It’s been 520 days exactly since anyone in Ireland has set foot in a nightclub or danced at an event. As this occurs, we watch our neighbours in Belfast dance in Customs House Square with a full capacity gig of 5,000 people with no masks or social distancing.

Even closer to home, 40,000 people are due to attend Croke Park for the All Ireland Final and 25,000 to attend a World Cup qualifier. It’s hard not to feel overlooked given the fact that our only shred of live music comes in the form of outdoor gigs, in pods, with a maximum capacity of 200 people, with no dancing permitted. To not dance at a gig is fairly incomprehensible and the lack of support for alternative options, such as testing on entry and vaccine passports (like many of our European counterparts) shows a clear lack of understanding from this government towards the industry.

We currently have 6.37 million doses of vaccines given out in the Republic of Ireland and 81% of adults (18+) are fully vaccinated. This is one of the highest in Europe, yet we are lagging behind in the reopening of our country and our entertainment industry remains at a standstill 520 days from March 15th 2020.  

Irish promoters Research Label, Reboot Events and Bedlam Events have decided that they will take the only logical route to reopening that they can see by facilitating 500 capacity outdoor events with no social distancing or masks needed, with the hope that restriction have been eased by September 1st. A negative covid test must still be presented or a vaccine passport in order to gain access to said events. Extra safety measures will be put in place and they assure it will be just as safe as going to your local supermarket. 

Irish promoters Shaun Darcy and Brian McCarthy share their thoughts on their upcoming events.

Brian McCarthy from Bedlam Events & Boxed Off:

“It has been incredibly encouraging to see our colleagues in Belfast producing full capacity, non distanced events over the weekend. With this in mind, we see no reason why the news on 27th August won’t reflect an easing of restrictions to facilitate well managed, non distanced shows with additional safety precautions in place.”

Shaun Darcy of Research Label and Social Service:

By the 5th of September we will have close to 90% of the population fully vaccinated. At this stage, there is no justifying a sit down, podded or no dancing rule in place. We are a safe and organised industry. This is what we do. 

We can put the measures in place to have these gigs as safe as possible at the drop of a hat. We’ve been planning this for over a year now.

We’ve been left out in the cold with very little information for too long. 

So as far as we are concerned, our fully outdoor show on September 5th will have a capacity limited to 500, will not require people to book in pods and will not require you to sit down and you will be allowed to dance. We will of course have extra safety precautions in place on entry.”

Brian McCarthy will be running a similar show under Boxed Off on September 3rd and 4th with no lineup announced for the moment.

Shaun Darcy will be running the Social Service show on September 5th with headliners Tommy Holohan, Sally C, Sputnik One and more. Tickets can be found here.

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