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Committee urges Chancellor to extend safety net to save summer festivals

7 January 2021

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Committee writes to the Chancellor asking him to extend Government-backed insurance schemes to festivals and live music events or face them disappearing from our fields and cities for good.

Growing support for DCMS Committee’s call with more than 100 industry signatories

At a crucial point in festival planning schedules, MPs warn that organisers and investors are unable to risk repeating losses sustained in 2020 unless events can be insured against cancellation.

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 appeal urges the Government to extend to other creative industries the underwriting schemes already offered to the film and television industries.

In 2019, festivals added £1.76 billion in gross value to the economy, with almost 1 in 3 Britons watching Glastonbury on TV.

Chair's comments

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said:

“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. 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.

“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.

“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.”

Further information

Image: Aranxa Esteve/Unsplash