Although most of Covid-19 restrictions within the United Kingdom have been removed, which have seen festivals the likes of Creamfields embracing a triumphant return, some within the country still face turbulent waters due to a number of logistical reasons. The news comes from Paul Reed, the chief executive at the Association of Independent Festivals who explained festivals are expected to face problems such as labour shortages and a supply chain crisis.
The labour crisis has been put down to the lack of enough skilled workers hiking the price of staff by around 30%, a detrimental cost increase for the industry which contributes £1.7 billion of tax revenue for the UK government yearly. A lack of government agreements with the EU post-Brexit is also causing problems for the industry. Although UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced to fix the bureaucratic issues facing musicians, Spain has been the only country thus far to sign the agreement proposed.
“We are facing a perfect storm in many ways, we may be emerging from the shadow of the pandemic in the UK, but this year will not be a case of ‘back to business as usual’ without critical support for festival organisers.” – Paul Reed speaking during the AIF’s Festival Congress 2022.
The AIF’s Festival Congress 2022 took place on February 18th, which sees the largest gathering of independent festival companies. During this congress, Paul Reed has suggested a number of ways in which the government can help including extended VAT relief that is expected to end in March and also not reducing financial incentives such as a one in Biofuels which will also promote greener air on festival grounds.
Image Credit: Lanty Zhang
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