A series of online events have been arranged to discuss the issues facing Northern Ireland’s night-time economy and creative industries.
Three panel discussions will take place on August 16, 23 and 30, with the focus moving from promoters and event organisers in the first event, to artists, creatives and technicians, and finally to venue owners.
The free events have been organised by Free The Night, a lobby group which has been set up to advocate on behalf on the industry, which includes bars, nightclubs, music venues and all those that work in and supply them, many of whom are yet to go back to work following the pandemic.
A similar campaign, Give Us The Night, has been in operation in the Republic since the mid-2000s, and is offering support to the new group.
Free The Night’s priorities include changes to licensing laws that would allow music venues to stay open later and for new licences to be easier to obtain; a push to create safer night-time environments in towns and cities; better infrastructure for those who work and go out at night; the creation of safe, inclusive, multi-purpose spaces for communities; and the protection of existing spaces.
The group also works closely with Queen’s University researcher Ciara Power, who will be present at each event and who plans to use the discussions to help guide her work.
The events are as follows:
Monday 16 August, 7pm
Free The Night Open Discussion: Promoters and Event Organisers
With speakers Andrew Moore (Plain Sailing) and Sunil Sharpe (Give Us The Night)
Monday 23 August, 7pm
Free The Night Open Discussion: Artists, Creatives and Technicians
With speakers Sunil Sharpe (Give Us The Night) and Holly Lester (Duality Trax)
Monday 30 August, 7pm
Free The Night Open Discussion: Venue Owners
With speakers Boyd Sleator (Free The Night co-founder) and Ciarán Bittles (Bittles Bar)
For more information and to obtain a free ticket to any of the events, visit the Free The Night Facebook page.