UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has welcomed the call from MPs on the DCMS Committee for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide a government-backed insurance scheme for festivals in 2021.
The move followed his appearance alongside festival organisers to give evidence to the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport Select Committee as part of their inquiry into festivals. The Association of Independent Festivals CEO Paul Reed also gave evidence.
UK Music’s Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021 report outlined a strategy to protect and support the live music industry to enable it to restart this year.
The report warned that the lack of Covid cancellation insurance is the biggest barrier to major events happening this year. It calls for the government to introduce an insurance scheme, as it did for the film and TV sector.
The Committee’s letter was supported by all UK Music’s members and other organisations across the music industry, as well as the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music chair David Warburton and Theresa Villiers, chair of the APPG for events.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “A government-backed insurance scheme is vital for live music events – without one we will soon see mass cancellations, even if a vaccine is successfully rolled out and this pandemic is beaten.”
A government-backed insurance scheme is vital for live music events
He thanked Julian Knight MP and his committee for their “brilliant work” highlighting the issue.
During his evidence, Njoku-Goodwin told MPs: “We are hearing from festival organisers across the country, that if they don’t have certainty and some sense of financial security for summer events, there are going to be major cancellations within weeks.”
He added: "Having government be clear that this is the date when we believe it is safe to be able to hold events without social distancing at scale, will help with the public confidence effort.
"Any business will know that to run properly you need certainty and confidence, and some element of financial security. That is why the two main things that we have called for in this report are an indicative date from government for when we can hold live music and live events at scale again without social distancing, and an insurance scheme.
"The real danger here is that if we see a lot of countries—particularly in Europe, close to home—protecting their festival seasons and live music seasons, you could almost have a talent transfer."