SDLP Communities Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has welcomed the Executive’s decision to allow the return of live music from Monday July 5.
The Foyle MLA has campaigned tirelessly on behalf of performers who have been left unable to work during much of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Executive has also agreed to lift a cap of 500 people for outdoor gatherings from Friday, subject to a risk assessment.
Mr Durkan said:
“It is great news for both performers and the general public that live music will be allowed to resume, with mitigations, indoors and outdoors from next week. This move will also be a boost for those planning weddings.
“Musicians have been among the worst affected during the pandemic so today’s announcement will bring hope to a sector which has suffered so much. While many have lost out on earning a living there has also been a huge impact on performers’ mental health as they were unable to pursue their careers over the past year plus, amid worries over money and the future.
“It was not only artists who were affected, those who work at venues and in the live entertainment industry were also badly hit. From promoters, grips and lighting technicians to events staff, all will be delighted to be able to return to work.
“This decision will also deliver a much-needed boost to the public as a whole. Live music and the arts contribute so much to our lives in the North and are sewn into the fabric of our culture and society. People will once again be able to enjoy singers and bands on nights out. The massive contribution of the arts sector to our tourism industry should also be recognised and they will play a key role as our economy gets back on its feet during recovery from the pandemic.”