(Credit: Paul Holloway)

Glastonbury Festival asks for government help for Coronavirus insurance

As the thought of live music turning into a reality in the coming months, Glastonbury Festival is offering up a view of the reality of the challenging months ahead for event and festival organisers. Emily Eavis, head of operations at the legendary festival, has reached out to the British government to help them cover the considerable insurance costs of running a mammoth festival amid a pandemic.

Eavis has appealed to the government to offer “direct financial support” for the upcoming 2021 event as the landscape for live events remains tremblingly uncertain. General Counsel Ben Challis and Eavis are still forthright in their expectations of the event going ahead next year.

It’s an attitude which has been resolutely welcomed as the music industry tries to regain its footing slowly. Live events will be a huge help when they start kicking off once more, but Eavis and her father Michael have already warned that it is “already getting tight” with regards to the time it takes to set up Glastonbury Festival for 2021.

To prepare for next year’s event is a huge risk for the organisers as insurers are still incredibly cautious about offering cancellation cover worth millions of pounds. It’s not something that Glastonbury Festival can afford to lose.

Speaking to The Times, Emily Eavis revealed: “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.

“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,” added Eavis.

There’s been little direct comment from the government on Glastonbury’s needs. Still, 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.”