What the events industry needs? A government backed insurance policy
We can all take ourselves back to that moment. That connection with the crowd. That feeling of freedom. That it was more than music. There was something in the air and for that moment there was no other place.
Chances are that moment didn’t come in 2020. Chances are those moments could become distant memories if action isn’t taken to support the events industry to go forward.
What’s at stake is an events industry which is worth billions and employs people in the hundreds of thousands across the UK – none of whom have had any government sector-specific emergency coronavirus business support.
The events sector is set to suffer huge job losses by the end of this year unless it receives immediate government support.
Therefore, it is welcomed that the government have announced they are looking to provide financial protection for large events at risk from Covid cancellations.
The planning involved to stage a large scale event is immense, costly and time-consuming. This is all with huge financial risk – all where the event may not be able to go ahead due to covid. Costs for delivering a large scale event can run into millions with large teams working all year round to deliver them.
This year’s work, is all hinged on revenue being generated over a very short window, often only a weekend. It is almost impossible to imagine the stress that would cause at the best of times. That is why, of course, promoters seek to buy insurance – for peace of mind.
However, Pandemic clauses in insurance for events were standard and widespread, with an overwhelmingly vast majority of events not covered. However, the few that were, in what was due to be a very busy year have proved catastrophic for the contingency insurance market. Wimbledon, Olympics and Euro 2020 were all due to take place in 2020. Therefore, it is impossible to consider that pandemic cover will be a practical solution provided by insurers. Practically speaking, this has to come from a government-backed insurance fund.
The events industry is in real danger and many can’t face another year without events going ahead.
That is why senior figures in the live music industry are calling for a government underwritten scheme. It is estimated that a £650m insurance fund can enable the £2b events business to go ahead next year. This would be a hugely positive step to getting the economy, and the morale of a nation, going again.
The stark news that promoters are facing is that 24 hours before the show/festival/sports event starts, it may have to be cancelled for covid related reasons. Reasons which, as things stand, are uninsurable.
This isn’t about furlough or recovery funds. This is about providing a platform and enabling promoters to do what they do best – and getting us those unforgettable moments back.