DCMS Committee urges government to extend insurance schemes for festivals

DCMS Committee urges government to extend insurance schemes for festivals

The DCMS Committee has written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, urging him to extend government-backed insurance schemes to festivals and live music events or face them disappearing for good.

At a crucial point in festival planning schedules, MPs warn that organisers and investors are unable to risk repeating losses sustained in 2020 unless events can be insured against cancellation.

As part of the inquiry into festivals, the AIF gave evidence to MPs this week and issued a five-point plan.

More than 100 industry organisations and figures have now signed a letter from the DCMS Committee to Rishi Sunak. It is also addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

With the commercial insurance market not expected to offer Covid-related insurance until 2022, a government-backed scheme is required for festivals to start planning their events and signing contracts with artists and suppliers.

Insurance must be the first step in unlocking the huge contribution that festivals make to our economy

Julian Knight

The appeal by MPs urges the government to extend to other creative industries the underwriting schemes already offered to the film and television industries.

In 2019, festivals added £1.76 billion in gross value to the economy.

DCMS Committee chair Julian Knight said: “The government is telling us that life should be getting back to normal by the summer but unless it can provide a safety net, it will be a summer without festivals. The industry says that without government-backed insurance, many festivals and live music events just won’t happen because organisers can’t risk getting their fingers burnt for a second year.

“The Committee has heard from festival organisers that this is a matter of urgency. Insurance must be the first step in unlocking the huge contribution that festivals make to our economy, protecting not only the supply chains, but the musicians who rely on them for work.

“The government already offers a level of cover to the film and television industries, now is the time to extend support to other creative industries or risk losing some of our best loved and world-renowned festivals.”

The list of industry signatories is below.

Association of Event Venues

Association of Events Organisers

Event Supplier and Services Association

LIVE (Live music Industry, Venues & Entertainment) The Entertainment Agents’ Association

Association for Electronic Music

Association of Festival Organisers

Association of Independent Festivals

Concert Promoters Association

International Live Music Conference

National Arenas Association

Production Services Association

Music Venue Trust

British Association of Concert Halls

Association of Independent Promoters

Music Managers Forum

Featured Artists Coalition

One Industry One Voice

Professional Lighting and Sound Association

Night Time Industries Association

The Events Industry Forum

Event & Visual Communication Association

Live Comedy Association


Let Live Thrive


UK Music

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers

DF Concerts & Events

Portsmouth Guildhall

Senbla Ltd

Music Publishers Association

Musicians Union

The Ivors Academy

PRS for Music

Association for Independent Music



Music Producers Guild

The Flying Music Company Ltd

Flying Entertainment Ltd

The Flying Music Group Ltd

The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester Association of Independent Venue Producers Komedia Brighton

Brighton Unitarian Church

Summerhall, Edinburgh

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Chair of the APPG for Events Barbara Keeley MP, Chair of the APPG for Classical Music Tracy Brabin MP, former Shadow Culture Secretary David Warburton MP, Chair of the APPG for Music Harvey Goldsmith CBE

Simon Miller, Director, Yutree Insurance

Sacha Lord, Co-Founder, Warehouse Project and Parklife, Greater Manchester Night Time Economy Adviser

John Penn, Founder and Strategic Adviser, SSE Audio Group

Dave Crump, CEO Europe and Middle East, Creative Technology Group Ltd

Dave Ridgway, Director, NegEarth Ltd

Bryan Raven, Managing Director, White Light Ltd

Neil Hunt, Managing Director, ZigZag Lighting Ltd

Sean Pagel, Director, Production Services Ireland

Tom Grant, Director, Siyan Limited

Paul Stevart, Viking Audio

Rob Ashworth and Pete Robinson, Directors, dbnAudile

Gary Farrow OBE, Founder and CEO, The Corporation

Toby Leighton-Pope, Chief Executive Officer, AEG Presents

Les Kidger, Director, LCC Live Events

Dan Colman, Managing Director, Dan Colman Creative Ltd

Pablo Janczur, Director, Orchard Live

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Geoff Crow, Director, 21CC Group Ltd

Barrie Marshall MBE, Chairman, Marshall Arts Ltd

David Jones, Director, Serious and EFG London Jazz Festival

Philippa Childs, Head of Bectu

Conal Dodds, Director, Crosstown Concerts

Justine Simons OBE, London’s Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries

Scott Arnold, Managing Director, Autograph Sound Recording Ltd

Mark Bonner, Managing Director, Delta Live Ltd

Bob Angus, Chairman, Metropolis Music

Stella Kanu, Executive Director, LIFT Festival

Bernard Donoghue, Director, Association of Leading Visitor Attractions Charlie Wood, Underbelly

Alex Petty, Laughing Horse Festival

Hartley Kemp, Artistic Director, C venues

James Mackenzie, ZOO Venues

John-David Henshaw, Sweet Venues

Dani Rae, Assembly Festival Ltd

Charles Pamment, theSpaceUK

Darrell Martin for Yippee Productions (Edfringe venues)

Tara Stapleton, Greenside Venues Ltd

Julian Caddy, CEO, Brighton Fringe

Steven Adams, Brighton Little Theatre

Paul Kemp, CEO, Brighton & Hove Pride

Adrian Bristow, MD, Brighton Spiegeltent

Ty Jeffries, Vaudelesque Productions

Jan Etches, General Manager, Brighton Toy and Model Museum

Kat Neeser, Brighton Fringe Venue and Artist

Peter Joannou, Brighton Fringe Venue and Artist

Ross Ericson, Grist to the Mill Productions

Michelle Yim, Red Dragonfly Productions

Nicola Haydn, Otherplace Productions

Paul Musselwhite, Komedia

Andrew Comben, CEO, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival

Will Mytum, Brighton Open Air Theatre

David Bleese, Monkey Barrel Comedy

Ashleigh Ward, Pop-Up Brighton

Suzanne Ward, Brighton Fringe Venue and Artist

Ian Baird, MD Whiskey Bravo Productions, Brighton EPIC Chair

Karen and Katy Koren, Gilded Balloon

Drs Maddie Blackburn and Paul Dennison, Brighton Fringe, Embassy Court

John Barrow, Acoustic Music Centre, Edinburgh Fringe

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