Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, announced the opening date for the 2022 strand of the MEBAS (Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme). This simpler, easier to access new scheme will further support performers and individuals in the music business that have been impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.
The Minister said:
“I have engaged extensively with stakeholders to understand the challenges faced by them and put in place supports that work for the sector. I am pleased to announce that MEBAS 2022 will open for applications on Thursday January 27th. As part of the €50m in supports I have secured for the Live Entertainment sector for 2022, I have allocated €4m to MEBAS 2022.”
The guidelines for MEBAS 2022 will be published next Tuesday, January 25th on the Department’s website in advance of the application portal opening on Thursday, January 27th 2022.
The scheme will operate in a similar manner to CRSS (Covid Restrictions Support Scheme) by providing grants of up to the value of 15% of the average monthly VAT-exclusive turnover prior to the pandemic.
The aim of this scheme is to make a contribution to the overheads of self-employed people and sole traders in the music industry who have been significantly negatively affected by COVID-19. To be eligible, individuals/sole traders will need to demonstrate that their 2021 turnover was no more than 40% of their average turnover prior to the pandemic.
The Minister added:
“As part of a suite of measures to support those in the sector, MEBAS was launched in 2021 as a targeted support for self-employed performers and sole traders operating solely in the live entertainment sector who did not qualify for other business supports such as CRSS and who were significantly impacted by restrictions introduced to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In 2021, MEBAS supported over 1,000 such performers and live entertainment businesses. For MEBAS 2022, the Minister has again made funding available, which is expected to support a similar number of performers, crew, and sole traders in the music industry. Self-employed individuals and sole traders including performers such as musicians, singers, DJs, lighting and sound crew, and audio equipment suppliers will be eligible to apply.
The grant will be paid for six months, January 2022 to June 2022, to assist self-employed performers, sole traders and businesses which have seen significant reductions in their turnover due to the COVID-19 pandemic and help to underpin their recovery as the restrictions are eased in the coming months.
In 2022, the Minister has made €50m available to support live entertainment. The following funding schemes have been provided to date:
- €5m LPSS 2 – Pantomime scheme
- €20m LPSS 3 – Scheme to cover December/January cancellations
- €5m Local Live Performance Support Scheme (LLPSS)
- €4m Music and Entertainment Support Scheme (MEBAS)
- €5m (capital) Commercial Entertainment Capital Grant Scheme (CECGS)
- €1m St. Patricks Festival
In 2021, these schemes supported thousands of individuals and businesses operating in the live events sector and thousands of hours of employment for artists and crews staging events.