Promoters of UK music festivals taking place during summer 2021 have called on the government to provide a state-backed cancellation scheme, The Guardian reports. They fear that a late cancellation due to a Covid surge could push them to the brink of bankruptcy. Millions of tickets have already been sold for hundreds of live events across the country.
Governments of countries in mainland Europe have already offered to underwrite live music events in case of a pandemic related cancellation. Organisers in the UK are considering cancelling events in advance rather than take the significant financial risk of a last-minute change to the lockdown rules, either because of a local or national spike of the virus.
The reopening timetable allows for mass gatherings to take place from June 21, which means that nightclubs can finally open their doors for the first time since March 2020. They are one of the few businesses that have been forced to shut for the entire 15-month period of the Covid crisis, and there is still a nervousness around planning mass events.
Even when the social distancing restrictions are lifted, there is no guarantee that a spike of the virus won’t cause sudden cancellations and huge financial losses for events organisers. The music industry has been calling for several months for the government to step in with an indemnity scheme to provide support if plans need to be changed.
There is strong demand among the public for live events, the article reports. Larger festivals such as Reading and Leeds have vowed to go ahead, but the iconic Glastonbury festival will not take place for the second year running. Some events have shifted from early summer to late August or September in the hope that confidence levels will be higher later in the year.
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