Nozstock is the latest festival to cancel its 2021 edition because of ongoing uncertainty regarding the possible extension of COVID restrictions and the lack of cancellation insurance available for event promoters.
Although full capacity shows might be possible again in England from 21 Jun, there remain fears that COVID restrictions could extend or return, especially with the new variant of the coronavirus. This means that festival promoters face the risk of a last minute cancellation if they proceed with plans for 2021 editions.
Given the lack of cancellation insurance on the commercial market, the festival sector has repeatedly called on the UK government to provide state-backed insurance options. But so far ministers have refused to instigate any such scheme, at least until any initial lifting of restrictions has actually occurred.
Without insurance, many independent promoters have had to make the difficult decision to cancel their 2021 editions – even though they could have gone ahead if the 21 Jun COVID target is met – because they simply can’t afford to take the risk of continuing to spend on an event that might have be pulled at the last minute.
Confirming that Nozstock has now also made that difficult decision, festival founder Ella Nosworthy said this weekend: “All of the team have been working tirelessly to figure out ways to deliver a safe and secure event this July, which lives up to the expectations of previous marvellous years. One issue is that, despite calls from the industry, COVID cancellation insurance has not yet been implemented and now our time has run out in waiting for news”.
“There are also major issues for the festival supply chain too, which makes it impossible to provide the quality of event our audience has come to expect”, she went on. “Economically, the festival cannot keep pushing on, especially with production costs rising every day and recent reports of increased cases and a possible delay to the [COVID] roadmap”.
“In going ahead, the financial risk could affect Nozstock’s future and we simply cannot take that risk. We are all devastated. The support from loyal Nozstockers combined with selling out so quickly gave some hope for this year, which makes this postponement even harder”.
The next edition of Nozstock will now take place from 21-24 Jul 2022. Nosworth added: “We want to say a massive thank you to each and every one of you for your ongoing support and understanding – Nozstock would not be here without you. We will be back, just sadly not this summer, with what everyone knows us for”.
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