Glastonbury festival pleads for government help

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Glastonbury festival pleads for government help as events struggle to get insurance for next summer due to Covid

  • Event organisers are pleading with politicians to launch an insurance scheme 
  • Insurers argue they have been hit with claims of hundreds of millions of pounds 
  • Emily Eavis has said ‘it’s already getting tight’ to prepare for next year’s event 

Glastonbury festival has pleaded for government help as events struggle to get insurance for next summer due to coronavirus.

The festival’s organiser Emily Eavis, 41, and her father Michael, 85, have said ‘it’s already getting tight’ to prepare for next year’s event because insurers are still reluctant to provide cancellation cover. 

At last year’s event Stormzy led the crowd in a chant of ‘F*** Boris’, however now the festival has found itself in a position where it is asking the government for help. 

Emily has warned that Glastonbury had ‘lost a substantial amount of money’ this year. 

Glastonbury festival has pleaded for government help as events struggle to get insurance for live events next summer due to coronavirus. Pictured - last year grime artist Stormzy led the crowd in a chant of 'F*** Boris' at the event

Glastonbury festival has pleaded for government help as events struggle to get insurance for live events next summer due to coronavirus. Pictured – last year grime artist Stormzy led the crowd in a chant of ‘F*** Boris’ at the event

It comes after her father warned in June that the festival could go bankrupt if it is not staged in 2021 because of coronavirus. 

Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar had been due to headline this summer at the world-famous festival in Pilton, Somerset.

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But Glastonbury organisers announced in March that the event would be cancelled amid increasing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.  

The Eavises and other event organisers are now pleading with politicians to launch an insurance scheme for if commercial underwriters won’t offer contingency cover for events that might be cancelled because of the virus.

Insurers argue that they have been hit with claims of hundreds of millions of pounds when events were forced to close earlier this year and can’t afford it again.    

Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd from the main stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017

Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd from the main stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017

Without insurance cover, event organisers warn they cannot take the risk of arranging festivities and losing millions if they are forced to cancel.

Emily told The Times: ‘In a usual planning cycle we would already be well into organising the next festival. 

‘The best solution would be for the government to offer direct financial support in the event of Glastonbury, and other events, being forced to cancel once they’re well into the preparations.

The festival's organiser Emily Eavis, 41, and her father Michael, 85, (pictured together) have said 'it's already getting tight' to prepare for next year's event because insurers are still reluctant to provide cancellation cover

The festival’s organiser Emily Eavis, 41, and her father Michael, 85, (pictured together) have said ‘it’s already getting tight’ to prepare for next year’s event because insurers are still reluctant to provide cancellation cover

Tickets for Glastonbury cost £265. Around 135,000 people paid a £50 deposit when they went on sale in October last year which will be rolled over to next year's festival

Tickets for Glastonbury cost £265. Around 135,000 people paid a £50 deposit when they went on sale in October last year which will be rolled over to next year’s festival

‘If the government can share the risk by offering direct financial support, then it gives everyone the opportunity to move forward with the planning in the hope that things will be safe to run in the summer, and in the knowledge that backing is available if we’re simply not in a position to go ahead,’ she added.      

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Tickets for Glastonbury cost £265. Around 135,000 people paid a £50 deposit when they went on sale in October last year which will be rolled over to next year’s festival.      

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: ‘We know these are challenging times for the live events sector and are working flat out to support it. We have invested £1bn so far through the culture recovery fund to protect tens of thousands of creative jobs … with £400m more support still to come.’

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