Festivals face ‘another lost summer’ without government safety net, MPs sayon May 28, 2021 at 11:42 pm

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Many events can’t proceed without government-backed cancellation insurance, a committee of MPs says.

Fans at a music festival

image copyrightGetty Images

UK music festivals face “another lost summer” due to the government’s refusal to back insurance for events at risk, a committee of MPs has found.

A report into the sector’s future said the government should provide a safety net for live events set to take place after 21 June.

Several major festivals have been axed for the second year running.

The government said it was “continuing to work flat out to support festivals and live events”.

Glastonbury and BST Hyde Park will not take place this year, but others, like Latitude and Download, are currently scheduled to go ahead.

The latter was called off in March but has since been resurrected as a government test event, albeit with a significantly reduced capacity.

On 21 June, the government hopes to move to the final stage of its roadmap for lifting lockdown.

Restrictions on large events such as music festivals will be lifted if lockdown relaxations go ahead as planned.

But according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, the government “has ruled out offering any support before all restrictions on the roadmap are lifted”.

This, it said in a 42-page report published on Saturday, “would be simply be too late for festivals this summer” given the long lead-up times involved.

Fans at Glastonbury Festival

image copyrightGetty Images

Julian Knight MP, chair of the DCMS committee, claimed music festivals had been treated “as the poor relation” by the government.

“Events need to know now whether the government will back them, or they simply won’t take place this year,” he continued.

Many of the festivals that have already cancelled cited the inability to obtain cancellation insurance as a factor in their decision.

Others have moved to seemingly safer dates later in the summer, with the August bank holiday weekend proving particularly popular.

Glastonbury organisers have secured a licence for a one-off concert in September that up to 50,000 people could attend.

The regular festival normally takes place in June and attracts 200,000 people to Worthy Farm near Pilton, Somerset.

A government spokesperson told BBC News: “We are continuing to work flat out to support festivals and live events.

“Our Events Research Programme has explored how festivals can get back up and running safely and festival organisers have received more than £34 million from our unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, with more support on the way.

“We will continue to look at what assistance may be required as we move cautiously but irreversibly through the roadmap, including looking at the issue of indemnity cover.”

Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has launched the competition to find the place that will be the UK’s City of Culture in 2025.

The winning city or town will be announced in spring 2022 and will inherit the mantle from Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021.

The title, first held by Derry-Londonderry in 2013, is awarded every four years. Up to six places will be longlisted before the winner is revealed.

Mr Dowden said the contest offered successful entrants “a fantastic showcase” that would “drive economic regeneration and boost local pride”.

Presentational grey line

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

- Advertisement -




In a financial pinch because of the coronavirus pandemic? Here are the best and worst ways to get fast cash

-1.78%  The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t hit its peak yet, but it’s already cost a record number of Americans their jobs, with 16.8 million people filing unemployment...

Henry Cavill: British actor will not return as Supermanon December 15, 2022 at 9:38 am

The British star, who revealed his return as the superhero in October, is dropped from the role.Image source, Getty ImagesActor Henry Cavill has been...

Ukraine war: Holocaust survivor killed by Russian shelling in Kharkivon March 21, 2022 at 4:23 pm

Boris Romantschenko was killed in Kharkiv 77 years after surviving the Buchenwald concentration camp.Image source, Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials FoundationA Ukrainian man who survived...

Mobility scooter killing: Man charged with Greenford murderon August 19, 2022 at 6:37 am

Lee Byer is charged with the murder of 87-year-old Thomas O'Halloran who was stabbed in west London.Image source, Met policeA man has been charged...

Afrobeats: Chart show host celebrates ‘beautiful year’ for genreon September 25, 2022 at 12:43 am

Radio host Eddie Kadi says stars like Burna Boy have propelled the genre into the mainstream.Radio host Eddie Kadi says stars like Burna Boy...