 2022: Minister signals income guarantee fund for artists on a pilot-scheme basis

The Government has announced a further €25 million in financial supports in the budget for the live entertainment sector, as well as a three-year pilot basic income guarantee fund for artists that will cost another €25 million in its first phase.

The €25 million fund for live entertainment comes on top of €50 million in supports that the sector received in the current year, although some operators have complained about delays in payment.

The scheme involves the State providing grants to community groups, promoters and professional event managers who put on approved live entertainment shows.

The Government has signalled, however, that it expects the planned lifting of almost all existing public health restrictions on October 22nd to do much of the heavy lifting in terms of aiding the recovery in the live events sector, which employed 35,000 prior to the pandemic and was worth €3.5 billion to the economy, according to industry estimates.


Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrathreferenced the upcoming reopening date in his budget speech to the Dáil, suggesting the return to large capacities at events will “assist” the recovery of the events sector and also of tourism.

“However, I am conscious further support will be required to underpin their recovery,” he said.

Income guarantee

The income guarantee scheme for artists, meanwhile, was a key request of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce which reported to Minister for Arts Catherine Martin.

The Events Industry Alliance, an umbrella group set up during the pandemic to pressure the Government for more supports, had sought funding to be made available in Budget 2022 to the largely private sector events industry that was equivalent to the State-backed arts sector.

Specifically, it had sought €130 million to help fund businesses in the sector through the recovery period, equivalent to the budget for the Arts Council of Ireland. It also wanted any income guarantee scheme to be extended to the live events sector.

The Government announced in Tuesday’s budget that it would maintain the Arts Council’s €130 million, but it made no announcements to match this for live events. Ms Martin, however, said a portion of €7 million allocated to domestic tourism initiatives would be spent on local festivals.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times