Music venues and nightclubs anticipate 'difficulties' around new requirements

New measures, including the requirement for events to be ticketed, are effective from Thursday
Music venues and nightclubs anticipate 'difficulties' around new requirements

New rules for live music venues, nightclubs and late bars are to come into effect on Thursday. File picture

“Difficulties" are expected in live music venues, nightclubs and late bars when controversial new rules are expected to come into effect on Thursday evening.

One of these new measures is expected to be the ticketing of clubs and late-night venues. Tickets, which will include contact tracing details, must be booked at least one hour before entry and no walk-ins are expected to be allowed.

Micheal O’Donovan, Cork City chairperson for the Vintners' Federation of Ireland and owner of the Castle Inn, described the new draft rules presented to his sector on Wednesday as “farcical”. 

“If you’re a late venue that does food during the day and those people stay for a few drinks, in theory, we’ll have to ask them to leave and come back in an hour.

“We hope that Government will see sense and change some of these rules or even pause them.

Most of these rules are unworkable at the moment.

"Government keeps talking about consultation but there is no consultation. They give us the guidelines and tell us to work with them. 

'Huge costs'

"There will be huge costs in getting these ticketing systems up and running for this Friday. That’s why we’re asking for a two-week grace period to get ourselves ready for it."

Ger Kiely, owner of Cyprus Avenue music venue and the Old Oak bar in Cork City said there would be "teething problems" in the coming days.

“Most of us are just glad that we can reopen," he said.

“But Covid has not gone away.

“And our industry is the most exposed. You go into a pub, a live music gig you’re more liable to get or pass on an infection than if you’re going shopping and we have to recognise that. 

"It does create difficulties and it will put a lot of extra work on us but it’s worth doing it to be open.

"If it needs to be done, it needs to be done, so we may as well do it as quickly as we can."

He said any new ticketing rules would mean some venues, which opened in the day or early evening, would probably not be able to operate at full capacity.

"It will be almost impossible to be at full capacity because you’re trying to predict the future.

"If your capacity is 500 and you put 300 tickets online but already you have 300 people that have come before the cut-off time, then you’re overcapacity.

"So you’ll have to be conservative with passes and limit the number you make available online."

Shane Dunne, managing director of Indiependence music festival in Mitchelstown, Cork, and promoter with MCD Productions, said the expected new rules around ticketing should not really impact his work because all his shows are ticketed anyway.

“I can see why the Government is trying to do it with regards to contact tracing, getting that digital ticket, but it will be very hard for smaller businesses to implement it in the short term.

“The biggest difference for us is that we’re limited to 1,500 people standing. It’s enough for the bulk of venues but it does restrict the bigger shows like in the 3Arena, which has a capacity of 13,000.

“But it gets the Opera House open, Cyprus Avenue, Dolan’s, the Olympia, Vicar Street. So we’re happy for now.” 

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