As we enter the festival season we are reminded of the poignant fact that covid-19 has effectively cancelled our summer. This is having a devasting effect on our cities, towns and villages across the country. Smaller economies have experienced huge economic spin-offs from live entertainment, which has seen substantial growth over the last number of years. The entertainment industry delivers a huge positive social and economic impact to all communities throughout the country both rural and urban. Take annual small town festivals to large scale events produced by homegrown juggernauts MCD Productions and Aiken Promotions such as Electric Picnic, Slane, Live at the Marquee, ATN etc. This along with long established venues such as the 3 Arena Dublin, Gleneagle INEC Arena Killarney, Olympia, Vicar Street, Workmans Club, Gaiety but to name and few in Dublin, Royal Theatre Castlebar, Opera House Cork, UCH Limerick…. I could go on and on but I guess you get my point.

 

I having been working in entertainment for 25 years and find it frustrating that an industry which contributes so much to the economy, has been left without an official body. Such representation could  lobby at political, civil service, Government and EU levels to protect and enhance the interest of such a valuable industry and provide a much needed voice of the industry at all times.

 

The most comprehensive study done on the national economic impact our industry delivers was published in 2017 by Wide Awake Communications (https://wideawake.ie/blog/live-entertainment-events-generate-over-17-billion-additional-revenue ). I have taken some key statistics from this study in order to highlight our impact:

 

  • 11,000 jobs
  • €1.7 billion of additional income.
  • For every €1 spent on a live entertainment ticket an additional €6.06 was generated within the economy.
  • 7 million bed nights in hotels and guesthouses.
  • 4 million people attending live events including nearly 300,000 overseas visitors to the island of Ireland (BOP Consulting).

 

How should we progress? We need to include all those involved in progressing the sector to stimulate ideas of alternative ways to provide entertainment to audiences. We need to  provide a clear message to government that resources are required if we are to turn this crisis into an opportunity to do business better. Most importantly we need to unite under a representative body for the entertainment industry. If you would like to become involved in further developing a response please like and share or dm me with any suggestions…

 

Shane O’Driscoll

Easy Street Entertainment

26/04/20

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