Quarter of UK festivals cancelled due to lack of coronavirus insurance, report finds

Events such as Glastonbury and Boomtown Fair have already been cancelled

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 05 May 2021 09:39
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Miley Cyrus is joined by Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X to play 'Old Town Road' at Glastonbury 2019

One quarter of UK festivals due to take place this summer have been cancelled due to problems with insurance, a report has found.

According to a study by the Association of Independent Festivals, 26 per cent of all festivals with a capacity of more than 5,000 people have already cancelled their events for this year.

This is reportedly due to a lack of cancellation insurance specific to large-scale events in the time of coronavirus, meaning that festivals could lose a huge amount of money if they are forced to pull events once more due to the pandemic.

The AIF suggests that 76 per cent of festivals planning to go ahead would follow suit and cancel if this policy is not reassessed.

Under the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, limits on social contact could be lifted as early as 21 June, with festivals theoretically allowed to go ahead soon after. However, many events such as Glastonbury and BST Hyde Park have already been cancelled for this year.

Festival organisers have been calling for a government-backed insurance scheme, saying that it is the “big missing piece of the jigsaw” preventing live events from happening.

In April, Boomtown Fair announced that they would not be going ahead in summer 2021 despite selling out months before.

The festival cited a lack of coronavirus-specific insurance as one of the main reasons for its cancellation, writing: “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.”

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