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  • April 2020

    Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund Launched

    Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund Launched

    16 April, 2020

    Dublin, 16 April 2020: A new fund to support Irish music creators has been set up by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and First Music Contact (FMC), who will administer the fund.  

    In addition to the financial contributions by IMRO and IRMA, Spotify is making a donation and is also matching donations made to the Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund via its Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief page, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total Spotify contribution of $10 million for the collective verified organizations worldwide.

    Companies and individuals who are in a position to do so and who want to help sustain the music ecosystem will have an opportunity to make private donations to boost the fund.

    The live music sector, from which many music creators make their living has paused globally. The livelihoods of music creators, many of whom are freelancers or small businesses themselves, are at significant risk during this crisis, as traditional revenue streams dry up.

    The audio-visual sector is currently on hold and with many businesses now closed indefinitely, music creators will see a dramatic decrease in their royalty income in the weeks and months ahead. 

    While the government has provided much needed assistance to businesses and some measures for freelancers, many music creators are experiencing great hardship right now. This crisis will have a detrimental impact on creators’ careers and incomes for many months to come, long after the current crisis has passed.

    The fund has been created to assist Irish music creators who are currently experiencing the most financial need. It is open to songwriters, composers, performers, session musicians and arrangers who are currently trying to navigate through this challenging time. 

    Successful applicants will receive a once-off emergency relief payment to the value of €750. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of music industry professionals from a wide spectrum of industry sectors and organisations.

    Eleanor McEvoy, chair of IMRO, said: “Many talented and beloved members of the Irish creative community are struggling financially due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that this fund can help to ease some of their worries and fears. We are also appealing to anyone who is passionate about Irish music to donate to the fund to ensure we can help as many people as possible. It is essential that the Irish music industry survives this crisis, not just for the benefit of music creators, but for the benefit of our country. Music unites us and is fundamental to who we are. Losing it would be detrimental to our society and culture.”

    Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of IRMA said: “the Irish Recorded Music Association are pleased to be involved in funding this very worthwhile initiative, which is designed to reduce the financial suffering of music industry professionals, and bring relief to deserving musicians and creative songwriters, in this time of uncertainty.”

    Angela Dorgan, chief executive of FMC, said: “We are delighted with the response of the music industry bodies to this fund to support artists who have lost livelihood opportunities as a result of the crisis. We could see from our surveys the amount of people effected immediately and although this fund won’t go anywhere near entirely bridging those gaps, we hope it will help sustain the most vulnerable in our sector during the crisis, the makers, the artists.” 

    Tom Connaughton, UK and Ireland Managing Director of Spotify said: “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spotify has engaged partners across the industry to discuss how we can support artists and the creative community who have been deeply impacted by the effects of the virus. Though streaming continues to play a key role in connecting creators with their fans, numerous other sources of revenue have been interrupted or stopped altogether by this crisis. That is why we're supporting the Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund as part of our wider Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project, which recommends verified organizations that offer financial relief to those in the music community most in need around the world." 

    Application link

    Donate link


    Notes to editor

    Application requirements:

    a) Applicants must be a Songwriter, Composer, Performer, Session Musician or Arranger.

    b) Applicants must demonstrate either:

    i) that they have earned in excess of €500 but less than €50,000 in royalties from IMRO in the last two years;


    ii) that they have had performances to a minimum value of €500 cancelled for the three-month period following the 13th of March, 2020.

    c) Applicants must be resident in Ireland and/or an Irish national.

    d) Applicants must be able to demonstrate financial hardship as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    e) Applicants must not be in receipt of payment from any similar music industry relief fund in another jurisdiction.

    Application Process

    Applications will be reviewed by a 12 person committee of music industry professionals appointed by FMC from a wide spectrum of industry sectors and organisations (“the Review Committee”).

    1. Applicants will need to complete an online application form.
    2. Each application will be reviewed by 3 members of the Review Committee.
    3. On review of the application, the Review Committee then will make a recommendation to FMC as to whether the application meets the Qualifying Criteria.
    4. If the Review Committee recommends to FMC that the Qualifying Criteria are met
    5. If the Applicant is unsuccessful or does not meet the Qualifying Criteria, then this will be communicated to them as soon as feasible by FMC

    Grant Payments

    Successful Applicant will be paid by way of bank transfer only (no cheques will be issued).Successful Applicants will be contacted to provide their bank details to FMC.

    About IMRO

    IMRO administers the performing right in copyright music on behalf of its members (songwriters, composers and music publishers) and on behalf of members of the international overseas societies that are affiliated to it. IMRO´s core function is to collect and distribute royalties arising from the public performance of copyright works. With global scope, we represent creators along the chain of creation. At IMRO, we are committed to creators. We stand up for music and the people who make it and perform it. A community for creators, we listen, advocate, educate, invest, and engage to shape a culture of musical worth. We help music creators to adapt to change and receive full and fair return for their work.


    About FMC

    First Music Contact (FMC) is an Arts Council-funded resource organisation for the popular music sector in Ireland with local, national and international impact. For the past 24 years FMC have supported and showcased the careers of Ireland’s popular musicians and professionals. FMC take a long-term developmental approach to Ireland’s popular music sector and help write the soundtrack to Ireland’s future.  Through a strategic talent development pipeline, their careers and creative output, FMC provide popular music artists in Ireland with the resources, training, skills development and showcase platforms needed to advance their careers. FMCs goal is to position the sector as a vital part of Ireland’s creative industries and to maximise the societal, economic and reputational value of the popular music sector for Ireland. FMC operates from a philosophy that puts the musician at the centre of the music industry. FMC is a not for profit limited company.


    About IRMA

    The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) is a non-profit making organisation set up by record companies in the Republic of Ireland, to provide members with a convenient means to discuss matters of common interest and to provide a medium to represent the Irish record industry in negotiations with Government and other parties. Generally, it operates to promote and protect the welfare and interests of the Irish record industry.

    Specifically, IRMA is involved in the following activities: -

    • Lobbying at industry, political, civil service, Government and EU levels to protect and enhance the interest of member companies.
    • Collecting and compiling national statistics to reflect the importance to Ireland of the music industry.
    • Fighting piracy in its every form in Ireland.
    • Managing the publication of the Irish charts through the chart company OCC (Official Charts Company), ensuring that the charts are a reasonable reflection of sales and that members are supplied with a copy of same every Friday.
    • Acting as the voice of the industry at all times.


    About Spotify

    Spotify transformed music listening forever when it launched in Sweden in 2008. Discover, manage and share over 50 million tracks, including 700,000 podcast titles, for free, or upgrade to Spotify Premium to access exclusive features for music including improved sound quality and an on-demand, offline, and ad-free listening experience.

    Today, Spotify is the most popular global audio streaming subscription service with 271m users, including 124m subscribers, across 79 markets. We are the largest driver of revenue to the music business today.

    For further Information Contact:

    FMC Contact

    Liza Geddes


    IMRO Contact

    Keith Johnson


    IRMA Contact

    Alex Callow