- 01 Feb 21
Live Venue Collective comprises a group of venues and producers.
Back in December 2020, a live music venue support scheme was launched by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media and Minister Catherine Martin, to attempt to help an industry that has been uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first report on the efficacy of the scheme has been revealed by the Live Venue Collective.
Comprising small to medium-sized independent live music venues, the Collective was established in the summer of 2020, in the wake of the devastation caused by Covid-19 to music venues all over the world.
"The Live Venue Collective was formed as a rallying cry for Ireland’s small to medium-sized independent music venues while the Covid-19 pandemic wrought devastation on lives and businesses around the country," the report begins.
"Small to medium-sized venues, country-wide, are the lifeblood of the urban, rural and remote communities they serve. For decades they have diligently nurtured talent, technical skills, music, arts and culture on their humble but internationally revered stages."
Under the scheme, €5 million was allocated to assist commercial promoters and producers to employ folks from the creative industries, including artists, musicians, performers, technicians and other support staff in live performances, which may subsequently have to be curtailed, cancelled, or postponed due to COVID-19. The commercial events sector has been either shuttered or under severe restrictions since March, and Ireland’s culturally vital, but financially fragile, music ecosystem was (and is still) under serious threat.
23 of the 28 members of Live Venue Collective applied as a group to receive funds from the live performance support pilot scheme. The application was successful, and the group of 23 Live Venue Collective members received €1.1 million in total. As a result, 59 organisations benefitted from the scheme.
Across the 23 venues, each committed to 16 performances. A wide variety of shows were produced, from outdoor events with 15-person capacities to live streamed shows indoors with no audience.
Thanks to the support from Minister Catherine Martin, and her department, each of the successful applicants were able to once again, for the moment at least, promote and produce shows which hired artists, performers, technicians and other support staff in their communities, and present a series of culturally significant performances.
The collective of 23 venues worked relentlessly to curate, produce and present a total of 405 shows of the highest cultural and technical quality, involving 2110 employees, 655 artists, 965 live audience members, and resulting in 24,000 minutes of unique digital content. The funding has – hugely successfully, considering the circumstances – financially lifted venues, artists, technicians, crews and employees from the brink and positively impacted the mental health of all who engaged with the scheme. "It is crucial these supports continue for as long as restrictions on these businesses remain," a statement on the report reads.
Among the 655 artists who participated in performances under the scheme last year were musicians David Kitt, Mary Coughlan, Mick Flannery, Lisa Hannigan, and Liam Ó Maonlaí from Hothouse Flowers, and bands including Scullion, Ham Sandwich and Saint Sister as well as comedians Karl Spain and Neil Delamere.
Watch the 'Snapshot' video below.