Glastonbury And Other Big Festivals May Cancel In 2021 Unless Government Agrees To Help Organisers Get Covid Insurance

Image Credit: Danny Howe

MP’s Have Been Warned That If Covid Insurance Isn’t Underwritten Then Festivals May Have To Cancel in 2021

Recently we reported that Live Nation President was feeling “very good” about the prospect of live music returning in 2021. Unfortunately, recent news regarding festival insurance has put a bit of a damper on that. As we all know Britain’s festival season and events were cancelled due to the pandemic. It saw all the giant festivals fall one by one and even saw Glastonbury cancel their 50th anniversary edition. It was going to be a Glastonbury of epic proportions with Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar set to headline. Tickets have thankfully been rolled over until June 2021 for those who already have paid deposits. 

Recently the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee Julian Knight warned that there will be “no festival season next year unless insurance is underwritten in case of Covid disruption.” He added: “The UK is the leader in the world in terms of music and arts festivals. The sector is worth £12 billion and supports many thousands of highly-skilled jobs as well as the financial lifeblood of the nation’s musicians. However, there will be no festival season next year unless insurance is underwritten in case of Covid disruption.

“Will the minister firstly meet with me and MPs from across this House to see how this reinsurance can be put in place, and does the minister recognise, noting her answer to the previous question, that with a minimum lead time of six months, the reinsurance needs to be in place now before the likes of Glastonbury commit?”

Responding to Julian, Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said: “Festivals are such a vibrant and integral part of our creative community and our economy, and I am well aware that many will take decisions very soon about whether they can go ahead next year, so this is a very urgent situation.” She continues “There is a sub group of my entertainment and events working group looking very specifically about how we can get festivals reopened and in the last few weeks I have met with representatives from festivals in Edinburgh and only yesterday from festivals on the Isle of Wight.”

The U.K’s music industry contributes £5.2 billion a year to the U.K economy, a major part of our entire creative industries that adds a massive £101.5 billion a year to the economy. This is more than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences, oil and gas industries combined. So, hopefully the Government will do the smart thing for music fans and the economy and step in to help festivals in regards to the required insurance. 

Music journalist and photojournalist based in Cornwall.

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