EPIC Launch their Pre-Budget Submission

EPIC (Event Production Industry Covid19 Working Group) launch their Pre-Budget Submission today.

September 16th 2020 marks 188 days since the Live Entertainment and Events Industry has been closed. For the first time in the Event Industry history, employers, workers and freelancers from viable operations are unable to trade.  It is the only sector with such a strict lockdown for such a long period of time.

The Live Entertainment and Events Industry was successful before Covid and will be again but while the sector is closed and prevented from trading, EPIC are asking the Government for immediate and concrete support to scaffold this viable industry until it is able to safely return to capacity in all its glory. The commercial non-funded sector has never asked for support before but these are unprecedented times.  

This is a vibrant and viable industry, an industry of creators and innovators, an industry of business people with skin in the game, an industry with a highly skilled indigenous workforce that is a world leader in its field. 

The country misses gigs, concerts, theatres, dances, choirs, orchestras, festivals, food festivals – the country misses our commemorations, our parades, our favourite bands and entertainers. But right now, for most in the Live Entertainment & Events Sector, they miss the opportunity to earn a living, to pay their bills, to survive. This is not possible due to the devastation of the sector by the ongoing Covid19 Pandemic and the mandated closure of the entire sector.

The Non-Funded Event Industry supports over 35,000 jobs, contributes over €3.5 billion Euro to the economy and in excess of 3 million annual bed nights to the wider tourism sector. 

EPIC calls upon the Government to provide: 

  1. Reinstatement of the support payment of €410 (being the previous level of the TWSS) and €350 (being the previous level of the PUP) which is vital for the skilled workforce of the sector until it fully recovers. The sector is unique in that it is almost entirely closed under government mandate with no opportunity to trade.
  2. Implementation of a “scaffolding support fund” equivalent to the level allocated to the state funded sector, to help protect and hold the sector upright and together, allowing it to survive, until such time as organised and ticketed live entertainment events can return to full capacity safely. 
  3. An extension of business rates waiver for a period of thirty-six months to allow SMEs, Venues and the other businesses of the sector to recover. 
  4. Reduction in the rate of VAT on ticket sales to 5% to aid with the staged re-opening of the sector at likely greatly reduced capacity. 
  5. A VAT Tax Credit for the personnel and SMEs of the sector to inspire trade at reduced capacity and enhance the opportunity for businesses to return to work. 
  6.  Implement a taskforce on insurance to review cancellation insurance for events. 
  7. Extension of the credit guarantee scheme to ensure SMEs can borrow 100% loan requirements due to extreme difficulty with securing the remaining 20% from Irish banks. 
  8. Stimulus packages to support the sole owner businesses and small businesses & venues: 
    • Schools and Colleges: €2 million fund, to provide seat loss compensation grant up to €2,500 in each case. 
    • Musical Societies, Drama Societies, Stage Schools and Dance Schools: A €1 Million Euro fund accessible to theatres and arts centres to be distributed by the Department of Culture. The fund would allow the theatre or arts centre to apply for €400 per night of performance and pass the saving on to the society in reduced rent. 
    • c. Small Venue Supports: A €3m euro fund allowing for grants of €1,000 per performance in small music venues to compensate for reduced capacity and to encourage venues to open with less capacity. 9. Confirmation that the recently announced Cross Departmental Taskforce for the Arts, Culture & Live Events Sector will be a long standing body with representation on the taskforce for the commercial live events sector relative to the size of the commercial sector versus the state funded sector. 

EPIC’s full Pre-Budget Submission is viewable here:  https://www.epicwg.com/

About EPIC

The Event Production Industry Covid19 Working Group (EPIC) was established in May 2020 in response to the devastating impact of the pandemic on the industry. EPIC is an independently elected group of representatives from all aspects of the Live Entertainment and Events Industry and is a member of the Events Industry Alliance (EIA). 

EPIC is a volunteer-led movement that seeks to give a voice to the 35,000 staff of the wider events industry, those that have spent years in the shadows creating some of the best memories of the citizens of Ireland. We work to ensure that their voices are heard at both local and national level and that the commercial Live Entertainment & Events Sector is recognised as a vital part of both the economy and contemporary Irish society.

The entertainment industry has been decimated by the Covid19 Pandemic. The industry is unique in that it is almost fully shut under government mandate. On September 16th, EPIC launch their Pre-Budget Submission requesting a number of supports for the staff and businesses of the sector. One of the key things you can do to help amplify this message is to mail your TD. All you need to do is click on the link below, select your constituency, fill in your details and hit send.

https://action.uplift.ie/campaigns/epic-live-entertainment

#ThisIsWhoWeAre

Photo: Leon Farrell, Photocall Ireland

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