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LACK OF INSURANCE PLAN THREATENS FESTIVALS

The long-term future of the U.K.’s music festivals is at risk if a government-backed insurance scheme is not instituted immediately, the House of Commons’ Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has reported.

The Guardian quoted committee chair, the Conservative MP Julian Knight, as saying, “If the commercial insurance market won’t step in, ministers must, and urgently: events need to know now whether the government will back them, or they simply won’t take place this year. There’s still time to get the music playing, but no more room for excuses.”

With another “lost summer” due to COVID-19 looming, many smaller festivals could shutter permanently and the staffs of companies who work in the sector would be jobless. In a normal year, the nearly 1,000 festival events contribute £1.76b to the UK economy and support 85k jobs.

At this point, the government’s plan is to announce on 6/14 whether social distancing rules will be lifted 6/21 as planned. Early July festivals will have forked over close to half their expenses, making a cancellation costly and threatening to its future. A quarter of festivals with a capacity of more than 5,000 have already canceled.

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