Over half of British festivals due to take place this year have been cancelled according to a new study.
The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) estimates that 51% of all UK events with 5000 capacity or over that were due to take place in 2021 are now off.
A recent survey of the organisation membership also revealed that 22% of events that are still on are "unsure" as to what will happen next.
“This is a milestone that nobody wanted to reach but, unfortunately, it has seemed inevitable for some time now thanks to the Government’s inaction and refusal to give organisers any kind of safety net that would allow them to continue to invest in their businesses and the supply chain with confidence. Make no mistake - these cancellations were entirely avoidable, and Government must now change its position of reviewing insurance at step 4, as it will be far too late for most UK festivals. At this point, every day counts. If Government has any confidence in July 19 as a terminus date, they will back this now," suggested AIF CEO Paul Reed.
“There are still a number of festivals that could take place after the intended final lifting of lockdown on July 19 but, as we have seen with the likes of Kendal Calling and Truck Festival cancelling this week, that number is rapidly declining. This is an existential issue; the 2021 season is collapsing without decisive Government action and there is a real risk of these festivals not returning."
He added: “We also echo urgent calls from the live industry for full transparency and for Government to publish the Events Research Programme report to inform planning and guidance for the safe reopening of festivals this summer.”
Earlier this week MPs on the House Of Commons' Public Accounts Committee published a report suggesting UK festivals will not survive without a "government-backed insurance indemnity package", while the live sector has subsequently announced plans to sue the UK Government to get the results of Events Research Programme published.