UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has warned that a government-backed insurance scheme is the “final piece of the jigsaw" needed to help save live music events.
The head of the collective voice of the UK Music industry welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s confirmation that mass live music events will be able to proceed without social distancing from July 19.
However, he warned that without a government-backed insurance scheme to fix a clear "market failure", some festival and concert organisers faced financial ruin if Covid-19 restrictions were reimposed later this year.
His warning came amid mounting pressure for the government to extend the insurance cover it has provided to the film and TV sector to the UK music industry, which supports 200,000 jobs and has contributed £5.8 billion to the economy pre-Covid-19.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “I’m delighted that government has confirmed live music events can go ahead from July 19 without the need for social distancing – a welcome decision for millions of fans and for the hundreds of thousands of musicians and support crew whose jobs depend on live activity.
“Our industry has worked incredibly hard to make venues and festival sites as safe as possible and reduce the transmission risk at live events. Huge credit is due to countless people across the sector for the brilliant work they have done towards this.
“However, there is one final piece of the jigsaw that we absolutely need in place to ensure the return of live music is permanent and not just for a few brief weeks of summer: action to resolve the market failure on events insurance.”
Njoku-Goodwin noted the widespread support for government-backed insurance scheme, including among by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
“Suggestions of restrictions being reintroduced in autumn or winter mean organisers won't have confidence to plan events beyond summer,” he added. “So, it’s vital we get a government-backed insurance scheme to enable organisers to plan ahead without risk of financial ruin if restrictions reimposed.
“The insurance scheme government introduced for the film and TV industry has been hugely successful and has saved countless jobs and businesses. We now need the same for the live events sector, otherwise we risk losing some festivals and music events forever.”