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Ireland's First Indoor Nightclub Event In Almost 19 months To Take Place Tonight (Thursday September 30)

Published on Sep 30 2021 8:39 AM in Pub/Bar/Nightclub tagged: Trending Posts / LVA / Licensed Vintners Association / EU Digital COVID Certificate / indoor drinking / The Button Factory

Ireland's First Indoor Nightclub Event In Almost 19 months To Take Place Tonight (Thursday September 30)

Ireland's first indoor nightclub event in almost 19 months will take place tonight (Thursday September 30) at the Button Factory in Dublin with an all Irish line-up and 450 people in attendance, which is 60% of the venue's maximum capacity and is in line with current COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions for indoor events.

DJ And Give Us The Night Campaign Spokesperson Statements

As reported by rte.ie, DJ and spokesperson for the Give Us The Night campaign Sunil Sharpe said on RTÉ's Morning Ireland radio programme that they are glad to get back to clubbing and that it is the "beginning of a way of life returning".

Sharpe reportedly said that there will be follow ups in terms of health checks and questionnaires after the event, which he reportedly described as a "huge confidence builder" as it helps to inform everyone that the return of this sector is in sight.

Sharpe reportedly said that it is up to the government to give guidelines for the return of late night venues from October 22, and that a lot of these venues cannot afford to reopen and that needs to be addressed as they highlighted issues such as staffing.

Sharpe reportedly also said that there are widespread calls to end the licensing fee, which he reportedly described as a "crazy system".

Button Factory Promoter Statements

Button Factory promoter Will Rolfe reportedly said that it will be "a taste of normality" where there will be no rule of social distancing once inside the venue.

Rolfe reportedly said, "In terms of ventilation everything has been checked and CO2 levels will be monitored."

Digital COVID Certificate Required

Everyone who attends tonight's event reportedly must have a Digital COVID Certificate, and antigen testing will reportedly also be carried out.

LVA Calls For Government Support For Nightclubs

Tonight's event comes as the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) calls for government support for nightclubs.

In a statement published on its website, the LVA said, "Nightclubs and late bars will be forced to hand over an estimated €2.2 million+ to the government before they can open, the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has warned.

"Despite being kept shut by government order for 18 months or 585 consecutive days, late night venues will be required to make significant advance payments to the government to facilitate opening their doors once more.

"With nightclubs and late bars expected to open on 22nd October, they will need to start applying for their Special Exemption Orders from next week. These orders are granted by the courts, but each Special Exemption Order requires a payment of €410 to the fovernment for every late night of trading. Generally, licensed premises seek to secure special exemption orders for six week blocks at a time.

"The LVA estimates that on average the 300+ nightclubs and late night venues around Ireland will seek to secure three nights of late night trading per week for that first six week period. That will see more than €2.2 million provided to the government by late night businesses who have not been able to have customers in their premises since March 2020.

"The LVA believes these up front costs are also likely to reduce the level of late night trading provided initially, as many venues with limited resources will concentrate on only opening late at weekends. This will also have implications for the recovery of night time entertainment, with venues providing fewer spots for musicians and DJs who are also looking to get back to work post pandemic.

"The LVA is calling on the government to scrap the Special Exemption Order charges for the first six months of trading, to allow these venues to recover and to encourage the resumption of late night activity. This temporary measure would work in a similar fashion to the current liquor license waiver for other hospitality businesses as has been adopted by the government.

"'Speaking to those who are working in the late night sector, we know everyone is looking forward to being able to open again and to have their customers and staff back in their venues,' said Donall O'Keeffe, chief executive of the LVA. '585 days of closure is a very, very long time for any business and many just can’t wait to dust off the dancefloors and flick the lights back on.

"'So it is a bit of a surprise that these businesses, having done all that was asked of them during the pandemic, are now facing what effectively amounts to a government tax of more than €2.2 million to allow them to open their doors again. That doesn't seem fair and I think most businesses who have been kept closed for a year and half would struggle to pay costs like this upfront.

"'There are also wider implications surrounding the return of these venues. Reopening of nightclubs and late bars will help revive late night activity, bringing more people back into the cities and towns of Ireland and benefitting a range of other businesses too. It will also come as a major boost to musicians and DJs, providing a significant increase in locations where they will be able to perform. All that means that if late night activity takes longer to recover due to extensive upfront charges, then there will be further knock on implications too. Surely the government can recognise simply waiving these charges for a temporary period is warranted given the exceptional circumstances that have faced this sector over the last 18 months?' Mr. O'Keeffe concluded."

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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