Nightlife bosses and creatives in Northern Ireland have teamed up with nightlife campaigners Free The Night to call for financial support for individuals working in the industry.
Clubs shut in the region on Boxing Day following a rise in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, as well as tighter restrictions elsewhere in the entertainment sector.
Now, the new nightlife campaign Free The Night is asking the government to aid freelancers who work in the sector financially in what might be the most devastating time for the nightlife industry.
“We are extremely disappointed with the government’s lack of engagement on this issue, which is affecting many individuals from our creative nighttime sector,” said Free The Night co-founder Holly Lester.
Campaigners are rushing to secure financial support ahead of the upcoming election rest period in Northern Ireland, which begins on March 28.
“A full COVID recovery plan and support for the previous lockdown must be discussed immediately. It is critical that action is taken before the government breaks for the election at the end of March,” added Lester.
Free The Night is asking those who work in the sector - and other creatives who might find themselves in a financial emergency - to come together and call on the government for further support.
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The campaign group have also provided a model letter to forward to the sender’s local MLA detailing the support that can be given and encouraging the sender to voice their own personal experiences.
“On the 23rd of December, my right to earn money was stopped with no financial backing… I have put my whole life into music and it is really sad that my life’s work has just been switched off,” said Robbie Nelson, one half of duo Agnelli & Nelson.
Find the document here, and help Free The Night push for better financial support in Northern Ireland.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter