Over a quarter of UK festivals have been cancelled due to government’s lack of insurance

© Jake Davis

A new report by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) reveals that festivals have been cancelled due to government inaction.

The AIF has reported that 26 percent of UK festivals with a capacity of over 5,000 have been called off due to the lack of government-backed insurance. Furthermore, 76 percent of the remaining festivals could be cancelled.

Back in March, 92.5 percent of those who took part in an AIF member survey confirmed that they cannot stage events without government insurance. The insurance measures were described as “vital, not optional”.

Paul Reed, the chief executive of AIF, said that it’s now “red alert” for the UK festival season. “For months now, we have been warning government that the UK’s 2021 festival season would be quickly eroded if they failed to back their own roadmap out of lockdown and act on Covid-related cancellation insurance. That danger is now coming to pass, with over a quarter of festivals having cancelled already this year.”

“Without a safety net, independent promoters cannot begin to confidently invest in their events. They currently have no protection should a Covid-related issue result in the cancellation of their festival. If government-backed insurance is off the table, festival organisers deserve to know what government proposes as an alternative to prevent the widespread collapse of the festival season.”

If Covid cases continue to decrease, all restrictions could be lifted in England from 21 June. The government have begun to stage pilot events across the country. Last weekend, thousands attended a warehouse rave at Liverpool’s Bramley-Moore Dock and a gig at Sefton Park.