COVID-19: UK festivals may face “widespread cancellations” without further assistance, industry representatives say | Ent & Arts News

Despite the new blockade mitigation roadmap, most of the summer festivals are unlikely to proceed without more certainty from the government, a sector representative told Sky News.

Paul Reed, Chief Executive of the Independence Festival Association, has four steps for the Prime Minister. COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears The rule-breaking plan is optimistic, and the costs and logistics associated with hosting most festivals are too high for decision-making by the end of the year.

Festival organizers say that if they decide to move on just to change the limits, they can run into financial “big problems.”

Glastonbury has already announced that it will not move forward this year. Photo: AP

As part of Step 3 of the roadmap, large-scale outdoor performances of up to 4,000 people will be allowed from May 17th, but the majority of festivals are looking at Step 4 starting as early as June 21st. .. When the government wants to remove all legal restrictions on social contact..

However, the route out of the blockade depends on whether coronavirus cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continue to decline. These are constantly reviewed and you will be notified a week in advance before each step is fully confirmed.

Reed told Sky News that the average festival needs to be decided by the end of March. Currently, there is no COVID-19 insurance to protect them.

“Time is running out,” he said. “I need urgent intervention in insurance. I am very grateful that there is” earlier than the date “. However, if you want to proceed with the festival, you need to intervene by the end of March.If that doesn’t happen, unfortunately you won’t see much of the festival sector this year [it] Therefore, support is needed until we can go beyond this. “

As part of the roadmap, the government has announced a research program using a pilot scheme that includes tests and other means to run events in larger crowd sizes. However, this will not start until April.

Glastonbury has already been canceled this year No official announcement has been made yet, but it seems impossible to realistically carry out large-scale festivals such as the Isle of Wight and Downloads before June 21st.

According to Reed, planning an AIF member festival can take an average of six to eight months, and in some cases even longer, and the costs involved are enormous. The average AIF member is £ 6m.

From left: John McVie, Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham will perform at the 2015 Isle of Wight Festival. Photo: AP
Fleetwood Mac performed at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2015

Organizers are hoping for an insurance announcement in next week’s budget, saying that 90% of AIF members will not be able to proceed without insurance.

“I’m really only going to know if we can have a big festival on June 14th,” Reed said. “For many of them, they may be able to delay their decision date a bit.

“But if the event is going on, there are certain important things that they have to promise to pay, especially medical services, police services, important things that need to be done, etc. Not just deposits, or manufacturing costs.

“Frankly, that point in June is the time for many festivals to build festivals in the field, even if they are held in July or August, depending on the size.

“There is also a big problem with insurance … we are clamoring for this for the festival and have provided a lot of information and data to support that question. With DCMS (Ministry of Culture, Media and Sports) There was a lot of conversation in both) and the Treasury around such a scheme, but it hasn’t come, and it hasn’t been confirmed, and if it’s not confirmed by the end of March, the organizers will move forward. It is expected to bear the cost.

A crowd of deer hut festivals.Photo: Deer hut
The organizers of the Diashed Festival are considering several options for continuing the festival in 2021.

“It costs £ 500,000 to host a festival with a capacity of 5,000. Going to some of the larger members with a capacity of 70,000 would exceed £ 12 million. So the problem is that you don’t have to do anything to pay for it. It’s something you have to start paying for. Insurance.

“I’m worried that if the government doesn’t respond by the end of March, the festival will be canceled extensively this year,” he said.

Reed says how government research programs can deliver large-scale events without social distance, as significant capacity savings make many people “logically or economically infeasible.” He says he is happy to be considering it.

He said the AIF is working with the government to provide guidance to the industry.

Reed said he feels that festival attendees will be happy to accept a non-international lineup this year, but there is also the issue of having foreign artists on the festival’s bills.

Oliver Jones, director of the 15,000-capacity Diashed Festival in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire at the end of July, told Sky News if insurance wasn’t available and he had to wait until mid-June. Told. They can potentially fall into “financial problems”.

“If you’re going to the full Diashed Festival right now, as advertised, you can cancel everything in mid-June,” he said. “The main problem with that is that there is no commercial cancellation insurance.”

Last year, according to Jones, Deershed hosted a small socially distant event in which campers get their loose. Another option is to hold an event with a capacity of 4,000 people according to the rules of Step 3 if things go according to plan.

But the best option is insurance.

“Rishi [Sunak] In the budget, we will announce some government support for the gap in the unlocking step. “

Following the government’s announcement on Monday, Greg Palmley, CEO of Live, an industry group in the live music industry, said the sector was “behind the reopening line” and told the budget prime minister. “Get the financial support you need to overcome this pandemic and secure the jobs and livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of people working in our industry.”

Mark David, CEO of Music Venue Trust, a charity that represents the grassroots venue, also sought further help.

Sky News is asking DCMS for comment.

COVID-19: UK festivals may face “widespread cancellations” without further assistance, industry representatives say | Ent & Arts News

Source link COVID-19: UK festivals may face “widespread cancellations” without further assistance, industry representatives say | Ent & Arts News

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