West of Ireland musician Tommy Fleming has urged the government to support a ‘decimated’ live music industry.
The Sligo singer has posted an emotional plea for assistance for the struggling sector.
“Alarmist as it may sound but, let’s call a spade a spade. The live music industry is currently decimated. It is in a complete state of disarray, going through something unprecedented, while we face challenges that our generation has never had to contend with,” said Fleming.
He fears that his industry will take years to recover.
“Every venue, singer, artist, musician, stage actor, band, engineer, promoter, festival staff member ad manager, all have all lost their income from the numerous cancelled events. We are now unemployed indefinitely, with our entire career and future in jeopardy. If every venue opened to full capacity tomorrow we would all have to compete with each other for the same space, in the same venues, all scrambling to get the same PR, TV, and radio slots. To set up and undertake overseas tours will certainly take years to reschedule. There is no doubt that even an optimist’s view of the future would encompass a two-year journey to an entire recovery,” said the solo artist who lives in Ballina.
The popular vocalist has called for an ‘urgent plan’ to be put in place for the arts industry.
“There’s no question but that we as artists are the first to be called upon to lend our support to charity fundraisers, community events and the many free of charge gigs that we have always so willingly supported. But now, as we find ourselves in these unchartered waters and scarily uncertain times, we need the support and guidance of our Government to lead the charge and protect us until we can return safely to live performances in theatres, pubs, festivals and events across the country. An urgent plan needs to be put in place to secure and protect the arts industry,” he said.