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HITS LIST, YUP
IMAX version available (8/12a)
SURPRISE MEGAN DROP—"LET'S RUN THIS LAST ONE UP"
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THE NEXT HUGE CATALOG STORY
Another stunning return.
Blighty Beat
FESTIVALS FACE “PERFECT STORM”
2/16/22

The U.K.’s 2022 festival season looks set to be blighted by rising costs way beyond inflation and a lack of confidence due to a Government-led insurance scheme that’s not deemed fit for purpose.

That’s according to the CEO of the Independent Festivals Association, Paul Reed, who called for more support for the sector at the trade body’s annual congress event Tuesday.

Festivals are said to be facing increased costs of 20-30% across operations and infrastructure as the prices of labor, staffing, materials and transport rise.. For context, inflation in the U.K. hit 5.4% in December and is expected to exceed 7% by spring.

Most festivals, Reed said, cannot pass the cost onto the consumer due to many events honoring tickets bought in 2019 after two years of cancellations due to COVID. AIF data says that 53% of festivals in the U.K. over 5k capacity didn’t take place last year.

Furthermore, as has been widely discussed, he said the Government’s Live Events Reinsurance Scheme isn’t deemed fit for purpose due to limited scope and “excessive cost and hasn’t been taken out by festival organizers as a result.

Reed called for the Government to continue VAT relief on festival tickets, which would maintain the current reduced 12.5% rate beyond the end of March, and consider a loan scheme for suppliers that would alleviate pressures and encourage investment in the festival supply chain.

“We are facing a perfect storm in many ways,” he said. “We may be emerging from the shadow of the pandemic in the U.K., but this year will not be a case of ‘back to business as usual’ without critical support for festival organizers.”