Julian Knight, the Conservative chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee has warned that UK festivals such as Glastonbury may still face cancellation in 2021, due to COVID-19. Despite the recent roll-out of the Pfizer vaccine in the United Kingdom, hopes that British-based festivals may still be able to operate in 2021 have now been quashed, with Knight, speaking in the House of Commons, adding:
“The UK is the leader in the world in terms of music and arts festivals. The sector is worth £12 billion and supports many thousands of highly-skilled jobs as well as the financial lifeblood of the nation’s musicians. However, there will be no festival season next year unless insurance is underwritten in case of Covid disruption.”
Caroline Dinenage, the Minister of State, added that events like Glastonbury may be put on hold if the insurance is not sorted, but added that positive noises had come from events such as The Isle of Wight Festival, stating:
“Festivals are such a vibrant and integral part of our creative community and our economy, and I am well aware that many will take decisions very soon about whether they can go ahead next year, so this is a very urgent situation. There is a sub group of my entertainment and events working group looking very specifically about how we can get festivals reopened and in the last few weeks I have met with representatives from festivals in Edinburgh and only yesterday from festivals on the Isle of Wight.
“I’m well aware of the concerns and the challenges of securing insurance for live music events. It’s something we’re looking at very carefully but the key really is for the industry to build an evidence base that absolutely demonstrates insurance coverage is the only barrier to events taking place.”
We’ll keep our fingers crossed in relation to Glastonbury, and other UK festivals in 2021, and will update you with news as – and when – it happens!
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