Sunday, August 02, 2020

Local musicians face
an uncertain future

Alan Clancy performing in the safety of his home

By Jamie Dowling

WITH pubs closed for the foreseeable future, the financial burden on local musicians is

worsening as time goes by.

Laois singer Alan Clancy, whose influences include Christy Moore and Damien Dempsey, has been badly affected by the coronavirus due to gigs being cancelled. For more than two years he had been playing to audiences in Ireland. He then made the big move to America, where he was earning a good living from gigging regularly. But when coronavirus struck in March, Alan’s prospects took a turn for the worse and he had to return home.

“On Monday 16 March, I was in the States and got a phone call to say all of my gigs were cancelled due to Covid-19 and I would have to return to Ireland. This was St Patrick’s weekend, my biggest earning week of the year as an Irish musician and it was financially devastating for me.

“On my return home, things were just as bad. The entertainment industry here in Laois and in the rest of the country has been hit with a devastating blow; the music industry was first to go and will be the last to return. The future for Laois musicians is very bleak.”

In the last month or so, Music Entertainment Ireland has been set up to try and ease the financial pressures faced by musicians throughout the country.

The group wants the government to extend the Pandemic Unemployment Payment until musicians can play at gigs without social distancing and for temporary medical cards to be issued.

“With the future of the musicians looking very bleak at the moment, it is essential that

we get the supports from government until we get back singing and entertaining again,” concluded Alan.

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