- 22 Mar 21
Niall Breslin's spoken word piece, '365 Days of Darkness', was released last week as part of EPIC Working Group's new campaign.
EPIC Working Group have re-issued their call to ask the general public to contact their TDs ahead of a key government meeting next week, which will discuss financial supports for Events Sector SMEs.
The body are marking the one-year anniversary of the events industry in Ireland being forced to shut down by the ongoing pandemic with their 365 Days of Darkness campaign.
While EPIC Working Group welcome recent Government supports for the Live Events Industry overall, SMEs which are crucial to the industry have still had no financial business supports for over 365 days now.
"If you haven’t already done so please take 1 minute today to help strengthen our case for next week's meeting," the organisation said in a press statement.
"We need you, friends, family and colleagues to simply take 1 minute today to click the link below to contact your local TD, and make our industry's voices heard. We request that our TDs raise the urgent need for key financial supports for Events Sector SMEs with cabinet ministers and any other relevant people."
Three key points that EPIC say must be addressed urgently are; continued PUP and EWSS until six months after mass gatherings are permitted again; meaningful and ongoing fixed costs supports for SMEs in the sector and tax warehousing without penalty for at least 12 months after mass gatherings are permitted again.
Although EPIC expressed gratitude for the €50m funding that was recently announced, they argue that "it fails once more to address the needs of our SMEs - small one off grants and moderate funding for streamed and limited events will not support an industry with no road map."
The Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment must now step up, according to the organisation, and An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar (incumbent Minister).
"We have been left out in the dark," they continue. "35,000 workers have been unable to earn a living from their trade. Hundreds of businesses have been placed into a state of paralysis, unable to trade, but still incurring ongoing costs. There has been no direct support for these businesses. We are losing the infrastructure that events in Ireland rely on. Without our supply chain, there will be no concerts, no festivals. Without our workers, there will be no stages built in green fields, no product launches with mind boggling tech, the trucks will not be loaded, the stages will remain dark."
Watch the video for Niall Breslin's spoken word piece, '365 Days of Darkness', below: