10 Aug 2022

The Spirit Store set to receive €157,000 in funding for indoor and outdoor gigs this summer

Owner Mark Deary said that most of the funding will be passed along to artists who play at the venue

The Spirit Store set to receive €157,000 in funding for indoor and outdoor gigs this summer

The Spirit Store is set for a boost in funding

The government has unveiled supports worth over €430,000 for the live performance industry in Louth, with Dundalk venue the Spirit Store set over €157,000 worth of grant aid for summer shows

A total of €431,907 worth of grant aid for live performances for Louth was unveiled by Tourism and Culture Minister Catherine Martin earlier this week.

A total of eight companies will split the funding, with a mix between live music and performance art being aided.

Dundalk venue, the Spirit Store, will receive €157,539 to host a mixture of outdoor and indoor shows at their premises on Dundalk quay.

Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat, owner Mark Deary said that it was a great day for the venue and that it was the most money that the venue had ever seen “in one go”.

“It’s by miles the most money I’ve ever seen in one go,” said Deary, and that a lot of the money will be passed through the venue to both artists and technicians who work on shows.

Deary said that the venue will have to host a minimum of 15 gigs using the funding, but that he expects that they will be able to at least double that figure.

“It’s a huge relief to know that music will be happening again, that there’ll be small audience at them...That the financial burden we’ve been carrying for the last 18 months can now be resolved. It’s great,” said Deary.

The minimum 15 gigs will have to take place by 30th September.

Deary said that on the acts that will be performing, he wants to see some well-known acts in, alongside getting the local music scene going again.

“We’re looking to try to run shows that involve local bands as well as better known national figures.

“It will reflect the vibrant local music scene in Dundalk and surrounding counties.”

Deary says that the audiences will be small to start with, but he hopes that as the vaccination programme continues they will be able to get more people into the venue.

“The audience at these subsidised shows will probably be very small, a couple dozen people per gig.”

“We have to assume that we’re able to get back to work and run gigs that arent going to lose money every time. That means that we effectively need to close to sell out them,” said Deary, who is positive about getting the live performance industry back on its feet before the end of the year.

A pop music festival is also being proposed by Dundalk PR Ltd, operating under the name The Venue. They are set to receive €20,840 to help run the festival.

Minister Martin said that she was pleased to be announcing the funding to help support those in the arts industry.

“I am very pleased to announce this funding, which will encompass and support a wide range of performances over the coming summer months,” said Minister Martin.

“I know this funding will assist in the employment of performers, artists, technicians, creative and performance support staff across the sector, bringing much-needed employment to many who have not had work for many, many months.”

Louth Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd welcomed the action by the government, saying that it will help provide a boost to businesses that have been closed due to the pandemic.

“This is really welcome news and will give local applicants a real boost as they try to manage what has been and will continue to be an exceptionally difficult time for the live performance and arts industry,” said Deputy O’Dowd

“This will give artists the opportunity to perform and at the same time provide much-needed employment opportunities in the sector.”

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