On Tuesday, 29th August 2023, Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, announced a new Night-Time Economy Youth Initiative. The €119,000 funding package is aimed at providing events for young people to attend, as well as venues for upcoming young artists to perform in.
The funding will support more than 70 nighttime events across Ireland, which are aimed at young people in the 14- to 24-year-old age bracket. Allocation of funding has been decided based on whether the organisations or venues have a history of working with young people.
The events are expected to take place from September to December this year. A variety of events will be on offer such as open mic nights, improv, comedy, DJ workshops and sets as well as singer-songwriter nights. The exact details of most of the events are yet to be released.
This scheme is the latest step that the government is taking in response to the recommendations from last year’s Night-Time Economy Report. The report highlighted the need to “increase opportunities for young people to engage in the Night-Time Economy, and specifically those activities which are not alcohol-based”.
Katherine Licken and John McCarthy, co-chairs of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce, have previously highlighted how the nighttime sector has been “badly hit by COVID-19”. They also specified the need for “innovative solutions” such as this new funding scheme, in the Taskforce’s 2021 report.
The Minister also announced the museums that have been awarded funding under the After Hours at the Museum Grant Scheme. The scheme, which was announced in mid-July, aims to “support museums and galleries to open their doors later by giving innovative events to encourage people to enjoy a more diverse nightlife”. A total of €620,000 was given to 51 organisations and museums with over 220 events being announced across the country.
In Dublin, the EPIC Museum will be hosting four concerts of choir performances and spoken word in November and December. The Airfield Estate in Dundrum is putting on a number of concerts and late-evening tours. The UCD Classical Museum will present six events in poetry, story-telling, art and music. Dublin Castle will be hosting a ball in November and running six late-night tours. 14 Henrietta Street will provide tours, including a journey through the city’s poetry and tenement plays, in addition to live music and drawing events. Finally, the Joyce Tower Museum will run a week of late-night events, including readings and musical performances in September.