Live events could go ahead as early as next month

Minister hopes pilot arts events could take place indoors and outdoors

Minister for Culture Catherine Martin has suggested that pilot arts events may go ahead indoors and outdoors as early as next month.

Ms Martin said she was ambitious for arts events to get going as soon as it was safe to do so as performers had been deprived of an opportunity to make a living since the start of the pandemic in March last year.

The Minister has been in contact with Festival Republic which ran a successful pilot outdoor event at Sefton Park in Liverpool on May 2nd.

It was attended by 5,000 people who were not wearing masks or social distancing, but had tested negative for Covid-19.

Festival Republic has submitted a proposal to manage live events in Ireland. It runs the Electric Picnic which is still scheduled to go ahead in early September.

“I think July latest [in relation to pilot events], but I would be more ambitious than that. I would like to see some live music test events take place in June,” she said.

Under the current arrangements those who can’t work from home can now return to work. This includes actors, musicians and painters.


Theatres and cinemas are due to reopen next month as part of the reopening plan and actors will need to start rehearsals now.

Most museums, galleries and museums have reopened. The National Gallery has reopened following 137 days of closure.

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI) has reopened in Collins Barracks, in Castlebar and in Kildare Street though the archaeology section needs booking in advance.

NMI director Lynn Scarff said this was the third time and hopefully the last time the museum would have to reopen.

She said the pandemic had opened up new possibilities online since lockdown for museums.

“What we have noticed from our analytics is virtual tours and online talks are very popular. The scope of those globally is quite significant,” she said.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan, meanwhile, has said he would like to think there could be spectators at this year’s All-Ireland finals.

The more people who got vaccinated, the more likely the return to events, he told RTÉ Radio’s News at One.

Dr Holohan said if there was really good progress and no difficulty with variants, outdoor events such as Electric Picnic could be considered along with sporting events.

However, Dr Holohan said people should not get ahead of themselves and should still be cautious and maintain public health measures.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is an Irish Times reporter