From the initial shutdown, to figuring out ways of staying in the public consciousness, to campaigning for funding and other infrastructural supports, the gig and festival scene has faced challenges without precedent, and is looking at another year, at least, of a slow, uncertain, but hopeful return to action.
“Anxiety, paralysis and despair were all major problems for everyone in the early months of Covid-19, I think,” says Ray Blackwell, manager of DeBarra’s of Clonakilty. “For me those feelings have been now replaced with a little hope, focus and a set of work goals which I’m eternally grateful for. So working towards those goals has been a major coping mechanism.”
“Credit must be given to Minister Martin, for getting the funding where it wasn’t there beforehand,” says Kiely. “She has listened, tried to understand, and put funding in place. There’s a lot of work going into applying, which is fair - they have to have procedures and regulations. But she’s put a team in place which has been very helpful, very understanding, and very available.”
“Each artist is different, and will have their own needs with regards to how they are lit and filmed,” says Rob Noonan of Twisted Vision Productions, the film crew recording gigs at Cyprus Avenue, of the challenges and upsides of the job.
“I believe that the future of being at a show, and dancing until your feet hurt, or screaming for more until you lose a few vocal cords, isn’t lost”, O’Shea says. “Musicians need energy from the audience, to encourage them to reach other
“As live music in some way increasingly moves to the online space it is important to put a value on it,” concludes Blackwell. “That means a ticket. Art and music should be paid for. Artists and technicians need to be paid. Also, the high production values and subsequent cost of streaming are very significant.”
Venues around Cork, like Cyprus Avenue, the Crane Lane Theatre, The Kino, DeBarra’s and others will be streaming gigs via their online presences throughout December and January.