British Music Festivals Face Second ‘Lost Summer’ as U.K. Government Blamed For Lack of Insurance Scheme


A damning report has placed the blame for a second ‘lost summer’ of British music festivals directly on the U.K. government and its failure to create an insurance scheme for organizers.

After hearing from a range of expert witnesses, including Massive Attack vocalist Robert Del Naja and chief executive of the Notting Hill Carnival Matthew Phillip, the cross-party committee of MPs that form the House of Commons’ Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport concluded that the government’s refusal to create or back an insurance scheme for British music festivals has directly resulted in a dearth of events this summer, with potentially devastating consequences for the future of the industry.

Insurance remains one of the last major hurdles for the return of live music, with insurers reportedly unlikely to offer any COVID-19-related cancellation cover until 2022 at the earliest.

Since May 17, outdoor performances have been permitted at 50% capacity (or maximum 4,000 people, whichever is lower) but Britain remains in semi-lockdown, with restrictions on larger scale events — such as music festivals, nightclubs and weddings — set to lift on June 21.

According to the report, the government has ruled out backing any kind of insurance scheme before that time, especially since the emergence of new global COVID-19 variants means that the date for a full lockdown easing could still potentially be delayed.