Yesterday, (2nd February,) the future of the UK’s world-leading music festivals and the live events supply chain were left in the hands of MPs during a critical parliamentary committee inquiry this morning.
The committee, led by leaders in the industry, discussed the impact of COVID-19, the support needed for events to safely return, and urged for a government-backed insurance scheme.
Without financial reassurance from the government, the risk is that the cancellation of Glastonbury could spark a domino effect and permanently ruin an industry worth £100bn.
Peter Heath, Managing Director of the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA), and #WeMakeEvents steering committee member believes the inquiry was positive and hopes the government can enact a government-backed insurance scheme.
“We are hopeful this inquiry can spark real change for a sector on the verge of collapse,” says Peter Heath. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, 400,000 jobs from the supply chain have been lost. When you consider the wider UK economy these festivals contribute towards, the overall impact has been catastrophic. Thousands of people are relying on this year’s festival season after government support failed to reach much of the supply chain over the last year. This really is make-or-break for jobs, incomes, and people’s lives.
“The events industry needs a safety net and time to plan. We are urging the government to provide a roadmap for return, testing initiatives at events, and insurance provisions that industries such as film and television industries have already been given. If the government can support the return of our sector we may be able to get back into work, and avoid the risk of permanent, irreparable damage.”