'We’re dying to know when we can reopen': broad welcome in Cork for plans for pilot live events 

'We’re dying to know when we can reopen': broad welcome in Cork for plans for pilot live events 

The possibility of pilot live events this summer has been welcomed in Cork as the first step in a revival of the industry. Picture: Pexels

THE possibility of pilot live events this summer has been welcomed in Cork as the first step in a revival of the industry.

Catherine Martin, the culture minister, revealed that these events are due to take place in June and July. 

She described live events as key to the reopening of a sector “devastated” by the pandemic and said she was finalising details of events across the country that she hoped would go ahead, subject to public health advice.

The news has been welcomed in Cork, including by Michael Carr from Blue Monkey PR.

“Safety comes first obviously, but the industry has suffered immeasurably over the last 15 months. Anything that gets people back to work in the industry is not a bad thing.”

He said he was hopeful that outdoor events would be possible soon, “but hopefully indoor starts pretty soon too”.

Mr Carr noted a recent festival in the UK, where 5,000 people attended an outdoor gig in Liverpool, with ticketholders first going for Covid tests. 

More recently, last week’s Eurovision took place with a limited audience.

“I’d like to think we can look at what is happening elsewhere and learn from it and maybe not spend too much time getting around to implementing it ourselves here.”

'I think people need the lift'

Cork Opera House chief executive Eibhlín Gleeson also welcomed the news of test events both indoors and outdoors.

Cork Opera House Chief Executive, Eibhlín Gleeson. Picture: Miki Barlok
Cork Opera House Chief Executive, Eibhlín Gleeson. Picture: Miki Barlok

“For us in Cork, our public love going to events, they love coming to the Opera House. We have a really warm and tangible relationship with our patrons and, even to know that if there was a test event in Cork, our patrons would see the Opera House reopening and I think that would really give everybody a lift from a cultural point of view.

“I think people need the lift at the moment, but I think the big difference it will make is that it means we will be moving towards reopening and, as an industry, that’s what we’re desperate for to happen.”

She described the exploration of indoor and outdoor events as “a really positive thing” for the industry.

“We need these events to happen for us to get to the point where we can reopen again to full capacity.”

Ms Gleeson said that live performances and reaction from the audience was an important part of the work of artists, adding that she was feeling positive following the announcement.

“We’re dying to know when we can reopen, when we can bring patrons back into our house, and this is kind of like the first step in all of that.”

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