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Seven in 10 people think live outdoor music events should go ahead this year

Younger people are more likely to think concerts should be allowed to take place in 2021.

NO REPRO FEE A Pilot Festival 062 A pilot music festival was held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, on 3 July Leon Farrell / Leon Farrell / /

ALMOST SEVEN IN 10 Irish people think live music events should go ahead this year, but a smaller number of people are interested in attending such events, according to a new poll.

An opinion poll carried out for The Journal by Red C Research has found that 69% of people believe outdoor music events should be allowed to go ahead in 2021; 29% of people disagree (because of concerns about Covid-19) and 2% don’t know.

Of the people who think concerts should go ahead, 23% would attend; 14% would not go because of pandemic concerns; and 32% have no interest in attending.

Men are slightly more likely than women to favour events going ahead – 71% compared with 66%.

Younger people are also more likely to think events should be allowed to take place. Among 18 to 24-year-olds, 79% agree; 74% among 25 to 34-year-olds; 75% in the 35-44 age group; 66% in 45-54 years; 65% among 55-64 years; and 57% among over 65s.

Red C interviewed a random sample of over 1,000 adults online between 5 and 10 August for the survey.

Panellists were chosen at random to complete the poll, with quotas set for age, gender, class, region, education level and working status to ensure a nationally representative sample.

Pilot events

Musicians, DJs, sound engineers and others working in the live music industry have repeatedly called on the government to create a roadmap for reopening the sector which has been shut down for over 500 days since the start of the pandemic.

A number of pilot concerts – where attendees were grouped in pods and tested for Covid-19 in advance – have taken place in recent weeks as restrictions continue to ease.

However, larger concerts and festivals have been cancelled. Earlier this month Laois County Council refused to grant a licence to the organisers of Electric Picnic.

The council’s statement noted: “The decision has been made following the most up-to-date public health advice made available to the council from the HSE.

“Furthermore, it is noted that under current government measures for the management of Covid-19, events of this nature are restricted to an attendance of 500 people only.”

Covid-19 rules currently limit numbers at the majority of organised outdoor events to 500 people at venues with capacity in excess of 5,000.

On 6 August, Fáilte Ireland updated its guidelines for organised outdoor events after Attorney General Paul Gallagher advised the government that up to 200 people can attend organised outdoor events and gatherings.

The government sought Gallagher’s advice amid controversy over an event organised by former minister Katherine Zappone on the grounds of Merrion Hotel in Dublin. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar was among the 50 guests who attended the outdoor event on 21 July.

The government is set to announce a further easing of restrictions in the coming weeks.

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