Culture secretary

UK Government will not consider festival insurance until lockdown ends, Culture Secretary says

The UK government will not consider festival insurance until the lockdown ends, according to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

Speaking at a Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee meeting on May 13, Dowden clarified the position, suggesting that insurance support would only be considered an option. after the fourth stage of the easing of lockdown restrictions on June 21, by which time it would be clearer whether the planned events can take place.

“First we have to know that something can go forward,” he said, adding that he was confident that the roadmap for reopening would continue as planned. “I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the taxpayer to provide full compensation for all events if it’s not possible for them to occur.”

Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire, expressed concern over the plan. “It would have been a very cheap deal because the government is convinced that June 21 is D-Day…in which case you didn’t need to spend any money on insurance,” she said. Explain. “But it’s too late for planning so many of these summer festivals. It’s just too late.

The news will be a blow to the events sector, which has been pushing for targeted support for the industry, including government-purchased insurance to guard against cancellations resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Several European countries have similar systems in place, including a €300 million scheme set up in part to protect the Dutch festival season.

Earlier in May, DJ Mag reported on a statement from the Association of Independent Festivals, warning that up to 76% of the remaining events scheduled in the UK in July and August could be canceled by the end of May. due to uncertainty about if all restrictions would be removed in time, and the lack of protection supported by the government. 22% of the festivals monitored by the organization had already moved the dates later in the year.

In more positive news from the event, Festival Republic has announced plans for a new pilot camping weekend in the UK to test COVID-19 protocols, following trials held in Liverpool at the start of its months, including the legal rave The First Dance.