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Music industry comments on the UK government’s state-backed COVID cancellation insurance scheme

By | Published on Friday 6 August 2021


The UK government has finally announced a state-backed cancellation insurance scheme for music festivals and other large-scale events that will cover any losses incurred if a festival or event has to be cancelled as a result of any future COVID shutdown. See quotes from live music industry reps below, and read the full story here.

Greg Parmley, CEO of live industry trade group LIVE: “We welcome the announcement of a government-backed insurance scheme, which we have been calling for since the start of the pandemic. We look forward to working together over the coming weeks to determine the final shape of the policy and to ensure it can support the full return of the sector in the face of the most likely impacts of COVID”.

Phil Bowdery, Chairman of the Concert Promoters Association: “This is welcome news from DCMS. The sector has been calling out for government to act for over a year and we now have something tangible. While the new scheme won’t cover all our risk, this intervention will help protect the industry that we all know and love”.

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, CEO of UK Music: “For months, UK Music has been warning about the catastrophic impact of the market failure in insurance for live events. The inability to obtain insurance has already caused many cancellations this summer – these have been devastating for the entire music industry and there were fears that without action we would have seen major cancellations continuing well into next year too”.

“This new government scheme is therefore incredibly welcome news – not just for the millions of music fans who have been looking forward to the return of live events, but also for the tens of thousands of musicians, crew members and wider supply chain workers whose jobs depend on continued live activity”.

“We are extremely grateful to government for listening to the calls of the sector and delivering a solution to the market failure in the insurance industry. Ministers deserve huge credit for action that will protect jobs, stimulate activity, and help kickstart the sector into playing a leading role in the post-pandemic economic and cultural recovery”.

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association: “I am extremely pleased that the government has decided to introduce an insurance scheme for the events and festival sector, it stands testament to a government that is starting to acknowledge the varying issues within the sector and through engagement, take the appropriate action to protect businesses and jobs”.

“Over 700,000 people work within this sector, it will give some comfort and certainty to supply chain and freelancers that heavily rely on this industry for their main source of income, and we would hope that with this news many will feel confident in returning to work within the sector. It is devastating that the timings of this scheme could not have been earlier, as we have already lost many amazing festivals and events to the uncertainty that this pandemic represents, but I feel that this scheme will allow a beleaguered sector to start to rebuild and plan with confidence for the future”.

Denis Desmond, Chairman of Live Nation UK and Ireland: “This vital intervention from the UK government offers certainty to artists, concert and festival promoters in the live entertainment market. This is very welcome news and will help keep the sector and its employees working”.

Sacha Lord, Co-Founder of the Parklife Festival and The Warehouse Project, and Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester: “I’m really pleased that the government has decided to introduce an insurance scheme for the events sector. DCMS has worked alongside and listened to event organisers throughout the crisis, and I’m grateful that they have now been able to introduce this support today”.

“The events sector has been in dire straits throughout this crisis and this move will not only save hundreds of upcoming events, but will support the thousands of freelancers behind the scenes who depend on the sector for their own livelihoods. We can start to rebuild the sector with confidence, and renew the UK’s status as a global leader in entertainment and cultural events”.

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