Concerns that those working in the festival/event industry having been neglected by the Government since the Coronavirus pandemic began have been well documented.
Ben Wilbee shared a his heartfelt letter with News OnTheWight last month, explaining that he didn’t know how he’d get through the winter without selling his equipment in order to pay rent or feed himself.
Earlier today, the Government announced that the House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee would hold an Inquiry to Examine the Future of UK Music Festivals.
Seely: Working with Government for 2021 plans
In response to the news, Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, said,
“The Isle of Wight is Britain’s festival island and the impact of Covid-19 on festivals and live events has been devastating.
“I have made the case several times to Ministers of the importance of events and festivals and I am delighted that this powerful select committee, which examines the work of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has agreed that we need an urgent investigation into what can be done to help festivals.
“I spoke to Julian Knight MP, Chair of the Committee, earlier this week about the importance of festivals and I have agreed to work with him and other MPs to press Government to ensure that festivals can begin to plan for next summer.
“This is likely to centre around the concept of Pool Reinsurance; additional insurance, which is then backed by Government. I want our festivals to be able to start planning for a new normal, secure in the knowledge that there is viable insurance should events have to be postponed for whatever reason.”
Knight: Would be devastating if festivals were unable to come back
The DCMS Committee, Chair, Julian Knight MP said,
“The collapse of the vibrant music festival sector this year is a real cause for concern. The majority of festivals have been cancelled with the money they generate down by 90% and real risks surrounding their future viability.
“We have so many legendary festivals that have given the UK a worldwide reputation – it would be devastating if they were unable to come back with a bang, or if smaller festivals that underpin the talent pipeline disappear entirely.”
Share your stories
Knight went on to say,
“We want to hear from festival staff as they face huge pressures, fans who’ve missed out, as well as musicians on the contribution that festivals make to our culture and economy.
“It’s crucial that support to enable music festivals to go ahead in 2021 and beyond is put in place. We’ll be assessing what’s been done so far and what more needs to be done to safeguard the future of festivals.”
Seely: Get in touch
Seely finished by saying,
“The Committee is inviting any interested parties to submit written evidence addressing the terms of reference that can also be found through this link.
“Written evidence will be accepted until Wednesday 9th December 2020. Please do submit your evidence directly to the committee on the link above and please also feel free to send your evidence to my office.”