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Norway announces NOK 350m festival cancellation pot

"This is to create predictability now, so that the industry can start planning different scenarios," says Norway's minister of culture

By IQ on 08 Feb 2021

The Park Festival, Norway

Norway's The Park Festival says the fund is an "extremely important signal"


image © Facebook/Daniel Lilleeng

The Norwegian government is committing NOK 350 million (€34m) to a cancellation insurance fund for festivals, allowing organisers to plan for this summer without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak.

Norway’s minister of culture, Abid Raja, announced in a press conference last week that the financial safety net will help organisers plan for July and August.

“[The insurance pot is] to create predictability now, so that the industry can start planning different scenarios and be confident that if things go wrong, we will stand up for them,” said Raja during the conference.

“We must plan for all scenarios so that the festival industry and the summer industry will have security that there is a minimum of safety nets here.

“As of now, it is impossible to predict whether it will be possible to have 200, 1,000 or 5,000 people at events this summer. We do not know,” he adds.

“The industry can start planning different scenarios and be confident that if things go wrong, we will stand up for them”

Gøran Aamodt, head of The Park Festival in Bodø, told NRK: “This is an extremely important signal. It allows us all to dare to breathe with our stomachs again. And not least, as an industry we can plan as normal. We are very pleased with such an early signal.”

Like the majority of European festival markets, Norway was forced to forego its summer season after the government extended its ban on major live events until 1 September.

Major Norwegian festivals including Live Nation-owned festivals Bergenfest and Tons of Rock, as well as Superstruct’s Øya Festival, were called off.

Norway is the latest market to announce an event cancellation fund, taking note from Germany’s €2.5bn pot, Austria’s €300m ‘protective umbrella’ and the Netherlands’ €300m fund.

Meanwhile, other major festival markets in the northern hemisphere – including the UK, Switzerland, Denmark and France – are urgently encouraging respective governments to do the same as time runs out until the summer season.

Government-backed insurance funds will be explored at ILMC during Insurance: The Big Update, while lessons that can be learned from 2020’s lost festival summer will be discussed during Festival Forum: Reboot & Reset.

 


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