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Boomtown 2021 cancelled due to lack of government-backed insurance

"Covid specific cancellation insurance for events simply does not exist and therefore there’s no safety net to support," the festival said

  • Words: Paddy Edrich | Image: Garry Jones
  • 20 April 2021
Boomtown 2021 cancelled due to lack of government-backed insurance

Boomtown has cancelled its 2021 edition.

The festival cites the lack of government-backed Covid-19 cancellation insurance as the reason for postponing the event until next year.

This means that any festival putting on an event in the UK this summer will be doing so without insurance that will cover them should Covid-19 prevent them from going ahead.

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In a statement on its website, organisers of Boomtown said: “We are sorry to bring another round of heartbreaking news to you all and sadly it feels a bit like déjà vu, as almost a year ago we had to break some identical bad news.

“We have been doing everything within our power to try to find a solution to the mind-boggling conundrum of putting on a safe and well-run event to the sheer scale, complexity and intricate nature of Boomtown this year.

“However, the time has simply run out for us to be able to proceed in a way that would live up to our high safety and production standards for the large scale event we had planned.”

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The festival which was due to take place between 10-14 August in Winchester has confirmed that all tickets will be rolled over to next year’s event.

Organisers added that if they were to gamble and the festival would be cancelled they would lose an 8-figure sum.

"Critically, with less than four months to go and after almost half a year of collective campaigning to the government, Covid specific cancellation insurance for events simply does not exist at this point in time and therefore there’s no safety net to support," they said.

British festivals have been collectively campaigning to ensure the Government put into effect cancellation insurance that would protect them from Covid-19.

Back in March, UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: The music industry wants to play a leading role in driving the post-pandemic economic and cultural recovery.

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“To make sure we can move ahead with live events, festivals and concert organisers need the confidence that there is the safety-net of an insurance scheme.”

Although Boomtown received a grant from the Arts Council England, they highlighted that it only went to covering less than 10 per cent of what they needed to run a festival of their size.

They added: “We had planned Chapter One: The Gathering with our values front and centre and the safety and comfort at the top of the agenda for all in attendance, those living in the local area, as well as those working on the event.

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“However, it does not feel that at this critical point in time, we have enough of an understanding of what the conditions will be in order for us to safely operate, or the time left to be able to implement it all to put on the show we know we were all waiting for.

“We are truly devastated to not be able to all come together to celebrate in the way we’d like to, and we know how hard this will be for the thousands of you who have supported us and kept the faith that we could collectively reunite in the beautiful fields this summer.”

Paddy Edrich is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Twitter here

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