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'Father Ted stuff' Ticketing rules for live music and nightclubs ‘a disaster’, industry body says

All nightclub events must be ticketed from next week, according to Government guidelines published on Friday evening.

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Clubbers at Tramline Nightclub in Dublin, after the easing of coronavirus restrictions meant that nightclubs in Ireland could open for the first time in close to 600 days (Garrett White/PA)

Clubbers at Tramline Nightclub in Dublin, after the easing of coronavirus restrictions meant that nightclubs in Ireland could open for the first time in close to 600 days (Garrett White/PA)

Clubbers at Tramline Nightclub in Dublin, after the easing of coronavirus restrictions meant that nightclubs in Ireland could open for the first time in close to 600 days (Garrett White/PA)

New ticketing rules for live music and late-night hospitality in Ireland are a “disaster”, according to industry representatives.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) said the Government process to reopen the sector had become “Keystone Cops meets Father Ted stuff”.

However, Taoiseach Micheal Martin has insisted that the Government had been very supportive of the industry and that ticketing was something which could be done quite easily.

All nightclub events must be ticketed from next week, according to Government guidelines published on Friday evening.

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People outside Copper Face Jack’s nightclub in Dublin (Garrett White/PA)

People outside Copper Face Jack’s nightclub in Dublin (Garrett White/PA)

People outside Copper Face Jack’s nightclub in Dublin (Garrett White/PA)

Hours before people were due to crowd back into nightclubs, the guidelines said that alongside a Covid-19 certificate and photographic ID, anyone attending a nightclub will need to have bought a ticket in advance.

Free ticketing will be permitted.

The LVA said it told Government officials at a briefing on Friday evening that the requirements were “completely unmanageable”.

The association said while the term “in advance” is still to be officially defined, it was made clear this would be a minimum of 24 hours and potentially up to 72 hours.

The trade group said customers attending an early evening music session in a pub would also have to get tickets in advance.

Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the LVA, said: “We can’t believe that this is being proposed by Government.

The Government process to reopen our sector has become Keystone Cops meets Father Ted stuffDonall O'Keefe

“As we made clear at the meeting this is completely unworkable. It is a disaster for late bars, nightclubs and musicians. It simply won’t be possible to put such a system in place, it contradicts the very nature of social activity in Ireland.

“Do they know anything about the late-night economy?

“If the Government goes ahead with these requirements then ad hoc late-night socialising will not be possible. It could also have a devastating impact on DJs and live performers as most pubs simply won’t put on such entertainment.

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“The very fact that this bombshell was dropped on the trade at 6.30pm on the very evening they reopen after 585 days of closure shows how appalling the Government planning for our reopening has been.

“The Government process to reopen our sector has become Keystone Cops meets Father Ted stuff.”

The tickets will be issued digitally on mobile phones and scanned at the door where customers will also have to show their ID and Digital Covid Certificate.

Regulations legally underpinning the rules will be published next week.

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Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the Government is concerned about the trajectory of Covid-19 heading into the winter months (Brian Lawless/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the Government is concerned about the trajectory of Covid-19 heading into the winter months (Brian Lawless/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the Government is concerned about the trajectory of Covid-19 heading into the winter months (Brian Lawless/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin told Newstalk that the Covid virus was dictating the response.

He said: “This Government has been very supportive of the hospitality sector since the beginning of the pandemic.

“It is time for the interests to work with Government. I don’t know what the problem of the LVA is.

“In the modern era administrating ticket only is something that can be done quite easily.”

He added: “It is the virus that is dictating this, not Government. So we have to respond to the virus as it manifests itself.”

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