Entertainment industry figures are appealing for public patience as they try to figure out the best course of action with new restrictions being imposed from Tuesday, 7 December.
The new rules include a 50% restriction on capacity at entertainment, cultural, community and sporting events, which must all be fully seated, until January 9.
Singer-songwriter, John Spillane, who is staging his annual John Spillane and Friends Annual Christmas Concert at the Everyman Palace Theatre on December 19, said he and others in the industry are waiting for the dust to settle to see how the new restrictions will impact on individual gigs.
I’m preparing for my annual Christmas concert in @EverymanCork . I can’t wait to get back on the stage with my ‘Mystery Guests!’, I won’t tell you who they are right now, you’ll have to wait and see…
Get your tickets here: https://t.co/Tvv0BqQVb4@agencyinbloom pic.twitter.com/9v9ubBOLj0
— John Spillane (@JohnSpillane_) December 3, 2021
“It is a very uncertain time and it seems to be one forward, two steps back, but I know a lot of other artists, and those who work behind the scenes, who are worst hit than me,” he said.
“I consider myself luckier than others because I’m more established, and I have other work, like the Treaty debate songs event in National Concert Hall, that is going ahead.
“But the government financial support for the sector has been very helpful.
“I have no resentment towards government or Nphet.
“We live in an imperfect world. Sure, things could be managed better, but things could always be done better.
“I have no anger or resentment towards them. We all have to get it through it together.”
But singer-songwriter, James Vincent McMorrow, who performed the first pilot live event in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens last June, slammed the new restrictions.
“The announcement… has destroyed all shows this Christmas,” he said in a tweet.
“That is a fact. Because you can’t sell tickets and then go pick 50% of the crowd and tell them to fuck off. This is horrendous and depressing.”
He welcomed the commitment from Arts Minister Catherine Martin of increased government financial supports for the sector but he said the industry is “the bottom of the pile and gets treated accordingly”.
The industry will desperately take this because, as ever, it is the bottom of the pile and gets treated accordingly. But until someone shows me a plan where every musicians/venue/ent industry worker is made whole for their sudden lost work, this stuff feels fairly hollow https://t.co/JtUmZdiszN
— James Vincent McMorrow (@jamesvmcmorrow) December 3, 2021
Cork Opera House Ceo Eibhlín Gleeson said a number of options are being explored but it could take several days before any decisions are made on the future of this year’s live panto, which is due to open next Friday and run until January 9.
It was going ahead with 100% capacity, it was effectively sold out, and rehearsals are ongoing.
The Coronas are playing Cork Opera House on Monday night but their Tuesday gig is now in doubt.
Ms Gleeson described it as a hugely challenging time for everyone, but p