Watch out for the Petty thieves at festivals


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The Independent Online

This weekend's Lovebox festival will shine the spotlight on the risks that musicians and DJs take when performing in front of tens of thousands.

First, of course, is the possibility of accidents which can ruin expensive equipment, but with so many people milling around, there's the danger of a light-fingered fan helping themselves.

It happened to rock legend Tom Petty last year when five of his precious guitars were stolen from a rehearsal studio. The stolen guitars, were collectively worth an estimated $100,000 (£65,458), and included Petty's 1967 12-string Rickenbacker and a Gibson SGTV Junior.

The thief was caught when he tried to pawn one of the instruments and Petty was reunited with his guitars, but not all musicians are so fortunate. However, for a few quid they can cover their valuables against loss or damage, says Adrian Scott, head of music insurance specialists Musicguard.

"Musicians invest significant amounts in their equipment, but fail to consider the likelihood and impact that the loss or damage to their instrument will have," he said. "Ironically most musicians are more likely to insure accessories such as amps, PAs and monitors than their instrument. But a Fender Classic Stratocaster, for instance, can be insured for around £2.45 per month." A good drum kit could cost around £4.50 a month to insure while a saxaphone could be £3.50, he added.

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