Fintan O’Toole: Coronavirus is like the Taliban – it hates art

Covid-19 has destroyed live performance, we must support artists in reinventing it

Thousands throng Galway for the Macnas parade  during the ever-popular annual arts festival in the city. But this year all festivals, big and small, have disappeared.   Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Thousands throng Galway for the Macnas parade during the ever-popular annual arts festival in the city. But this year all festivals, big and small, have disappeared. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

A viral Taliban has taken over the country. Covid-19, like many mass killers, is a fanatical puritan – no dancing, no music, no unholy images, no festivals. It has devastated cultural life. 

Over 12,000 events have been cancelled. Over the last two months, 2.4 million members of the public have not had the experience of attending a cultural gathering they would otherwise have participated in. And this is not a short-term shutdown.

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