Peter Gabriel has warned that it may be necessary to cancel this year’s Womad festival if the government doesn’t help the organizers with the insurance.
The World Music Festival is in action annually got past 40 years. This year’s event, which is planned for the month of July falls just three days after the Covid restrictions are due to be removed in England.
Risk Of Losing Everything
Without insurance cover, Gabriel said, “there is a risk of losing everything.”
Several major music festivals including Glastonbury and the BST Hyde park have been drawn up for the second year in a row.
Many others have followed suit on Thursday, after the government’s announcement that the lockdown restrictions shall be extended until the 19th of July.
Events such as the Boomtown Fair and the Deer Shed festival have gone on record to say the lack of insurance coverage is an important factor in their decision to cancel the event.
Why Insurance Cover?
Such an arrangement would have helped then if their festival are not able to proceed because of a lockdown, or as localized outbreaks of Covid-19 cases take place.
“Commercial insurance has run a mile, effectively, and you can understand why,” Gabriel told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “so if we’re trying to restore cultural life and normality we need a bit of help here”.
“There is a lot of uncertainty for most of the festival’s organizers to take that sort of risk.”
Will Womad Be Cancelled?
Mishal Hussein talks whether Womad is to consider the cancellation of it’s booking if there is no insurance cover, he said, “I guess we’ll just have to cancel.”
“This has been a very stress filled time,” he added.
Gabriel, who started out as a singer in Genesis, before embarking on a solo career has said that the government “is really going to make money by acting as a middleman especially if the festivals continue’.
His comments come a month after a parliamentary report has criticised the government’s lack of action on insurance.
Julian Knight MP, who chairs the DCMS select committee, claimed music festivals had been treated “as the poor relation” by the government.
In response to Gabriel’s comments, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), said: “the Festival organisers, up to date, have received more than £34 million, of a £2 billion support plan for the arts’.