Some of the UK’s most legendary performers are among those calling on the government to commit to underwrite cancellation costs of events and enable the restart of the live entertainment sector. Alongside industry experts and trade associations, Jools Holland, Depeche Mode, Johnny Marr, Sir Cliff Richard, Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey, Amy McDonald, The Chemical Brothers, Frank Turner and Judas Priest have all added their names to the chorus of voices calling for a government-backed scheme.
The news comes as results from a new YouGov survey show that half of the UK population want to go to a live event this summer, and 75 per cent believe live events are critical to British culture. Whilst recent news of mass ticket purchasing following the roadmap announcement is positive, it is even more critical for a government-backed insurance scheme to be in place to safeguard the industry.
Industry experts say that Britain’s live music and events industry can get back to work tomorrow without the government spending one pound – as long as it pledges to meet costs arising from any future cancellations caused by Covid. By making this promise, HM Treasury can bridge the gap for Covid cancellation insurance and support the UK’s live entertainment industries.
Tim Thornhill, director of Tysers Entertainment and Sport Division, and live entertainment insurance industry veterans Bob Taylor and John Silcock, are working closely with live music industry umbrella organisation LIVE and insurance industry colleagues to urge the government to work with the industry to find a solution.
Tim Thornhill commented: “The government has successfully created a scheme that has enabled the film and television industries to get back to work. Now they need to do the same for the live events industry. But the window of opportunity for this summer will slam shut very shortly. The government needs to act now.”
Greg Parmley, CEO of LIVE, adds: “Governments in Germany, Austria, Norway, the Netherlands and elsewhere are already backing schemes to allow production companies and their staff to plan for a safe return to live events. The UK rollout of the vaccine is cause for optimism in creating events that are safe but the industry will be significantly hampered without Covid event cancellation insurance.”