London puts £ 750million on the table to ensure live performance

“The show must go on”, sang the Briton Freddie Mercury. To come to the aid of an entertainment sector ravaged by successive lockdowns and health measures in the United Kingdom, London on Thursday announced an insurance program of more than 700 million pounds sterling (885 million euros).

In partnership with Lloyd’s, the fund will be used to cover the expenses of the organizers in case of cancellation linked to a legal ban due to pandemic, explained the Treasury. As part of this program, the government will play the role of reinsurer, providing its guarantee to insurers so that they can cover event organizers.

Many festivals canceled A number of professionals including Munich Re, Arch, Beazley, Dale and Hiscox support the project, according to the government. From next month, the organizers will therefore be able to take out cover, in addition to their standard insurance, until September 2022.

From big festivals like Glastonbury to concerts to fairs, a lot of events have had to be canceled since 2021 started in the UK. The British Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) estimates that a quarter of festivals have a capacity of at least 5. people have already been canceled this year.

Lack of visibility This performing arts sector represents more than 70 billion pounds per year for the UK economy and supports over 400. 000 jobs, recalled the Treasury.

In addition to health measures, it is above all the lack of specific insurance against risks of cancellation linked to the pandemic, which is a deterrent for the organizers. The summer seemed already badly underway and they had been warning for months about the risk for the season 2022 of being compromised as well, due to lack of visibility.

The insurance premium could rise to 5% of the amount liable to be compensated, in addition to the costs charged by the insurer, estimates the “Financial Times”.

On the other hand, the program should not cover cancellations of events related to the withdrawal of a senior artist ill with Covid – 13, nor the reintroduction of distancing social during shows, which raises concerns about the limits of coverage.

I’m looking for 13 million euros in guarantees this fall to cover the costs of all my tours, but there are no Covid guarantees on the market currently.

Matthieu Drouot, Deputy Managing Director of Gérard Drouot Productions The British Association of Independent Festivals was born nonetheless delighted with this announcement to the “Guardian”, while bitterly reminding us that it had been campaigning for such a solution for over a year.

In France, professionals at the net In France, festival organizers were scalded last year, because most insurers refused to take charge of the risk of cancellation linked to Covid. This summer, anticipating new difficulties, many preferred to skip their turn, or downsize like Les Vieilles Charrues or Jazz in Marciac.

“I’m looking for 13 millions of euros in guarantees this fall to cover the costs of all my tours, explains Matthieu Drouot, Deputy Managing Director of Gérard Drouot Productions, but there are no guarantees Covid on the market now. “States must take over otherwise the risks that we ask producers of shows to take are insane”, he believes.

“Today each producer, each festival, has his way of doing things, with his broker, his co-insurers, explains concert producer Pierre-Alexandre Vertadier. The Covid is going to force us to rethink all that. ”

A fund intended for festivals “ We should announce in September to our members the launch of ‘a cancellation contract that we have negotiated for festivals, producers and venues, reveals Malika Seguineau, general manager of Prodiss, the professional association in the sector. A long process with a call for tenders. ”

In the meantime, the aid from the French State is directed, via the National Music Center, towards a festival fund that compensates for losses operating costs of the organizers, resulting from health constraints and measurement limitations, aid capped at 100. . 000 euros. But today, while the gauges at 100% are restored, professionals are struggling to fill them. And there, the fund is not supposed to intervene …