fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Western Australia expands live events support

The government of Western Australia (WA) has expanded its live events support programme to include rescheduled shows.

The Getting the Show Back on the Road+ (GTSBOTR+) programme was originally set up to reduce the financial risks of running a ticketed event during the pandemic.

The expansion of the programme will allow promoters to recoup the unrecoverable costs of up to 30% of pre-approved box office value – which is capped at A$150,000 – when events are rescheduled.

This will enable live events that are not viable under current Level 2 public health measures to be moved to more suitable dates later in the year.

The changes follow discussions between the state government and the live events industry on how the programme could be adjusted to better support the sector.

Culture and the arts minister, David Templeman, says: “Live event organisers now have more certainty around putting on shows in Western Australia during this difficult time, knowing they are supported with the unrecoverable costs of rescheduling.

“These changes will mean a number of terrific upcoming shows can now be rescheduled rather than cancelled”

“We have listened to feedback from the live events industry and expanded the programme accordingly.

“I am very pleased these changes will mean a number of terrific upcoming shows can now be rescheduled rather than cancelled. It is a great result for our local live events industry and all WA music fans.”

The announcement has been welcomed by Live Entertainment Western Australia, which can now confirm rescheduled shows for Midnight Oil, Crowded House, Hoodoo Gurus, Hunters and Collectors with James Reyne, Jimmy Barnes, Mondo Rock, Ian Moss, and Missy Higgins, Birds of Tokyo, and the Waifs.

Live Entertainment WA president, Brad Mellen, comments: “The rescheduled shows would have been cancelled without the assistance now being offered to enable rescheduling.

“The system’s not perfect – there’s still the problem of shortfalls in sales when sold-out shows are rescheduled – but it reflects great credit on the government that it listened to representations and has acted to provide assistance for rescheduling.

“Hopefully, things will get back to something like normal in the next few months and Western Australia will again see international acts absent now for more than two years.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

NZ extends insurance scheme, expands criteria

The New Zealand government has announced plans to extend its insurance scheme for large-scale events by another year.

Under the scheme, the government underwrites 90% of “unrecoverable costs” for paid, ticketed events with audiences of more than 5,000 vaccinated people, if organisers are forced to cancel or postpone due to Covid-19 public health measures.

The new criteria include events that have been cancelled or postponed because the lead artist has to self-isolate, as well as business events with at least 200 attendees.

Touring events at multiple venues on multiple dates are now eligible on the basis that the cumulative total of attendees is over 5,000 and they meet all other criteria.

The expanded criteria also states that events must be organised by a New Zealand registered organisation (e.g., an entity registered with the Companies Office or a charitable organisation).

“These changes will provide confidence to hundreds of events throughout 2022 and into next summer”

Eligible events must also have been publicly announced or “actively in the market” before 23 January next year, unless it is a recurring event with a history of previous iterations over the last three years or a touring event held at multiple venues or on multiple dates that can demonstrate a financial commitment to the event dates at least four months prior to the event being held.

As per the first iteration of the scheme, events must require the use of Covid-19 vaccination certificates and organisers can only apply once for cancellation and once for postponement for an event.

The first incarnation of the scheme is running between 17 December 2021 and 3 April 2022. The new criteria apply to events taking place between 4 April 2022 and 31 January 2023.

The extension of the scheme follows the country’s move to red in the Covid traffic light system, under which events are limited to 100 people.

“The current Omicron variant of Covid-19 and the red setting in the protection framework are having a severe impact on the events sector,” says economic and regional development minister Stuart Nash. “We have adapted the scheme to take account of this to further support the industry for the rest of the year.”

“This is disappointing for event organisers, artists, and everyone associated with a large-scale event, including attendees… These changes will provide confidence to hundreds of events throughout 2022 and into next summer, so organisers can continue to organise events, despite the ongoing uncertainty that Covid-19 brings to our communities.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Boost for Live Nation in Covid insurance lawsuit

Live Nation has been handed a boost in its lawsuit against insurer Factory Mutual (FM) over its failure to cover the promoter’s “severe and unanticipated” losses stemming from the pandemic.

In January 2021, Beverley Hills-based Live Nation launched legal action against FM in the former’s home state of California for allegedly wrongfully refusing to pay out.

The complaint, filed in the US district court for central California, said that LN “reasonably” believed that Factory Mutual Insurance Co. would promptly cover its losses, as it has an “all-risks policy” covering lost income, property damage, extra expenses and interruptions from communicable diseases.

The filing notes that by the end of Q3 2020, the company had cancelled more than 5,000 concerts and pushed around 6,000 shows into 2021.

US district judge John A Kronstadt rejected FM’s bid to trim the lawsuit

According to Law360, Rhode Island-headquartered FM argues that, while it accepts Live Nation is entitled to cover for communicable diseases, it will not provide full coverage under the “physical loss or damage” section of the 2019 policy as Live Nation “did not suffer any physical damage or loss stemming from the virus”.

However, US district judge John A Kronstadt last week rejected FM’s bid to trim the lawsuit, ruling that it cannot be determined that – as a matter of law – the presence of Covid-19 in Live Nation’s properties could not cause “physical loss or damage”.

“The complaint sufficiently alleges that infectious respiratory droplets, which transmit Covid-19, are physical objects that may alter the property on which they land and remain,” he wrote, reports WFAV.

The conclusion does not mean that Live Nation’s case has been successful, but that FM has failed to have it dismissed at the earliest stage.

Neither side has commented on the development.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

NZ faces ‘staggering’ number of event cancellations

A ‘staggering’ number of major events across New Zealand have been cancelled and more are expected, following the country’s recent move to red in the Covid traffic light system.

As of 11:59 pm on Sunday (23 January), indoor and outdoor events across the country are limited to 100 people and the use of vaccine passports is mandatory.

The new restrictions prompted a fresh wave of cancellations including music, food, and wine festivals, sports tournaments, arts events, and a wide array of summer festivities scheduled for February and March.

The latest casualties include the sold-out Splore festival, which would’ve taken place between 25–27 February at Tapapakanga Regional Park in Orere Point.

In a statement, the organisers said the country’s move to red “doesn’t leave any room for ambiguity”.

Organisers said the country’s move to red “doesn’t leave any room for ambiguity”

Elsewhere, The Others Way festival, which was scheduled for next Saturday (29 January) in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland, has also been pulled.

Anthonie Tonnon, Carnivorous Plant Society and Coolies were scheduled to perform at the event, promoted by Flying Out, 95bFM and UTR Presents.

Other cancelled events include Auckland Pride Festival (1–27 February), New Zealand Fashion Week (7–12 February, Auckland), Great Kiwi Beer Festival (23 January, Christchurch), Warbirds over Wanaka (15–17 April) and the Bluff Oyster Festival (21 May).

Outfields music festival (Auckland), Rhythm and Vines (Gisborne) and Northern Bass (Northland) have already been postponed.

At the time of writing, no decision has been made on major upcoming festivals including Electric Avenue Music Festival, Urban Polo in Christchurch, South Island Wine and Food Festival.

Only cancelled events or postponed events with more than 5,000 vaccinated attendees can make use of the government insurance scheme, announced last year, which covers 90% of unrecoverable costs.

The move to red in the Covid traffic light system comes after a cluster of nine Omicron cases were recorded.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

NSW gov announces $43m ‘Event Saver Fund’

The New South Wales (NSW) government has established a AUS$43 million support fund to boost the confidence of event organisers.

The Event Saver Fund will cover major events, taking place between Wednesday 15 December 2021 and Saturday 31 December 2022, that are “cancelled or significantly disrupted” by Covid-19 public health orders.

Only one claim can be made per eligible event and the maximum amount that can be paid per eligible event is $10m, according to the guidelines. Exceptions for the latter may be made for not-for-profit organisations at the sole discretion of the minister for the arts.

According to the guidelines, the financial support provided by Event Saver is intended to “contribute towards eligible
unrecoverable costs incurred by organisers of affected events; it is not intended to compensate event organisers for loss of revenue or loss of profit”.

The Event Saver fund, first announced in October 2021, comes after the Victorian state government launched an interruption insurance scheme for music festivals last November.

“It will go a long way to providing improved confidence for major festivals and events scheduled for 2022”

“Today’s announcement of an Event Saver Fund for major events has come just in time for organisers impacted by recent restrictions due to the current Omicron wave in NSW,” says Australian Festivals Association (AFA) MD Julia Robinson.

“It will go a long way to providing improved confidence for major festivals and events scheduled for 2022 and help relieve the financial burdens associated with cancellations.”

However, Byron Bay Bluesfest (pictured) promoter Peter Noble told The Music News that an insurance safety net is also needed to cover any shortfall.

The Australian festival industry has been calling for a nationwide insurance scheme for more than 18 months.

“Australia now lags behind New Zealand, the UK, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark and Estonia in delivering a solution to this issue,” reads a recent statement by united live music and entertainment industry bodies including Live Performance Australia.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Germany’s €2.5bn culture fund ‘hardly used’ so far

Germany’s €2.5 billion event cancellation fund has ‘hardly been used’ so far, according to a new report.

The government-backed insurance pot, announced in December 2020, was introduced to enable event organisers to plan for Q3 and Q4 2021 without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak.

Only €44m was requested from the fund by mid-December 2021, according to German news magazine Spiegel, which obtained a report by the minister of state for culture to the government’s budget committee.

Of that amount, €40m has been requested from the €1.9bn ‘profitability aid’, dedicated to compensating financial losses for live events held under capacity in order to meet Covid-19 restriction.

The remaining €4m has been requested from the €600m ‘failure protection’ pool, which is used to cover up to 90% of losses incurred by the cancellation of events and shows which are called off due to the pandemic.

Despite the modest amount of applications, the report states that the fund has been met with “great response” from organisers.

“The funding programmes [may be] so complicated that as little money as possible reaches the people who urgently need help”

The minister of state for culture points out that applications for both funding pots can only be made retrospectively, when the respective event has already taken place.

However, according to Spiegel, the number of events registered for aid is significantly higher than the number of actual applications: around 23,400 events have so far been registered for economic aid, which corresponds to a funding volume of up to €795m.

Around half of the registrations are from concerts and festivals, and another 40% to performances of the performing arts.

To date, around 2,000 events have been registered for failure protection, which would mean a maximum funding volume of around €859m. Almost three-quarters of these registrations are concerts and festivals.

According to the report, it is to be expected “that the number and volume of applications will increase significantly in the coming weeks and months because events are being avoided or increasingly cancelled in the current pandemic situation.”

It’s yet to be seen how many funds will be approved.

Gesine Lötzsch, the budgetary spokeswoman for the Left, said: “I have the impression that the funding programmes are so complicated that as little money as possible reaches the people who urgently need help.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Oz live alliance ramps up appeal for Covid support

Australian trade bodies are repeating calls for a government-backed insurance scheme for live music and events after an extension was announced to a fund helping the screen sector through the pandemic.

In November, the Victorian government unveiled plans for a 12-month pilot scheme to insure up to AUS$230 million (€148m) of events “against cancellation due to public health measures, or where events have reduced capacity due to restrictions”.

However, nationwide assistance has not been forthcoming despite the federal government extending its Temporary Interruption Fund (TIFF) for film and TV productions.

“The Temporary Interruption Fund for the Film industry was extended by $50m [€31.7m], yet the live music and entertainment industry’s calls over the past 18 months for a similar national scheme have fallen on deaf ears.,” says a statement by united live music and entertainment industry bodies including Live Performance Australia.

“Australia now lags behind New Zealand, the UK, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark and Estonia in delivering a solution to this issue. Victoria has already delivered an insurance scheme that is now set to be tested by the Omicron-related disruptions, but a national approach is needed if the live music and entertainment industry is going to ‘ride this wave’, survive and play its role living with the virus.”

“Omicron has played out worse than anyone expected”

The sector’s recovery has been stopped in its tracks by the spread of the Omicron variant, which has led to mass cancellations and rescheduled events. The latest plea comes as three more Australian music festivals were cancelled or postponed in the space of 24 hours after New South Wales banned singing and dancing at unseated events.

NSW’s Grapevine Gathering fell by the wayside four days before it was due to take place, while touring metal and punk festival Full Tilt postponed its Brisbane edition until the end of April and cancelled its Adelaide concert set for 29 January.

“Omicron has played out worse than anyone expected,” Live Performance Australia CEO Evelyn Richardson tells the Guardian. “We appreciate the support we’ve had, but the government needs to step up and introduce a national scheme. Yes the states have a role, but it has been very disappointing that the federal government hasn’t led and pulled the states together and worked with them.

“We have people that haven’t been able to work for two years. Before Omicron, workers could get daily PCR tests to keep working, now they can’t even get rapid antigen tests. We’ve fallen into an abyss… the notion that it is all over and that we’ll ride through this, but that is not the reality we’re living in right now. We need support until things settle down.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Australia and NZ announce first insurance schemes

After more than 18 months of lobbying, Australia and New Zealand have announced country-first insurance schemes for live music.

In Australia, the Victorian government yesterday (14 November) announced plans to launch a 12-month pilot scheme that will insure up to AUS$230 million (€148m) of events.

Subsidised by the government and delivered by the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA), the cover will insure concerts, festivals, sporting events and conferences “against cancellation due to public health measures, or where events have reduced capacity due to restrictions”.

Organisers who have taken out the cover will receive 100% of the event’s declared value if the event has to be cancelled for the aforementioned reasons, or 50% of the event’s declared value if the event goes ahead with reduced capacity (or the organiser chooses to cancel the event because of those capacity restrictions).

The insurance will be available in December 2021 and more information can be found here. The premium is rumoured to cost 2% of the declared value of the event.

“For music lovers, it means your favourite festivals will be up and running again, and you’ll be able to book your tickets with confidence – and for industry, you’ll be protected whether your shows goes ahead or not,” Victoria premier Daniel Andrews wrote on Facebook.

The AFA has called the scheme a “game-changer” for the domestic industry but continues to call for a national solution

The Australian Festival Association (AFA) has called the scheme a “game-changer” for the industry but continues to call on other states and the federal government for a national solution.

“The inability to insure against Covid-related cancellations and restrictions has been a huge barrier to festivals getting back to business,” says AFA MD Julia Robinson.

“Health measures such as restrictions on gatherings and lockdowns, while necessary, often come with little or no notice making it difficult when festivals are months and years in the making. Access to a product that allows organisers the certainty to balance risk and safety with commercial reality would address this market failure, and it’s needed across the country.”

In addition to the scheme, the Victorian government has announced a $20m Live Music Restart package to bolster the recovery of the live music sector.

Music venues will benefit from a $8m programme to recruit and train new staff, invest in CovidSafe infrastructure and get more musicians and industry professionals back to work.

While music festivals and events will receive a leg up with $8m to help them recover from the uncertainty and impact of rescheduled and cancelled events due to the pandemic. A further $4m will bring music performances to the CBD and inner-city, complementing a previously announced $5 million for regional and outer-suburban events.


The support comes after Victoria’s sixth lockdown ended last month, with further restrictions on venue and festival capacity limits set to be scrapped in late November once the state has reached its 90% fully vaccinated target.

According to the AFA, “Victorian audiences usually enjoy over 150 music festivals each year, and just a handful have managed to get their gates open since the pandemic started”.

On 30 October, the state hosted Play On Victoria as its first ‘Covid Safe Test Event’, welcoming 4,000 people back to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl to watch Amyl and the Sniffers, Vika and Linda, Baker Boy, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Grace Cummings.

In New Zealand, the government recently announced that it will cover 90% of “unrecoverable costs” for paid, ticketed events with audiences of more than 5,000 vaccinated people, if organisers are forced to cancel or postpone due to Covid-19 public health measures.

Eligible events must implement the use of vaccine certificates, take place live and in-person, and have been in the market prior to the announcement of the scheme, according to the government’s criteria.

They will also have to be run by New Zealand organisations and not already be funded by other government sources such as the majors events fund or the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

The NZ government will cover 90% of “unrecoverable costs” for paid, ticketed events with audiences of more than 5,000

It will cover “actual direct costs” and organisers will have to agree to honour eligible costs incurred by suppliers.

The scheme will pay out for any events operating under alert level 2 or higher, or under the new traffic light scheme any events in an area under the new ‘red level’, or in a localised lockdown. At least 50% of the tickets will have had to be sold in order to qualify.

The event date must be scheduled to begin between 17 December 2021 and 3 April 2022 and organisers can only apply once for cancellation and once for postponement for an event.

The scheme, which is now live, has been welcomed by promoters of major events such as Rhythm & Vines (scheduled for December 2021) and Electric Avenue (slated for February 2022) but there are calls for smaller events to be included.

Insurance schemes have already been announced in the UK (£800m), Germany (€2.5bn), Austria (€300m), the Netherlands (€300m), Belgium (€60m), Norway (€34m) Denmark (DKK 500m), France and Estonia (€6m).

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

UK live sector gives mixed reaction to 2021 budget

The UK’s live music industry has given a mixed response to chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget, unveiled today (27 October) in the House of Commons.

The chancellor, who upgraded this year’s economic growth forecast from 4% to 6.5%, pledged an additional £850 million in culture sector funding, the majority of which is ring-fenced (including £2m earmarked for a new Beatles attraction on Liverpool Waterfront), alongside temporary business rates relief in England for eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure properties for 2022-23, worth almost £1.7 billion.

The government is also freezing the business rates multiplier in 2022-23 – a tax cut worth £4.6bn over the next five years, and has increased the headline rate of orchestra tax relief.

However, calls to extend the VAT break on tickets sales beyond next March fell on deaf ears, and no improvements to the government’s £800m insurance scheme for live events were forthcoming. In addition, no cash was allocated to help the sector deal with Brexit’s impact on touring, while the absence of the word ‘music’ from the budget document left a sour taste.

“We’re glad to see that live music will receive some benefit from today’s spending review – including tax relief, business rates, and some extension in terms of funding,” says a spokesperson for trade body LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment).

We need government to give us the tools to make progress, which were, unfortunately, missing from today’s news

“However, with the word ‘music’ completely absent from today’s announcement, we remain steadfast in our drive to see government pay attention to the key issues we are facing: the impacts of Brexit, the recovery from Covid and the long-term growth of the sector. We need government to give us the tools to make progress, which were, unfortunately, missing from today’s news.”

It remains to be seen whether music will be eligible for the £52m of government funding set aside for museums and “cultural and sporting bodies” next year to support recovery from Covid-19, with an additional £49m allocated for 2024-25.

“We look forward to hearing more detail about some of the measures announced by the chancellor today, in particular the allocation of further Covid-19 recovery funding for the cultural sector,” says Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) CEO Paul Reed. “On the surface, however, it doesn’t go far enough in supporting our truly world-leading festival industry.

“It is clear that the most effective way for the government to support the industry’s recovery into 2022 and beyond would be to extend the VAT reduction on tickets, look closely at a permanent cultural VAT rate, and completely remove festivals based on agricultural land from the business rates system. Unfortunately, none of this was forthcoming today.”

Referencing UK Music’s latest This Is Music report, which revealed the impact of Covid-19 wiped out 69,000 music industry jobs – one in three of the total workforce – the organisation’s CEO, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, says further action is needed to support the music sector’s post-pandemic recovery.

“It is crucial that we get government support to help us continue to rebuilding and hiring people who went so long without work due to the pandemic,” he says.

“Covid halved music’s economic contribution to the UK economy from almost £6 billion a year to £3.1 billion in 2020. If the government strikes the right note by delivering the support we need, our music industry will come back stronger and bigger than ever.”

The government has missed an opportunity

Setting out a three-point plan to boost the business, Njoku-Goodwin adds: “We are pleased to see the extension of the orchestras tax relief yet the government has missed an opportunity to not take forward further music tax incentives to help boost jobs and economic growth. Similarly, business rate relief for venues is very welcome yet we remain concerned about next April’s VAT hike for live events.  

“Ministers must put turbo-chargers under the efforts to clear away the barriers that are still making it so hard and expensive for musicians and crew to tour easily in the EU. As the domestic music market recovers, the government should also build on recent trade deals by giving more funding and support for music exports.

“As well as music’s huge economic and cultural importance, we also need to see the government fully recognise its huge value to our wellbeing by properly funding music education to help nurture our talent pipeline and provide the stars of the future.”

AIM CEO Paul Pacifico welcomes new measures for venues and hospitality, but stresses the importance of a tax relief scheme for music.

“It’s encouraging to see the government recognise the serious blow Covid dealt to the UK’s music industry in today’s budget, discounting business rates for music and other hospitality venues and for premises improvements and green tech use as well as increasing tax reliefs for orchestras,” he says.

“However, more must be done to support the globally significant independent music sector to ensure a viable future for diverse music, creators and entrepreneurs. One key proposal is a tax relief scheme for music, like those successfully implemented in other creative industries such as film and games. This cost-effective measure could provide our sector with the boost it needs, attracting inward investment and creating a ripple effect across the wider music ecosystem. We urge government to include music in such schemes at the next opportunity.”

There were also contrasting emotions from Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) chief Michael Kill.

“The improved forecasts for growth announced by the chancellor today are good news, and the reopening of the night time economy has been a key part of this better-than-expected bounce back,” says Kill. “We were disappointed that the chancellor chose not to extend the 12.5% rate of VAT on hospitality – this is a missed opportunity, and it will prevent those forecasts from improving further still.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Concerns grow over UK government insurance scheme

Concerns are growing within the UK business about the government’s much-trumpeted £800 million insurance scheme for live events.

The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme, announced at the beginning of August, will cover costs incurred if an event has to be cancelled, postponed, relocated or abandoned due to a government-imposed lockdown in response to Covid-19.

However, Association Of Independent Festivals chief Paul Reed says that not only is the extent of the cover available limited, event organisers have not even been able to obtain quotes so far – despite the scheme being opened last month by chancellor Rishi Sunak.

“It doesn’t cover a festival needing to reduce capacity or cancel due to restrictions being reintroduced, and it’s clear from the government’s winter ‘plan B’ that restrictions will be reintroduced long before there is any sort of national lockdown,” says Reed.

“The scheme only covers you in the event of a civil authority shutdown at either local or national level, so it is extremely limited in scope. We surveyed members on this recently and asked them how likely they would be to pursue quotes, and 58% said ‘not likely’, 5% said ‘very likely’, 21% said ‘likely’ and the remainder said ‘unsure’. That isn’t indicative that the scheme is going to be widely used by the sector.

“We surveyed [AIF] members on this recently and asked them how likely they would be to pursue quotes… 58% said ‘not likely’”

“At the moment, you can’t obtain actual quotes, so that’s another issue. Until this is properly in play, we won’t know the full extent of these issues and whether it is a viable scheme or not. So they need to get on with it and get it in a position where it can be rolled out properly.”

The cover, which is a partnership between the government and the Lloyd’s of London insurance market, is now available to purchase alongside standard commercial events insurance for an additional premium.

To be eligible, event organisers must purchase the relevant cover from participating insurers within the scheme, including Arch, Beazley, Dale, Hiscox and Munich Re.

Premium is set at 5% of the total value of insured costs (plus Insurance Premium Tax) and claims will be subject to an excess of 5% of the value of the insured costs or £1,000 (whichever is higher) per policy.

“Another concern is the fact that it doesn’t cover artists or workforce”

“Another concern is the fact that it doesn’t cover artists or workforce,” adds Reed. “So I think, as it currently stands, it’s going to take a bit of work from government to get to the point where it will be more widely used.

“I appreciate government has put a lot of work into this. There are still details being thrashed roughed out around the scheme and questions that the sector has put to government, so the scheme could well change in some ways. But I think the fundamentals aren’t going to change and it’s not going to cover anything other than some sort of shutdown – that’s basically a trigger point that the government has agreed with the insurance industry.”

Solo Agency boss John Giddings previously dismissed the scheme as a “joke”.

“They want far too much money and there are too many caveats in it,” he told IQ. “I think they just keep paying us lip service like they have done all the way down the line.”

In Australia, meanwhile, live music figures continued to pressure the government to underwrite Covid cancellation insurance for live events at a parliamentary hearing last week. The Senate committee will report back on the bill by 3 November before it is voted on, reports Australasian Leisure Management.

John Watson, president of music company Eleven, described the lack of insurance options as “market failure”. More and more people are just saying it is too risky to take on touring,” he told ABC.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.