30.03.2021: UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has called for a Government-backed insurance scheme to ensure events and festivals can return this summer.
The call comes as more festivals cancel due to a lack of certainty regarding insurance.
As reported in Financial Times, organisers of the Belladrum Tartan Heart festival, which was set to take place in July announced a one-year postponement citing insurance as the issue. Read the full piece here (£).
UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said:
“While we welcome the clarity that the Government’s roadmap has brought, there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the months ahead.
“Each reopening stage will only be confirmed shortly before key dates. So, we cannot be sure if the June 21 reopening date for events without social distancing will actually happen until the week before.
“Event organisers, who need plan events months in advance and spend a fortune in upfront costs, are facing huge uncertainty and are being asked to take a leap in the dark.
“According to the Association of Independent Festivals, the average cost of staging a festival is over £6m – and for a festival taking place in early July, 40% of total costs will need to be paid before June 14.
“Festival and music event organisers now face immensely difficult challenges because insurers are not offering pandemic cancellation insurance options – meaning that a Government decision not to go ahead with non-socially distanced events would result in massive losses for organisers.
“Without a Government-backed insurance scheme, delays to the return of full capacity audiences could mean bankruptcy for organisers.
“The financial risks involved in planning a major event without proper insurance is too great for the vast majority organisers to bear.
“The consequences are already playing out. Despite the huge success of the vaccine rollout, and the optimism from ministers about a ‘great British summer’, we’ve already seen major festivals that should have taken place this summer cancel.
“Without viable insurance options, I fear we will see a wave of cancellations of festivals in the coming weeks. That would be a bitter blow to the music industry’s efforts to play our part in the cultural and economic post-pandemic recovery that we all want to see.”
Read more from UK Music’s Chief Executive on this issue in Why Now, here.
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