People in Ireland love to go out to arts events of every kind, but most have serious concerns about Covid-19 and will need extensive reassurances before going back, new research from the Arts Council shows.
The survey, carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes, indicates that despite widespread enthusiasm for the arts among the public, huge challenges remain for people putting on performances across the country in the weeks and months ahead, especially those in indoor venues.
Around 75 percent of people expressed concerns about going back to indoor venues such as gigs, concert halls, theatres and cinemas. In a separate question, some 54 percent said they would be more likely to attend an arts event if the numbers were limited.
One potential silver lining to these clouds however is that more people, especially younger age groups, are experiencing the arts online during the Covid-19 crisis, and, crucially for artists, more than half of this group would be willing to pay to access arts content online.
The research was commissioned by the Arts Council, the government agency for funding and developing the arts, as part of its response to Covid-19. The pandemic has created a crisis in the arts sector, with many artists and arts organisations suddenly unable to work, and the public unable to experience the arts as before.
The agency, which last month received an additional €25 million in funding from the Government for 2020, has announced a series of new measures to support artists and arts organisations including enhanced bursaries, commissions, projects, training and professional development supports, a capacity building scheme and an Emergency Stabilisation Fund to help stem losses occasioned by Covid-19.
The survey was conducted online with the sample of 1,000 adults strictly quota controlled to reflect the population of the State. The full results can be seen here.
A video presentation of the research by John O’Mahony of Behaviours & Attitudes can be seen here.
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