UK festival scene facing collapse due to the impact coronavirus, report finds
The UK’s independent festival industry faces collapse due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic without government aid, a new report has shown.
The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), which represents 65 events including Boomtown, Bluedot and Field Day, reports that 92% of its members now face costs that could destroy their business due to cancellation.
According to The Guardian, those costs include potential refunds of up to £800m, and an average outlay of £375,000 for overheads including marketing, staffing and advertising, which cannot be recouped due to the cancellation of events. The AIF also reports that 98% of its members are uninsured for cancellation due to COVID-19.
Speaking about the impact of coronavirus on independent festivals, AIF chief executive Paul Reed said, “This is not a temporary shutdown of business — it is an entire year of income and trade wiped out.”
He stated that many independent festivals do not meet lending criteria to access funds via the government’s coronavirus business interruption loan scheme.
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