Since Cork’s culture and arts venues first closed their doors to the general public; some venues have remained closed. Others briefly opened during the easing of restrictions during last summer.

The Live Venues Collective and EPIC (Event Production Industry Covid-19 group) have been lobbying for extra funding. A €180 million fund has been set aside and is hoped to ease the pressure to support the industry.

Some Cork culture and arts venues are filming or streaming productions and whilst it fills the void; a small group of artists are really looking forward to performing again in front of an audience.

Digital programming will no doubt be a feature across culture and arts that will continue into the future.

At the Everyman theatre they have a ‘Play It By Ear’ programme which consists of rehearsed readings. The venue records nine plays that are available online and on demand in a similar manner to a Spotify playlist.

Fred Zeppelins is a venue where new bands go to learn on stages. The venue doesn’t vet bands and absolutely anyone can turn up and play.

This year due to the pandemic there have been no gigs or Battle of the Bands competitions. This was how many bands gained an audience and grew a reputation. It’s also a way to test out new material in front of audiences.

Grants are supporting parts of the industry but it seems that younger bands are being overlooked. It is difficult to quantify the effect it is having on this sector of the music business.

Cork’s Culture and arts venues have had a drive towards engaging online. This engaged their customers but also enabled them to appear active and look more attractive for funding.

The culture and arts funding model is different in Ireland to England, mainly in terms of how funds are distributed. In England, fund are allocated to arts organisations who distribute and allocate money to those that need it. This frees individuals from bureaucracy. This ensures that sure those in the know are in charge of how best to deal with management. This differs to how it works in Ireland. In Ireland, there is more of a redistributive model and doesn’t work so effectively.

At the Cork Opera House there hasn’t been a performance in over a year. They too are adapting to the circumstances.

They´ve decided to look at the potential positives and opportunities the situation has presented them with. They have also filmed a lot of their concerts with a focus on giving opportunities to local artists.

Without a Covid pandemic it would have probably taken theatres longer than other venues to join the digital world. Engaging with a live audience is an indispensable part of the experience.

The owners of Cypress Avenue completed a full venue refurbishment and scheduled a full program of events across the year. This venue shares the opinion of their counterparts in that they are frustrated booking and rescheduling dates. Without clear milestones in place venues don´t know where they stand.

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