Sinn Féin TD Deputy Mythen has said that musicians and artists provided a lifeline during the lockdown, and called on Minister Catherine Martin to provide additional supports to the entertainment industry as some Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Deputy Mythen stated,
“I have been contacted by a lot of musicians in my constituency of Co. Wexford who are in fear of losing their profession, and I am concerned this fear is replicated by many around the country. We are all aware of the important role all these artists played across the entire country in keeping the spirits of the nation going in our darkest days, providing their trade for free via social media platforms and sometimes as fundraisers during the pandemic. The provision of this entertainment provided some much needed mental health relief to the nation.”
“It’s likely that many of these musicians will be the very last to return to work. Realistically they will need a little more help than others as I believe the resumption of playing in hotels, bars and other hospital environments will not happen until much later on in this year or next year. Many entertainment acts in the wedding industry will also have suffered greatly with the widespread postponement and cancelations in this sector.”
“Similarly, many arts centres, theatres and live venues cannot make money with the current restrictions in place, and so cannot re-open their doors. This has a fallout effect on musicians, artists, and professionals from the lighting and sound industries such as lighting technicians and sound engineers who would normally be employed for these gigs and shows.”
“I have written to the new Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht Catherine Martin TD on behalf of both Wexford artists and nationwide entertainers to raise these issues and to progress the need for a dynamic plan and special supports to assist and support these musicians and all those involved in the arts and entertainment industries at this time. They are the forgotten sector and seldom mentioned in any Government documentation despite being an integral part of our culture and tourism Industry. There is an opportunity to change this now and to show our gratitude to the artists and performers who kept our spirits up during this crisis”