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Boomtown Fair cancels 2021 festival, cites lack of Government-backed COVID-19 insurance

The news comes after rumours of a possible “wave of cancellations” due to the Government's lack of insurance plan for festivals

Boomtown Fair has cancelled its 2021 event, citing a lack of insurance support from the UK government.

The Winchester-based festival is one of a number of events to have cancelled their 2021 editions in recent weeks, citing worries over large financial losses should they be forced to postpone their 2021 editions later this year due to delays in the UK government's current COVID-19 roadmap. 

In a statement explaining the decision to cancel the 2021 edition, Boomtown's organisers said: “After almost half a year of collective campaigning to the government, sadly COVID-specific cancellation insurance for events still does not exist at this point in time. This means anyone putting on an event this year, will be doing so without the safety net of insurance to cover them should COVID prevent them from going ahead in any capacity.

"For an independent event as large and complex as Boomtown, this is a huge gamble of up to an eight figure sum and the financial risk is simply too high.

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

“Unfortunately, without any clear indication of what size events will be able to take place, and the conditions in which we will be able to operate, we have come to the conclusion that 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 event we had planned."

Boomtown will now return in 2022, taking place from August 10-14 of next year.

A number of festivals and events bodies, such as the Association of Independent Festivals, have been lobbying the UK government to introduce an insurance scheme for months to no avail. Similar government-backed schemes have already been set up in the Netherlands and Germany to give organisers of large-scale events this summer more peace of mind in pressing forward with their plans.

Last month, culture minister Caroline Dinenage said the government was reluctant to introduce a scheme that would give the UK's events sector 'false hope'.

Read Boomtown's full statement here.