UK festivals could be on the verge of cancellation lacking a government-backed insurance scheme

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    Fri, 16 Apr 2021, 18:50
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  • Two UK festivals have cancelled summer 2021 events in recent days.
  • UK festivals could be on the verge of cancellation lacking a government-backed insurance scheme image
  • Calls to the UK government to back a Covid-19 insurance scheme covering UK festivals continue, with one trade group fearing a "wave of cancellations." While major festivals like Parklife have already announced lineups and sold tickets to summer 2021 events, the uncertainty around vaccination and reopening efforts—as well as an unwillingness on the part of insurers to cover Covid-19-related cancellations—has already jeopardized some events. A Gloucestershire festival, Barn On The Farm, announced cancellation of its July festival yesterday, citing "the lack of appropriate government backed cancellation insurance." Shambala festival, scheduled for late August, also cancelled its plans on April 14th. "As a totally independent festival, even with the amazing support you lot have shown us over the last year and the Cultural Recovery Fund grant we received, without government backed insurance a last minute cancellation would risk the very future of Shambala," read a statement. While the live music industry and a parliamentary committee has called on the UK government to intervene and back insurance policies for festivals, thus far the UK Treasury has refused to budge. Julian Knight MP, chairman of the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, described Treasury's refusal as "inane" in The Times, adding the organisers "need the confidence to put plans in place and go ahead and lead to a summer of fun rather than a summer of none." Insurance brokers state a government-backed scheme would cost the state "as little as £250 million to guarantee events," Mixmag reported. Similar government-backed schemes are in place in The Netherlands and Germany.