UK Music boss Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has described a Government-backed insurance scheme as the ‘final piece of the jigsaw’ needed to save the live music industry.
Njoku-Goodwin has welcomed Boris Johnson’s Monday night (5 June 2021) announcement that mass live music events will be able to proceed without restriction from 19 July.
However, he warned that without an insurance scheme in place to fix a clear ‘market failure’, some festival and concert organisers faced financial ruin if social distancing is reimposed later this year.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: ‘I’m delighted that Government has confirmed live music events can go ahead from July 19 without the need for social distancing – a welcome decision for millions of fans and for the hundreds of thousands of musicians and support crew whose jobs depend on live activity.
‘Our industry has worked incredibly hard to make venues and festival sites as safe as possible and reduce the transmission risk at live events. Huge credit is due to countless people across the sector for the brilliant work they have done towards this.
‘However, there is one final piece of the jigsaw that we absolutely need in place to ensure the return of live music is permanent and not just for a few brief weeks of summer: action to resolve the market failure on events insurance.
‘The critical need for a government-backed insurance scheme has been repeatedly made clear by industry and by Julian Knight and the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. While welcome, the confirmation that restrictions will be lifted from July 19 does not make this problem go away.
‘Suggestions of restrictions being reintroduced in autumn or winter mean organisers won't have confidence to plan events beyond summer. So, it’s vital we get a government-backed insurance scheme to enable organisers to plan ahead without risk of financial ruin if restrictions reimposed.
‘The insurance scheme Government introduced for the film and TV industry has been hugely successful and has saved countless jobs and businesses. We now need the same for the live events sector, otherwise we risk losing some festivals and music events forever.’