Live music at outdoor gatherings “an important step in the right direction” – violin player


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Musicians and performers, who have gone 500 days without work due to Covid-19 restrictions, have welcomed new guidelines that will allow live music at outdoor gatherings for up to 200 people.

Fáilte Ireland has drafted new guidelines for hotels, restaurants and pubs which state that a maximum of 200 people are allowed at outdoor events in most venues and 500 are allowed in premises with a capacity of 5,000 people or more.

The guidelines state that multiple tables can be reserved for outdoor parties, but people should not mix and should leave the room before 11:30 p.m. Live music is permitted at outdoor events, but groups must be at least two meters away from guests.

Matt McGranaghan, a violin player from Donegal, says the guidelines are an “important step in the right direction”.

“We wanted any opportunity for people to work and we want to be able to take advantage of that in the future.”

The loss of work throughout the summer months of June and July has already caused “untold damage to the industry” and “a huge amount of income and jobs have been lost”, but it was “better to late than never, ”he said.

Mark O’Reilly, Guitarist and Vocalist of Hot Fuss: “It was ‘a pity it didn’t come a little sooner’

For Mark O’Reilly, guitarist and singer of the Portumna-based group Hot Fuss, it was “a pity it didn’t come a little sooner.”

“It’s like we’ve lost the summer at this point. We could have played outside until now so it really happens a bit late in the day. Summer is so important to the survival of the industry, but now we have only August, ”he told the Irish Times.

Going forward, guidelines should focus on “down the ladder and up, rather than starting with the big gigs,” he said.

“Large concerts and events will employ hundreds of people for a night or a weekend, but small concerts will employ thousands per day.”

While the new guidelines were “positive” there was “no security for the future” and people were already leaving the industry because they were out of work.

Pubs and restaurants

A spokesperson for the Irish Winegrowers’ Federation (VFI) said the return of music to pubs with outdoor spaces was “another welcome sign that the country is gradually returning to normal.”

“Audiences are happy that an integral part of the pub atmosphere is now available, although the industry now needs clarity on when live music can resume indoors,” he said. declared. Outdoor music only in pubs was “not a sustainable option” in the long run.

Padraig Cribben, Managing Director of VFI, said the new guidelines “make it clear that we are moving towards a full reopening of the company and that it is only a matter of time before any restrictions in ads such as obligatory table service and the ban on sitting at the bar. the counters are deleted.

The Irish Hotels Federation welcomed the “much needed clarity” of the new guidelines and described the move as “another positive step towards the full reopening of the Irish tourism and hospitality industry at large” .

Adrian Cummins, managing director of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said its members’ understanding from the guidelines is that reservations can be taken now for communions, confirmations, parties and other events up to 200 people in open-air hospitality environments.

However, he expressed deep frustration with some aspects of the rules – in particular the ban on mixing between tables. He said the ban would prevent the bride and groom from visiting their guests’ tables.

“The key issue for us is the tables of six and you can’t mingle and that has to be watched at all times, which is a nightmare for us to operate – considering you might have 200 people running around. drinking in the street and no control over it. ”he said.

Mr Cummins calls for an urgent meeting with officials, and he called for clarification on who drew up the rules – whether it was Fáilte Ireland, the National Public Health Emergency Team or the Department of Health .

Representatives of the hospitality industry have been excluded from the process, he said. “This is another example of the industry being left on the sidelines when key decisions are made again. “

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