Catherine Martin pays performers in pubs to revitalize the sector


The state will pay singers, comedians and even jugglers to perform in pubs in an unprecedented attempt to revitalize arts across the board and the night economy, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

In the meantime, there are advanced “Nights at the Museum” plans to bring culture and party life to our major institutions through a program of late-night openings and events throughout the summer.

“After the pandemic, people want new offers to mix daytime activities with their free time at night,” said the Minister of Arts and Culture Catherine Martin told the Sunday independentt.

The nightly entertainment campaign will result in the state giving artists paid gigs and pub patrons an extra reason to relax in their free hours.

Taxpayer-paid entertainment will be targeted to off-peak hours in pubs, clubs, galleries, cafes and other appropriate venues “to support an alternative, diverse and inclusive nighttime offering”.

Performances can include live music, comedy routines, literary or poetry readings, theater and drama performances, even dance, craft and art and photography exhibitions.

“Look at cities like Berlin, where culture thrives around the clock, where the heartbeat of a city doesn’t stop at night,” Ms. Martin said.

“Or look at New York, Paris and Montreal. These cities are not closing. Their liveliness lasts far into the night. These cities built their reputations on that mix.”

State institutions will also be harnessed to their new entertaining agenda, potentially changing forever a sector that the public perceives as stuffy and stuffy, Ms Martin said. “Check out Toronto, where the Royal Ontario Museum has hosted unique nightly events,” she said. “Party-goers experience a moving feast of food and drink throughout the museum.

“There are pop-up bars, tantalizing dishes, artisanal food. We see their art installations, fashion shows, talks, performances and dances. Even DJs spinning to electronic beats.”

The Justice Department is spearheading work to reform licensing laws, which in turn will facilitate innovation in culture and hospitality, she said.

A number of cultural institutions will be conducting pilot events for late-night and more diverse events throughout the summer, from next month through September.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art, for example, will start “IMMA Nights” from mid-May. It will open its 48-acre grounds to a range of activities every Thursday and Friday throughout the season, including lectures, art, dance, theater, DJs and live music.

The National Museum of Country Life in Co Mayo will join the pilot. Plans are in development and will be released soon. Meanwhile, the Collins Barracks Museum will host evening parties in June, followed by a series of concerts including Simply Red, and the National Concert Hall is developing a new festival “with a focus on electronic music and the visual arts”.

The program of pub performances, meanwhile, is intended to lure people into the inner cities later in the evening and during the night until the early hours of the morning. In some cases, there may be objections from local residents, but the Minister is confident all will go well and lead to a revival and renaissance in Ireland’s cultural output – even if a juggler might accidentally spill a pint or two.

“We will have a range of cultural activities in different locations, including some that don’t sell alcohol,” she said. “It will also help businesses try out events in the first half of the week when it’s typically quieter. This with a view to developing a long-term, more sustainable offer in the night economy.” Catherine Martin pays performers in pubs to revitalize the sector

Fry Electronics Team

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