A government insurance scheme guards UK’s music festivals and other live events if they have to cancel.
It will start with a £750 million budget next month to cover cancellation expenses if events are legally unable to take place due to government Covid limitations.
The live events industry has long advocated for such a scheme and has reacted positively to the news.
This summer, more than half of all music festivals have been canceled.
Boomtown and Womad festivals
Furthermore, the inability to secure cancellation insurance highlights as a factor in canceling various events, including the Boomtown and Womad festivals.
Insurance firms will provide coverage for live events under the new program, with the government agreeing to act as a reinsurer, ensuring that any payouts are covered.
“Though it is a tragedy that it has come too late for some this summer,” said Julian Knight, chairperson of the House of Commons Culture select committee, “scheme will provide the confidence to the organizers, and the sector needs to plan and invest in future events.”
Live Nation UK
Live Nation UK, the promoter, called it a “vital intervention” that would provide “stability” to the industry.
However, there are concerns that if another lockdown occurs, it will just payout. “The greatest difficulty” with the system is that it does not cover events that would become expensive if social distancing restarts.
The Association of Independent Festivals applauded the initiative but noted that it does not “cover an event that needs to cut capacity or cancel owing to the reintroduction of social distancing regulations.”
Lack of “the right kind” of insurance, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, has posed a “problem” for the UK’s live events industry.
“As the economy begins to recover, I want to do everything I can to assist event planners and small companies in making confident plans for the coming year,” he said.
According to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, it is “an important next step” for the live events sector, and it will offer organizers “the confidence they need to plan for a brighter future.”
The news comes after the government established the £1.8 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help arts groups and heritage sites hit by the pandemic.
“We are incredibly thankful to the UK government for listening to the sector’s calls and delivering a solution to the market failure in the insurance industry,” said Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chairman of trade association UK Music.
On the other hand, Labor claimed that the money was “bare minimum” and that promoters would still take chances by hosting events.
Jo Stevens, the shadow culture secretary, called the plan “a solution that does not solve the problem.”
Southampton International Boat Show
The government also released endorsements from the Southampton International Boat Show, the Events Industry Alliance, and the Meetings Industry Association.
The protection will be available for purchase starting next month, with the scheme set to last until September 2022.
However, the events business is not the only one requesting more government assistance.
The travel industry has urged the Treasury to extend the furlough support scheme to protect jobs.