Covid Payments For Trad Players…Are You Serious ?
My reason for posting this, is that with all the tolerance and liberal thinking my later years have afforded me, I struggle to see were the lady in question here, has an argument…I read her facebook post, a young Sligo fiddle player, and she reckoned her income had been damaged by the pub closures on her 3 weekly sessions, yet she wasn’t recognized as qualifying for the Covid payment…Artistist discrimination, she argued……?????
To say she vehemently argued her position was an understatement, but for me she portrayed everything that is wrong with Irish music and sessions today, entitlement, expectation and dare I say arrogance..
When informed that she would have needed to previously declare herself with revenue as a self employed musician or is the case professionally in a group, a PAYE employee, her argument was that the revenue generated by playing in pubs was not sufficient to afford this or the administration associated with it… Now
in fairness this has some merit , however, she further argued that a realistic sustainable living fee be paid by these pubs to its players , and furthermore that some type of union should be created to protect their rights and conditions. At this stage, I was falling of the seat with laughter…
Young people like this, not only have taken over and dominated many sessions these days, many now obviously believe they have employment rights, mind you, fail to declare 2d from any of their pub earnings. This is the knock on effect of sessions being hijacked by these players and a general rise in cockiness. In the past playing for a few pints and an all inclusive ‘musicians welcome’ attitude allowed sessions all over the country to flourish without such nonsense.
So what has happened here, is this young lady was obviously dependent on the few bob from the sessions, (a very foolish dependence ) and is now suffering financial loss due to Covid…However for her to argue she is entitled to a Covid as an artist who has seen her income decline is wrong. The bottom line is that any payment to musicians by pubs, is actually illegal if not declared by the musician, and the pubs are just as at fault here…furthermore it suggests that this young lady holds a false perception of entitlement and as I said arrogance , which seems to have changed public performance of Irish Traditional music in a negative way these days…….I wonder what the great players of the past such as Johnny Doran would say today ?