Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Cathal T Hughes 

BA [Hons] Creative Music Production

Growing up in the Gaeltacht of An Rinn in Co. Waterford, I discovered my love for music especially Irish Music. My favourite artists are Luke Kelly, The Clancy brothers and The Chieftains. I also have a passion for music and foley in Film and video games. My favourite soundtracks especially are the movies UP and A Quiet Place. And from the video game The Legend Of Zelda Breath of the Wild and The Last Of Us. I also have an interest in radio and television with my dream job of being a sound engineer for Radio and TV or a Composer and music producer for Film.

Project Description

On the 15th of March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic have caused in person concerts, music events and public houses to close. This paper "The response from the Irish Government and private companies to support freelance music artists during the Covid-19 pandemic" uses literature reviews, online research, survey with freelance musicians and an interview with a music industry professional. This paper identifies what support was made available to freelance music artists by the Irish government and both national and international private companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, the financial impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the income of freelance music artists, identified freelance musicians awareness of available supports and assess if these supports are deemed sufficient by freelance music artists and identifies and explores learnings from previous disasters which might help to inform how the music industry might recover post COVID-19. literature reviews, online research, a survey with freelance musicians and an interview with a music industry professional.

Project Objectives

This paper used three methods to complete the objectives set in this paper as mentioned above. Firstly online research was completed. This was used to discover supports for freelance musicians supplied by the Irish government and national and international private companies. And how the music industry recovered from past historical events. The supports for freelance musicians found was used to create an online survey. All of Freelance musicians for the survey was discovered on and all of the musicians used in the survey were based in the Republic of Ireland. The survey discovered how the Covid-19 pandemic have financially impacted them, if they are aware of these supports, if they are using any of these supports and do they think the supports supplied by the Irish government and national and international private companies are sufficient. An interview was then conducted with music industry professional Liam Molloy to discover if he is aware of any supports, if he believes the Irish government and national and international private companies have an obligation to support freelance musicians and if he believes the supports are sufficient.

Project Outcomes

The results from this paper shows that the Irish government along with national and international private companies are supporting freelance musicians during the Covid-19 pandemic but although freelance musicians are aware of these supports with the music industry stimulus package being the most well known, a low amount of freelance musicians are using a grant supplied by the government. Over half of freelance musicians said that they did not qualify for the supports by the Irish government. The thesis also identified that 85% of freelance musicians believe that the Irish government are not doing enough to support them during the Covid-19 pandemic and 77% of them said the same for private companies. The paper also found out that the music industry could recover from the Covid-19 pandemic in two different ways. One by allocation of fund to non profit arts sectors. This was used in the America recover act during the 2008 recession. Another way is how Polygram recovered during the 1979 oil crisis. This was by cutting jobs and relying on the invention of the CD to gain funds. This could be repeated by private companies with the rise in popularity of online gigs.