Pilot Nightclub Event Set For Dublin Before September Ends

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The first pilot nightclub event will take place on September 30 in Dublin’s Button Factory.

The announcement has been made by Arts and Culture Minister Catherine Martin as she launched the Report of the Night Time Economy Taskforce today at the same venue.

The report of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce has been published and contains 36 proposed actions across a range of departments, agencies and the Night-Time Economy sector itself and covers a number of initiatives and pilot projects including:

  1. Piloting six new “Night-time Economy Advisors” in six cities and towns to develop new Night-Time Economy opportunities
  2. The modernisation of the licensing regime by the Department of Justice to support the culture, hospitality and nightclub sectors and modernise and expand the Night-Time Economy offering
  3. The extension of opening hours in the National Cultural Institutions and the development of exciting new pilot projects for late night activity
  4. Working with vintners and other stakeholders to develop a new Scheme to revitalise night-life across the country and provide opportunities to artists in the community
  5. New best practice planning guidance for local authorities to ensure that Night-Life and culture are embedded into the planning process
  6. Immediate review of noise regulation to ensure better co-ordination in the management of noise for residents, venues and authorities
  7. Facilitate arts and cultural/event spaces to work together and facilitate more use of publicly-owned cultural buildings and heritage sites for night-time events
  8. Improved transport options with proposed new 24-hour routes
  9. Better planning and co-ordination to ensure public safety in the Night-Time Economy
  10. An examination of the practical implications of ‘meanwhile use’ for planning and other legislative codes to enable the potential for buildings to be used for Night-Time Economy activities
  11. A new night-time food initiative in Cork with a focus on delivering an authentic local food experience

Speaking today Minister Martin said:

“Night-time culture sees creativity burst into life in towns and cities. It is where we dance, sing, play music but also where audiences come together and sustain local economies and livelihoods. All that was put on pause during COVID-19. This new report looks at ways to reignite the Night-Time Economy and culture, especially so given the devastating effects of the pandemic on live and arts events. Improving night-time life for audiences, venues and performers will help our recovery. But there is an opportunity to enrich our night-time life with new options, positioning us alongside other countries where a myriad of offerings await patrons after dark.

“It is important that we protect and sustain this part of our economy – particularly as we emerge out of the pandemic. I see the actions in this Taskforce report as part of that wider discussion around overcoming obstacles which exist and creating opportunities for a more vibrant night-life in our cities and towns. I will work with colleagues to deliver on these and we have to look at this Report as a starting point for the future development of the Night-Time Economy and Culture – not the end-point.”

The Taskforce, which was made up a wide range of government departments and agencies, the Lord Mayor of Dublin and Cork and Give Us The Night, examined a broad range of challenges facing the development of a vibrant night-time culture and economy including regulations, licencing laws, transport, and diversity of cultural activities and committed to finding practical solutions to help our cities, towns and villages which have already faced so many challenges, find and develop new opportunities. The Taskforce conducted an intensive stakeholder engagement process with relevant sectors and interested parties who have a significant role in the Night-Time Economy and Culture to ensure that all views and ideas were considered and the Report is the outcome of those consultations.

Minister Martin said:

The electronic music and nightclub sector is an integral part of the Night-Time Economy and our culture and it is important that it is supported and recognised. I understand the frustration, as it has been one of the hardest hit during this pandemic, but I hope this Report will be a welcome step forward as we reopen in line with public health guidance. I would also like to thank the Taskforce and all those who contributed to this process.

“The advice that was published by Government on 31 August set out a roadmap for the recovery of live entertainment through September and October. In this context, I am also delighted to announce today that a pilot nightclub event will take place on 30 September in The Button Factory in Temple Bar and I hope that the learnings from this will help the sector as we head towards a full easing of restrictions in October.”

Sunil Sharpe from Give Us The Night also spoke today:

The publishing of this Report is an important milestone on the road to change for the Irish night-time industry. It has been a challenging process at times, but we are happy with the direction it is going and have particularly enjoyed our engagement with the department and Minister Martin, who have taken time to understand and really try to address the issues at hand.

“This is the beginning of a rebirth for domestic nightlife, which if done right can increase the public’s interaction with their local city or town and open up new opportunities for a considerable part of our community. Ireland still does some of the basics well, but from a culture and entertainment point of view, has been running very dry in recent years at night, to the point where we have seen the complete disappearance of venues and events in many parts of the country.

“The night-time industry should work for all businesses and venues, and obstacles to this need be removed. That won’t all be done overnight and there are still many challenges ahead that all need careful attention. I believe we can meet all these challenges head on, and get them right. Nightlife can work for everyone, it will just take some extra work, determination and a bit of compromise here and there too.

“The main thing is that we create a more organised modern model, on a par with our European counterparts, and who knows, maybe even a bit better than some of them. The changes we need to make in Ireland will not be extreme, they will simply just mean doing things a bit differently, being a bit more flexible, and ultimately placing a bit more trust in night-time businesses, venues, performers, workers and the general public. We need Ireland to be a desirable destination for tourists, sure, but enhancing the quality of nightlife for those who live here must be a top priority.”