LIVE: ‘Save Summer Festivals with Contingency Fund Proposal’

LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) campaigns for a last ditch attempt to save summer festivals with a new live music industry proposal for a contingency fund.

Sector 6, BoomTown Fair's dystopian district.

LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) – a confederation of industry bodies, including: The Association of Independent Festivals, Association for Electronic Music, Association of Festival Organisers, British Association of Concert Halls, The Concert Promoters Association, The Entertainment Agents’ Association, Music Venue Trust, Music Managers Forum, National Arenas Association and Production Services Association – has made a new proposal to the UK government intended to save the summer festival season, as one of the UK’s biggest festivals cancels citing a lack of insurance as one of the main reasons.

Boomtown Fair, a 70,000 person festival held in Hampshire in August, cancelled today citing the ‘huge gamble’ of carrying on without insurance cover. They join a list of dozens of festivals across the UK that have cancelled for the same reason, with hundreds more set to make decisions in the coming weeks.

Boomtown Fair Postpones to August 2022

The Prime Minister has made various references to this being a great British summer of music and sport and the sector is planning furiously to be able to start activity again. However, the absence of commercial insurance for cancellation cover makes the prospect of any activity, but particularly that at large scale and cost, fraught with risk.

The live music industry has written to the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Oliver Dowden, DCMS Secretary of State, seeking to unlock the issue by proposing that some of the unspent Culture Recovery Fund money be used to create a contingency fund. This fund would offer partial protection to organisers should events have to cancel because of a public health decision. Insurance for all other issues would be taken in the usual way.

LIVE Chief Executive, Greg Parmley said: “Without some form of contingency fund in place, the risk of undertaking activity this summer will simply be too great for the majority of events. We are already seeing an increasing rate of cancellations, including Glastonbury and now Boomtown, and that will become a flood in the coming weeks if a solution isn’t found.”

“The live music industry thinks that using unspent Culture Recovery Money to create a contingency pot to provide some form of protection for events is the best way to get money through the entire live music ecosystem – from artists and venues to technical staff and freelance crew – by enabling people to get back to work. The Prime Minister has said he wants this to be a great British summer. So do we. But that won’t happen if our world-leading live music events disappear for the second year in a row.”

In a statement on their website, Boomtown said: “With less than four months to go until the event, and after almost half a year of collective campaigning to the government, sadly COVID specific cancellation insurance for events simply does not exist at this point in time. This means anyone putting on an event this year, will be doing so without the safety net of insurance to cover them should COVID prevent them from going ahead in any capacity. For an independent event as large and complex as Boomtown, this means a huge gamble into an eight-figure sum to lose if we were to venture much further forward, and then not be able to go ahead due to COVID-19.”