THE Boomtown festival 2021 will be cancelled over Covid insurance fears after tickets were sold to 70,000 music lovers.
The popular music event was scheduled from August 11 to August 15, but its organisers fear they cannot go ahead with it without a government-backed insurance scheme.
🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates
Music lovers at Boomtown in 2018 – but the event is set to be cancelled this yearCredit: Fame Flynet
Thousands of people queueing ahead of the popular festival in 2017Credit: Solent News
The five-day festival sold out its 66,000 capacity in February, but is now facing cancellation as insurers are not offering cover against Covid-related cancellations.
Organisers are calling for an indemnity scheme to be covered by the government – and say the event cannot go ahead without insurance.
Boomtown’s director of communications, Anna Wade, said she was “devastated” but the decision was inevitable.
She told The Times: “Anyone putting on an event this year will have to do so without the safety net of insurance to cover them should a decision by the government on Covid prevent them from going ahead.
“For an independent event as large and complex as Boomtown, this would mean an eight-figure-sum gamble, risking our future as a festival if we were to proceed and then not be able to go ahead if more restrictions were placed by the government.”
The music industry has been forced to cancel multiple events in the past year due to the ongoing pandemic and its future looks uncertain due to the restrictions still in place.
Music insurance broker Tim Thornhill said more events risk to be cancelled this year if the government does not step in with a plan to provide insurance.
Boomtown Festival’s organisers said the event will not go ahead despite having sold 70,000 tickets in FebruaryCredit: Getty
Another event which was also cancelled due to insurance fears is Charlbury’s Riverside Festival in Oxfordshire.
Festival director Andy Pickard said: “In these uncertain times, not only is the safety of our audience and the local community a top priority, but obtaining insurance is a huge problem for us.
“There was no Covid insurance flying about, that’s the main issue.”
Last month, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said a “discussion about the insurance point” can be had once it is certain that mass events, such as festivals, can actually go ahead.
Other festivals such as those in Reading and Leeds are set to go ahead this summer, but attendees have been warned they may need vaccine passports beforehand.
Organiser Melvin Benn has said music fans will likely need to prove they are virus-free or have been jabbed to attend the twin events.
The famous music festival is set to take place over the August bank holiday weekend with Stormzy, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Post Malone, Disclosure and Liam Gallagher on the bill.
Oliver Dowden said insurance can be considered after having certainty that mass events can go ahead this yearCredit: PA