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UK Minister Reluctant To Introduce Festival Insurance Scheme
Christian Eede , March 25th, 2021 17:45

Culture minister Caroline Dinenage said such a scheme might give the industry false hope

Introducing a UK festival insurance scheme risks giving organisers false hope, Culture minister Caroline Dinenage has suggested.

Speaking during a virtual hearing of the Select Committee into the future of UK festivals, Dinenage was asked why the government had held back from scheduling large pilot events until next month and not put forward any plans for an insurance scheme that would allow the UK's festival sector to press forward with organising events for later in the year in light of the vaccine rollout.

Speaking to the committee, Dinenage said: "The fact is, chairman, as the minister responsible for this I would much rather be able to make an announcement when I am absolutely certain things can go ahead, or at least in a much better sense of predictability that things can go ahead, than announce an indemnity scheme, give people the confidence in order to pull the rug out from underneath them again. I just wouldn't be prepared to do that."

Dinenage ultimately failed to address the point that an insurance scheme would give festival organisers the opportunity to begin planning events for later in the summer in line with the UK government's current roadmap out of lockdown, without fears of losing money on some costs should they ultimately be forced to cancel.

Many UK festivals have decided to press forward with plans for 2021, despite the lack of a scheme, which could see them incur hugely damaging costs should the government be forced to renege on its roadmap. Dinenage concluded that the introduction of an insurance scheme was a question for the Treasury.

The Select Committee began an inquiry into the future of UK festivals on January 5 of this year, with the organisers of festivals such as Parklife and Boomtown giving evidence in the months since.

You can watch yesterday's hearing in full, which covered a number of topics related to UK festivals, here.