Further supplementary written evidence submitted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport



28 April 2021



Dear Julian,


I was delighted to appear in front of the Select Committee on Wednesday 24 March to discuss the future of UK music festivals. Festivals are a vital part of the British cultural landscape, with the festival sector bringing cultural and economic activity across the UK. We understand that this is an uncertain time for the sector and have provided support through economic wide and sector specific support packages. As part of my discussion with the Committee, I agreed to write back to you on the following:


1.                                Since the activities in the Events Research Programme pilots will take place before they are legally allowed, will new regulations be needed to allow them to take place?


The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 (Part 4, paragraph 9) provides a power by direction for the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Culture to disapply any relevant restriction or requirement contained in the wider regulations, in relation to specified premises, events or gatherings. In making that direction, the Secretaries of State must consult the Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Chief Medical Officer.


2.                  Who is funding the Events Research Programme?


The costs of staging the pilot events will be the responsibility of the event organiser with the exception of the business event in Liverpool which the government is providing funding for. The government will fund the testing of participants and any costs associated with the research studies.


If an event is cancelled due to public health reasons only, the government will compensate event organisers on a discretionary basis. This compensation will be on a per event basis, capped at £300k and cover the costs in relation to participation in the programme only. For the Liverpool events as these have been put on specifically as part of the programme (i.e. would not otherwise have gone ahead), the government will compensate organisers in full should an event be cancelled, but this will be capped at £300,000 in total across the Liverpool events.



3.                  Events Research Programme: List of pilots and terms of reference


The pilot programme will test events across England, including London, Sheffield, and Liverpool. So far, the Government has confirmed:



All events will be subject to national and local approvals. Further events may be announced in due course.


The Events Research Programme pilots will be run across a range of settings, venue types, and activity types so that the research findings can inform policy thinking on the reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors. Each venue participating in the programme will test specific settings to collect evidence, and inform best practice; the Sefton Park event for example, will test an outdoor music event setting with unstructured movement of people. The Events Research Programme have selected pilots to examine a range of settings, venue types, and activity types (e.g. seated or not, indoor/outdoor etc) so that the data is generalisable and findings can inform thinking on the reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors. The terms of reference for the Events Research Programme are detailed in Annex A.


4.                  Contracts with Trivandi


A contract has been made via direct award to the events management company Trivandi to support DCMS and the pilot organisations in delivering the programme. Trivandi specialise in the delivery and operation of major events and venues, and were selected based on their experience and technical capability in this area.


With best wishes,


Caroline Dinenage MP

Minister of State for Digital and Culture