Events Industry Alliance call for full 100% reopening as they hit out at Leo Varadkar

By David Kent

The Events Industry Alliance has called for the full reopening of the live industry as the fallout from Leo Varadkar's trip to London continues.

The Fine Gael leader was snapped sitting on the grass at the Mighty Hoopla Festival- during the same weekend that Electric Picnic was supposed to take place in Laois.

Mr Varadkar is in London to attend a meeting with the British Government.

But his appearance at the event on Saturday has not gone down well with the public, or those in the industry.

The Events Industry Alliance released a statement this afternoon where they hit out at Mr Varadkar and called for a full reopening in the process.

They said: "The Event Industry Alliance is aware of reports in the media of, and the significance of, the picture of the Tánaiste at a UK festival.

Leo Varadkar (2020 Getty Images)

"The EIA are glad to see An Tánaiste recognises and trusts the safety measures put in place by our UK colleagues and now calls on government to open our industry at 100% capacity without further delay. This is where our focus remains whilst we are mandated for closure or severely restricted operation we still require 100% capacity to be financially viable."

Indoor events can have a capped attendance as of Monday, while outdoor events have also been allowed an increase in attendances.

The EIA continued: "It has been repeatedly stated and acknowledged by An Taoiseach and the Tánaiste (as recently as last Event Industry Stakeholder meeting with Minister Catherine Martin) that the commercial event sector requires 100% capacity to be viable. It must be noted that the commercial events sector does not receive any public funding, unlike the arts/non commercial event sector who receive €130m annually.

"No explanation or supporting data has been given to our industry for continuing to keep us closed or at reduced capacity until the 222nd October, at which time we will be closed for 19 months.

"We also remain extremely focused on the continuation of both business and employee/personal supports into July 2022, for which we have yet to receive full details, along with the upcoming budget.

"We wish all those who do get to go back to work today well."

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