Live music industry calls on government to keep its promise on insurance


July 20, 2021

A federation of 13 live music industry associations has called on the Government to inform the sector when it will begin supporting it by underwriting an event cancelation scheme after repeatedly suggesting it was preparing to do so for when the sector reopened.

Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment (LIVE) said that due to the pandemic 56% of major music events had been forced to cancel for a second year running because the risk of running an uninsured event in the face of ever-changing Covid restrictions is too high.

Among the many major festivals to have been cancelled due to a lack of insurance have been WOMAD (cap. 40,000), Boomtown (66,000) and Glastonbury (147,000).

LIVE said that as a result of Government inaction on insurance, there is a risk that the UK’s £4.6bn live music industry will fall behind its European competitors.

Among the 13 organisations that make up LIVE are the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Concert Promoters Association (CPA) and Production Services Association (PSA).

AIF CEO Paul Reed said, “Insurance remains the key obstacle to being able to plan with confidence and festival organisers are now hugely exposed, with their entire businesses on the line and the average cost of staging a festival exceeding £6m.

“The sector has provided every shred of data and evidence Government has requested to support the case for insurance, and the secretary of state has repeatedly and publicly committed to act at Step 4 of the roadmap. Over half of UK festivals are now cancelled because of this, there is still no commercial solution, and it requires urgent intervention.”

Tim Thornhill, director at Tysers insurance specialists said, “Right now, the commercial insurance market does not have an incentive to indemnify events anywhere near the levels that are required, as the terms would be too restrictive and too expensive for a viable solution for promoters.

“With the economic impact of the events industry, the government does have an incentive; it could put in place a framework to facilitate a phased return for the insurance market otherwise risking the potential demise of such culturally significant sectors.”

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