A string of events including the London Marathon face cancellation next year over a row about who will insure them.Organisers of some of the largest e
A string of events including the London Marathon face cancellation next year over a row about who will insure them.
Organisers of some of the largest events in next year’s calendar are preparing to abandon their plans as insurers are refusing to cover them for any Covid-related disruption.
In a last-ditch attempt to keep the events industry afloat, bosses and insurers are heading a campaign calling on the taxpayer to provide cover instead.
The Let Live Thrive campaign – which is backed by MPs such as Tory culture committee chairman Julian Knight and Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey – is urging the Government to provide state-backed insurance to get the events industry back up and running.
Events such as the London Marathon face cancellation next year over a row about who will insure them
In a letter to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the group said: ‘We cannot stand by and let another year’s festivals, theatre productions, sports tournaments, mass participation events and concerts be cancelled unnecessarily.
‘It would destroy not only those industries but also the many local economies and the millions of livelihoods which depend on them in the hospitality and tourism sectors.’
Signatories of the letter include, Joanna Coates of UK Athletics, Andy Salmon of British Triathlon and Neil Griffiths – boss of the Arts Emergency charity for underprivileged young people.
Heads of events such as Glastonbury Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the London Marathon and music giant Live Nation are locked in talks with Government, pleading for intervention.
The events industry contributes £84billion to the UK economy every year and employs more than 1.5million people.
Major event organisers take out contingency insurance so if their plans are cancelled, any money they have spent will not be lost.
The Killers at the Glastonbury Festival on June 2019
But since the pandemic began, insurers have refused to include Covid cancellations in their contingency policies, claiming that the risk of further lockdowns or bans on large gatherings makes the risk far too high.
The Let Live Thrive campaigners want the Government to provide its own contingency insurance, so if cancellations occur, the taxpayer would end up shouldering the cost.
But Harvey Goldsmith, the veteran music promoter who helped organise the original Live Aid concert in 1985, said: ‘Insurers are happy to take our money in normal circumstances when everything is fine but as soon as there’s a risk you actually need them to cover, where are they?’
The Let Live Thrive campaign has been coordinated by Rivertrade, an investment firm, and is also backed by insurance giant Hiscox and EC3 Brokers.
A spokesman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: ‘Funding from our unprecedented £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund is helping to stabilise organisations across the country and protect jobs in live events.’