Live events producers say their industry hasn't looked for State funding before, but they now need help.
Industry groups say up to 35,000 jobs are at stake in the industry due to the impact of coronavirus.
The Events Production Industry COVID-19 Working Group (EPIC) is launching their pre-budget submission today, calling for significant supports for the sector.
It comes after the announcement of the Government's new medium-term COVID-19 plan, as well as the establishment of an Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce by Minister Catherine Martin.
Representatives of the live events and entertainment sector with a truly incredible set up to highlight the impact of COVID-19 restrictions in the industry pic.twitter.com/XLNoHzzkzm
— Andrew Lowth (@AndrewLowth1) September 16, 2020
Pearse Doherty - EPIC board member, event production manager and former Saw Doctor - spoke to Breakfast Briefing about why they need support.
He said the COVID-19 plan announced yesterday offers a "small glimmer of hope", explaining: "They have now defined when we can have a capacity that could actually make something break even. Up until now, nothing made sense.
"We [also] welcome the announcement of the taskforce by Minister Martin. Hopefully, when we get around the table there, we can actually bring our skills to the table... and hopefully be able to develop a roadmap for the industry.
"Are we ever going to get back to full capacity? We don't know. But we are the people to hopefully lay the foundation for that roadmap."
For now, his group is calling for support payments to be brought back to previous levels - saying reductions sent "shock waves" around the industry.
Mr Doherty observed: "We have people whose mortgages are now being threatened... by cutting this, they're putting people on the line. The phone calls we're getting are heartbreaking, really.
"Up until now, our industry has been anonymous - we have never looked for funding, but we now need that hand-up.
"This was a vibrant, viable industry, never looking for any grants or hand-outs. It consists of SMEs who are specialised in PA, AV, lighting, fireworks... professionals like riggers, sound and lighting individuals, event controllers, health & safety.
"It's almost like a full-stop that happened on March 10th... 188 days ago. We're stranded here. We do need a roadmap for recovery."