My budget: ‘The €50m in supports is a big number’

Shane Dunne, owner of the Indiependence music festival

Music promoter Shane Dunne, left, and venue owner Ger Kiely pictured in Cyprus Avenue, Caroline Street in Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Music promoter Shane Dunne, left, and venue owner Ger Kiely pictured in Cyprus Avenue, Caroline Street in Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

 

I am part of the EPIC group of live entertainment professionals who lobbied ministers for Covid support. We have never really had a direct line of communications to the Government before. So to go from a standing start to hearing ministers mentioning the live events sector in their budget speeches was very positive. The €50 million in supports is a big number.

The extra Pandemic Unemployment Payment at Christmas is positive, as are the tax deferrals for freelancers and the self employed. Many live event professionals work that way.

With the Coronavirus Restrictions Support Scheme, the devil is in the detail. It will be good for venues and theatres, but it doesn’t directly target the support businesses such as power suppliers. The live events sector has also been almost completely closed since the pandemic started, so an exemption for those businesses at levels 1 and 2 would help.

The VAT cut is only applicable if you are selling tickets and, at the moment, we are not. The supports need to go hand-in-hand with the safe reopening of events. In the meantime, we will avail of the wage subsidies and we are glad of the help.