Cork Jazz head says festival is under threat from new drinks law

Cork Jazz head says festival is under threat from new drinks law
The OhnO jazzband entertain the crowds on Opera Lane during last year's Guinness Jazz Festival. Picture Dan Linehan

STRICT new measures on alcohol advertising could pose a huge risk to landmark events like the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.

The chairperson of the Cork Jazz Festival has warned that the new proposal could have 'hugely damaging' consequences for festivals and cultural events in Ireland.

Fiona Collins said the move could cause 'uncertainty' over the future of the event, which generates some €15 million in revenue for the local economy each year.

The measures proposed in the Public Health Alcohol Bill have come under scrutiny by the drinks industry, with lobby group the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) claiming that the clampdown on the advertising of alcohol could have an adverse impact on cultural events which rely on the companies for support.

"The advertising provisions contained in the Bill pose a significant threat to the viability of the Cork Jazz Festival and will leave a funding vacuum, creating real concern and uncertainty around Cork’s flagship event," Ms Collins warned.

“The proposals contained in this Bill will I believe, have hugely damaging unintended consequences for the festival and cultural events in Ireland," Ms Collins said.

The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, held each October, has had a long-standing partnership with the drinks brand and is reported to boost the local economy by more than €15 million each year, attracting some 40,000 visitors and remaining one of the standout events of the city's tourism calendar.

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