Covid-19: Support Available for Artists

With the ongoing Covid-19 emergency, artists around the world have begun to play a new role in our everyday lives, with live and archived concerts, theatre performances, musicals and films being made available to the general public.

Considering the fact that the vast majority of content is being offered for free and is available to view at the click of a button, it’s more important than ever that our artists are supported. There are a range of small funding schemes now available for artists, so here’s a quick round-up of what’s out there…


Irish Music Industry COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund (IMRO, IRMA, FMC & Spotify)

This is a new fund available to songwriters, composers, performers, session musicians and arrangers which offers a once-off emergency relief payment to the value of €750. The fund has been set up by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and First Music Contact (FMC) and as a member of the public, you can also make a donation to the fund.

IMRO Chair, Eleanor McEvoy commented on the new scheme:

“We hope that this fund can help to ease some of their worries and fears. We are also appealing to anyone who is passionate about Irish music to donate to the fund to ensure we can help as many people as possible. It is essential that the Irish music industry survives this crisis, not just for the benefit of music creators, but for the benefit of our country.”

Click here for more information. 


#IrelandPerforms (Culture Ireland, FMC & Facebook)

Announced on 3rd April by Josepha Madigan, T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, this scheme aims to “support professional artists and enable the live presentation of their work on online platforms.” A total fund of €100,000 is being made available with each successful applicant awarded €1,000. Applications are being accepted, reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis.

Click here for more information.

Click here to see the current schedule of performances. 


The Butterfly Sessions (Music Network)

Music Network has taken a slightly different approach by commissioning 24 musicians and composers to premiere new music through an online performance series. The Butterfly Sessions will run across a 10-week series featuring two premieres each week. These will be broadcast on Music Network’s YouTube channel and social media platforms on Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm.

Click here for more information.


Artist Emergency Relief Fund (Civic Theatre)

Announced as early as the 14 March, the Civic Theatre in Tallaght launched the Artist Emergency Relief Fund, which was established to “provide financial relief to Irish artists who had guaranteed income that was lost due to COVID-19.” The announcement highlighted the need for artist supports…

“Artists in Ireland are living with no safety net, working from gig to gig, event to event. The grim reality is that some are living in poverty with no security, no pensions, no sick leave, no parental leave and no means to plan for the future. The impact of this pandemic is particularly savage for artists in Ireland at this time.” 

Members of the public are encouraged to contribute to the fund and small grants of up to €500 are being paid rapidly on a first-come, first-served basis to artists.

Click here for more information.


Other funds (deadline expired):

Arts Council COVID-19 Crisis Response Award (The Arts Council)

The Arts Council also announced a new fund aimed at enabling “Irish-based professional artists to provide access for the public to new and original art during the period of COVID-19 isolation.” Applicants were expected to “demonstrate a track record of professional practice as an artist” and all applicants had to register with the Arts Council’s Online Services to apply. Awards will be made up to a maximum of €3,000. The application deadline has now passed.

Click here for more information.


Cover Photo by Gavin Whitner


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