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DCMS Committee to examine the future of UK music festivals

Posted by Liz Marshall on

How to ensure the survival of UK music festivals is the subject of a new inquiry launched by the DCMS Committee.

COVID-19 restrictions have meant the majority of festivals this year have been cancelled with revenues down by 90%. 4.9 million people attended a festival in the UK in 2018, with festivals estimated to have generated £1.76 billion in GVA last year.

The inquiry will consider Government policy to support music festivals due to take place in 2021 in the face of immediate pressures, and consider the economic and cultural contribution that music festivals make to the UK.

Festivals can take place if they are COVID-19 secure and comply with all relevant legislation; however, social distancing requirements will determine the financial and logistical viability of an event. There are also questions about how audiences will respond to a socially distanced festival experience. The uncertainly of the public health situation and legal requirements next summer presents further risk for festival organisers.

Chair's comments

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said:

“The collapse of the vibrant music festival sector this year is a real cause for concern. The majority of festivals have been cancelled with the money they generate down by 90% and real risks surrounding their future viability.

“We have so many legendary festivals that have given the UK a worldwide reputation – it would be devastating if they were unable to come back with a bang, or if smaller festivals that underpin the talent pipeline disappear entirely. We want to hear from festival staff as they face huge pressures, fans who’ve missed out, as well as musicians on the contribution that festivals make to our culture and economy.

“It’s crucial that support to enable music festivals to go ahead in 2021 and beyond is put in place. We’ll be assessing what’s been done so far and what more needs to be done to safeguard the future of festivals.”

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