UK Music has warned British music festivals will be cancelled again this year unless the government steps in to provide support.
The campaigning and lobby group, that represents the commercial music industry, has shared a detailed report titled ‘Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021’ outlining its strategy to protect and support the UK’s multi-billion pound live music industry.
In the report, it warns that a lack of COVID cancellation insurance available means that a government insurance scheme is necessary for music festivals to move forward with event planning this year.
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UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “While this pandemic is still raging and continues to cause devastation to lives and livelihoods today, there is an endpoint in sight. Government is rolling out the vaccine and is openly speculating about returning to normal by the spring – but there is a serious risk that even if this proves to be a reality, lack of notice and available insurance options will mean much of the 2021 summer music season can’t go ahead.
“With the right support the live music industry can be at the forefront of the post-pandemic recovery and play a key role in our country’s economic and cultural revival – but there will need to be a concerted effort from industry and the Government together if we are to let the music play and save our summer.”
Last month, Germany announced a €2.5 billion cancellation fund to cover the cost of events planned for the second half of 2021 that may be cancelled due to COVID-19.
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The call for action in the UK follows on from Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis taking to Twitter yesterday to deny a claim from Mel B that this year’s festival has been cancelled.
Speaking to Nihal Arthanayake on BBC Radio 5 Live, the Spice Girls member said she had been told the event has been called off, and indicated pop group were set to play the festival’s Sunday evening ‘legends’ slot as part of the 25th anniversary edition.
She said: “I know that Glastonbury’s been cancelled, so a lot of big stage performances are on hold again this year, which is sad but we’ve got to get this virus under control.”
Emily Eavis responded quickly on Twitter to say: “Happy new year to you all! There’s no news this end yet, we haven’t cancelled. Will let you know right here as soon as we have an update..”.
Happy new year to you all!
There’s no news this end yet, we haven’t cancelled. Will let you know right here as soon as we have an update..
— Emily Eavis (@emilyeavis) January 4, 2021
UK Music’s report is also calling for an “indicative” date for when venues and events can return with full capacity, and the VAT rate reduction relief on tickets and business rates to be extended.
Read the full report here.
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag’s Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter
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