25 Jul 2020

Songs from an Empty Room

Picture This, Gavin James, The Coronas, The Blizzards, The Stunning, Aimée & Denise Chaila are just a few among the great acts taking part in Songs From An Empty Room, a one-off live music extravaganza in support of Minding Creative Minds and the Association of Irish Stage Technicians (AIST) Hardship Fund being broadcast on RTÉ2, RTÉ 2FM, and RTÉ Player tonight.

The night will also feature footage from behind-the-scenes in Ireland's event industry, with a focus on the people whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Broadcast over two hours the musical performances will air from much-loved venues around the country, including The Olympia Theatre in Dublin, Cyprus Avenue in Cork, Dolan's in Limerick, INEC in Killarney and Galway’s Roisin Dubh.

Rock superstars U2 have donated €200,000 to the cause and will be contributing to the event. Audiences at home can also donate through the website Songs From An Empty Room and via text or through the initiative’s GoFundMe Page.

Branded crew merchandise will also be available to purchase through the website with all proceeds from these sales going to the initiative.

The Live Events industry is worth €3.5 billion to Ireland each year. While many other sectors begin their recovery, Live Events & Arts workers have no clear indication or guidance as to when their work can recommence. Without support, many will be forced out of the industry, and losing that skilled specialised workforce will be catastrophic for multiple sectors, including arts, culture, tourism and hospitality.

So, at a time when we are most disconnected, tune in and support those who connect us the most!

Songs from An Empty Room will be an unmissable show, a memorable, poignant and historic night of Irish music in these extraordinary times. In addition to providing an incredible night of entertainment, the broadcast will also feature fascinating insights from behind the scenes of Ireland’s event industry and the exceptional people who come together to make our extraordinary live events happen.

Live events continue through wars, they raise money for famine, they raise the spirits of a nation in times of need and provide a focus in times of celebration. Never, in the history of staging live performances and events, has there been such a sudden and total cessation of work in Ireland, as happened on the 12th of March 2020. Currently, throughout the country, festival fields and event sites are deserted, theatre seats await an audience and music venues are empty. We hope that in sitting rooms around the country, audiences will tune in and become the support act that the live events industry needs right now.

There are huge challenges facing the live events industry due to the cancellation and postponement of all mass gatherings, festivals, concerts, theatrical productions, sports events, trade shows and community gatherings. Ireland’s event businesses and crews have lost their income, with no current roadmap to recovery as long as Covid-19 continues to present a significant public health risk.

However, the show must go on! In addition to providing an incredible night of entertainment, the aim of the broadcast is to help raise awareness for the live events industry as a whole and the number of individuals and businesses impacted. All funds raised will support the following two event industry resources:

Association of Irish Stage Technicians (AIST) Hardship Fund

AIST.ie Hardship Fund is available to members and non-members who work in any crew related role in the Irish live events industry. The fund is managed and distributed by AIST.

Minding Creative Minds

Minding Creative Minds is a 24/7, free wellbeing and support programme for event industry professionals and contractors including production, lighting and sound engineers, site crew, event control, musicians, songwriters and artist managers. MCM provides free counselling services, in addition to free financial, legal and career advice for events industry personnel.

Songs from An Empty Room

Aimée : Denise Chaila : Eve Belle : Fia Moon : Gavin James : JafarisJames Vincent McMorrow : Lisa McHugh : Lyra : Mother DJsNoel Hogan (The Cranberries) with Danny O’Reilly (The Coronas) : Picture This | Sorcha Richardson : Soulé : The Academic : The BlizzardsThe Coronas: The Stunning

Live Broadcast on RTÉ2, RTÉ 2FM and RTÉ Player

This Saturday July 25, 2020, 8.30pm – 10.45pm

Hosted by RTÉ 2FM’s Jenny Greene and Eoghan McDermott

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