Government urged to extend safety net for festivals or face them disappearing for good

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has written to the Chancellor urging him to extend Government-backed insurance schemes to festivals and live music events.

The Committee warns that without an extension we could see these events disappearing from our fields and cities for good.

“The Government is telling us that life should be getting back to normal by the summer but unless it can provide a safety net, it will be a summer without festivals,” commented DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP.

“The industry says that without government-backed insurance, many festivals and live music events just won’t happen because organisers can’t risk getting their fingers burnt for a second year.”

With the commercial insurance market not expected to offer Covid-related insurance until 2022, a Government-backed scheme is required for festivals to start planning their events and signing contracts with artists and suppliers.

“The Committee has heard from festival organisers that this is a matter of urgency. Insurance must be the first step in unlocking the huge contribution that festivals make to our economy, protecting not only the supply chains, but the musicians who rely on them for work,” said Knight.

“The Government already offers a level of cover to the film and television industries, now is the time to extend support to other creative industries or risk losing some of our best loved and world-renowned festivals.”

In 2019, festivals added £1.76 billion in gross value to the economy, with almost one in three Britons watching Glastonbury on TV.