We’re a mere week away from D-day for the night-time and entertainment industry. In August we were told that October 22nd would see the easing of the majority of restrictions, including indoor gatherings which would include nightclubs and concerts. Now, seven days away from the proposed re-opening, there is doubt surrounding the resurrection of our night-time industry.

For what seemed like a certainty for re-opening on October 22nd, the night-time industry now finds itself in limbo and at the mercy of the governments last minute stance, with nightclubs under severe cross-examination. This comes as a bit of a shock to promoters, staff and venue owners who have worked tirelessly towards this date, and for many, have put their livelihoods on the line for what now seems like false hope. It’s hard not to despair, but let’s try not lose faith too early.

A senior minister was quoted saying “I don’t think anyone will be up in arms if the reopening of nightclubs is delayed a few more weeks,”. This couldn’t be any further from reality for anyone who is working in the entertainment industry and further afield. It clearly shows the government’s complete lack of concern for our industry.

With a vaccine rate of 74.4% of the total population, this being one of the highest in Europe, it seems unfathomable that the night-time industry may be put on the long finger once again. Our vaccination rate is higher than the UK, France, Germany and more of our neighbours who have opened their doors for some time now. Young people will now potentially have to take the hit once again, for an issue which a failed healthcare system is somewhat responsible for. You have to wonder, when is the end in sight…if we don’t proceed to open on October 22nd, when will we open?

While it’s important not to jump the gun as it’s still very plausible to open on the 22nd, the main concern here is that certain ministers have shown just how out of touch they are with the industry itself. The Non-Funded Event Industry supports over 35,000 jobs, contributes over €3.5 billion Euro to the economy and in excess of €3 million annual bed nights to the wider tourism sector. Nightclubs play a big role in these statistics.

If a senior minister can shun a whole industry by saying we “won’t be up in arms” when speaking about the re-opening of our nightclubs, where does this leave us for staying open? It shows very little concern for this industry or young people in general.

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