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€50m Support for the Live Performance Sector – what you need to know!


On Tuesday of this week, the Government announced a long awaited and much needed support scheme for the Live Performance Sector. But what does it really mean for the industry and how will it translate in real terms?

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin announced the details of a €50 million suite of measures which is coming into place to support the live entertainment industry. These measures are being brought into place for the benefit of the commercial live performance sector to support producers, promoters, venues and artists and include:

  • • €25m new Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS)
  • • €14m new support scheme for live entertainment businesses
  • • €5m to local authorities for outdoor live performances
  • • €5m capital supports for live entertainment sector
  • • €1m to St. Patrick’s Festival

Live Performance Support Scheme

Much of this industry have not qualified for other COVID supports such as CRSS or EWSS and have been left struggling to endure these tough days of venue closures and restrictions. The suite of supports announced include the €25m Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS). Its premise is to provide for job opportunities in the live performance sector and its key features include;

  • • support live performances that will occur on or before 30 September 2021
  • • support the creation of employment and wellbeing opportunities in the culture and creative industries and the generation of high quality artistic output
  • • scheme is aimed at commercial venues, producers and promoters in the culture sector (for example: music, entertainment and theatre)
  • • awards will range from €10k upwards
  • • €1m to St. Patrick’s Festival

The LPSS will be open for applications from Friday 19 March until Wednesday 14 April. Learn more about the scheme.

Business Overheads

A further support for businesses is being brought into place to make a contribution to the business overheads of those operating in the live music entertainment sector. This fund, the Music Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) is expected to open next month offering support by means of either of the following two flat payments:

  • • €2,500 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of €20,000 - €100,000
  • • €5,000 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover in excess of €100,000

Funding for Local Authorities for outdoor live performances

The other side of all this of course… is the impact on the audience. We have been left without access to all the feel-good benefits and wellbeing boost that we get from the arts and live entertainment and experiences.

The importance of this sector to our nation’s wellbeing cannot be ignored nor underestimated. And now with the €5m funding available for local authorities for outdoor live performances we can look forward to some very welcomed outdoor live events, all subject to public health guidelines of course. The good news here of course is that with the return to live events (in whatever shape of form they take), there will be a welcomed return to work for not only the performers, but also the crews, venue management, promoters, technicians.

St. Patrick’s Day Festival

And with just days to go, Minister Martin’s announcement also included funding of €1m for the St.Patrick’s Festival 2021. Unfortunately with the current restrictions in place, the festival will not involve our traditional gatherings and parades through our towns and cities. Instead this year, our artists, performers and the St.Patrick’s festival committee have put in trojan effort and plans are in place for 6 days and nights of a virtual festival which will all be broadcast on the St.Patrick’s Festival TV online.


The Minister’s announcement has been well received overall, but there are fears that it might fail to address the requirements of the SME’s in the sector. As an industry of entertainers, performers, event managers, etc – it is not in their nature to sit still for very long and the prospect of returning to some version of live entertainment will be welcomed across the sector. The positive knock on of this funding, is that we – the audience – will have something to look forward to. It really is a win win!

Important links:

The Live Performance Support Scheme:

Government Announcement of €50m support for the Live Performance Sector:

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