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Warning over unregulated events if nightclubs remain shut

A group representing workers in the nightlife sector says there will be an upsurge in unregulated...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.54 5 Aug 2021


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Warning over unregulated events if nightclubs remain shut


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.54 5 Aug 2021


Share this article


A group representing workers in the nightlife sector says there will be an upsurge in unregulated events if nightclubs and music events remain shut.

The 'Give Us The Night' campaign has written a letter to the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Arts Minister criticising the Government's response to its re-opening.

It says Ireland, despite its high rate of vaccine uptake, is the only European country that has made "no concrete plans" for the return of its events industry and venues.

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It comes after Laois County Council refused to grant a licence for the Electric Picnic festival.

Organisers had been planning to go ahead with the festival in Stradbally late next month, with up to 70,000 people in attendance.

However, the county council say they refused a licence given the "most up-to-date advice" from health officials.

Sunil Sharpe from the 'Give Us The Night' campaign told Newstalk Breakfast the sector needs a plan.

"It's a range of measures that we're looking for the Government to introduce and implement as soon as possible.

"We don't expect it to be done overnight, but we do expect there to be a plan put in place and then put together starting at the beginning of September.

"There's many asks: one of them, for instance, would be that we can put trial events on.

"There's been a lot spoken about pilot events and we haven't really had any proper pilot events now.

"And also pilot events seem to be, so far, a lot of it seems to be for optics just to fend people from the industry away and hope that the problem will go away.

"But the problem hasn't gone away: we have to return as an industry and we now need to put on test events with a view to then re-opening the industry at a later date".

'Subsidised testing'

Referring to an event at Dublin's Iveagh Gardens in June, he says this should have gone on for longer.

"I think a lot of work went in to setting them up, you would also wonder why you would set up something like that and not leave it up for longer - and not allow more outdoor events to take place over the rest of the summer as well.

"There's all sorts of obstacles and challenges that we face... and testing is at the centre of this.

"And it's really important that we roll-out a bigger testing service."

Referring to the cost of PCR tests as "a scam" he says: "This needs to be subsidised and there needs to be free PCR tests, free antigen tests - there needs to be a safer route back to return for the industry.

"And the Government need to get behind this and need to help the industry return in a serious fashion now, this time.

"Now just talk about it: actually get their chequebook out and make it happen".

Warning over unregulated events if nightclubs remain shut

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Main image: Krystle nightclub on Dublin's Harcourt Street is seen in 2014. Picture by: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

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