Tory MPs have urged the Government to save music festivals this summer, after Boomtown was cancelled for a second year in a row.
Mark Harper, Chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, along with the deputy chairman Steve Baker, have led a group of 42 Conservative MPs calling on Boris Johnson to “ensure live music events and festivals can go ahead this summer”.
It comes after it was announced that Boomtown, a 70,000 person music festival, has cancelled this summer’s event, which it blamed on a lack of a government-backed insurance scheme.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, they have asked that he backs a £250m insurance scheme for event organisers to “ensure that live music festivals can proceed with their plans to go ahead after June 21”, and that “this underwriting should not cost the taxpayer a penny”.
The MPs have said that the live events industry “does not require another lump sum” from the Government, but requires “insurance against the political risk, however minimal, that the Government will impose restrictions on the industry and its customers after June 21”.
They write: “With the success of the vaccine rollout and as we head towards June 21, it’s vital that ministers act now to ensure live music events and festivals can go ahead this summer by assuming contingent liabilities against cancellation and restrictions imposed by Government.”
They caution that without this, “most music festivals and live events will be cancelled this summer with countless job losses and business closures”.
The scheme, which they claim would save £1.1 billion of costs to the industry, “would give confidence to organisers so that they can prepare for their festivals to go ahead, would turbocharge Britain’s economic recovery and would bring hope to millions of festival-goers and young people – who have borne the brunt of lockdown – that life this summer will be a normal one”.