Ticket prices for major gigs in Ireland are set to go up in 2019 as changes to Value Added Tax rates are confirmed.

The nine per cent VAT rate that is currently in place in the hospitality sector will increase to 13.5 per cent from January 1, under a major change to fiscal policy the government introduced in Budget 2019.

Hospitality includes theatre, music events and tourist destinations where refreshments are available.

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance confirmed to Fora that the higher VAT rate will apply to all live theatrical and musical events where food and drink is sold for consumption.

Most concert and event promoters will be required to pay the 13.5 per cent levy.

“If part or all of a reservation in 2019 is paid for in 2018, the nine per cent VAT rate will apply to that portion paid in 2018. If the payment takes place in 2019, then the 13.5 per cent VAT rate will apply,” a Finance Department spokesperson said.

Due to the upcoming hike, promoters have been urging fans to buy tickets for events before the end of the year, warning them of the 2019 increase.

Concert giant MCD, which runs Longitude festival and many other large events, confirmed to Fora that its prices will increase by 4.5 per cent from January 2019.

Ed O’Leary, a promoter for Cork-based events, said: “A 4.5 per cent increase is a big change, but the nine per cent rate was given during the recession to jump-start industries was great because it helped businesses like ours and I understand why it’s changing now.

“Ticket prices go up and down all the time – it depends on the act, the venue – so you just have to roll with it. We’ve had time to prepare and we hope it won’t affect us in a major way.”

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