Government 'exploring' more support for live events in wake of damning criticism from Y Not Festival

The Government has promised to “explore” what support the live music industry may need as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 3:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 3:58 pm

The promise follows a damning statement from bosses of the Y Not Festival in the Peak District as they announced it could not go ahead this year.

Cancelling the 2021 event, Y Not said: “We are yet to receive the government’s guidance from their pilot schemes and the lack of a government-backed insurance package, amid rising Covid cases, makes us unable to fully commit to the next stages of planning needed for this year's event, without greatly risking Y Not’s future.

“We have persevered as long as we could and looked at all of our options, including putting ourselves in the running to be part of a government-sponsored Event Research Programme. Unfortunately, we were not selected.

“Despite positive government rhetoric, there is still little information we can rely on. With further delays a possibility and no guarantees from the government, everything we have built over the last 15 years could be lost if we carry on this year.”

It comes after the Government delayed so-called freedom day, when most legal pandemic restrictions will be lifted, from June 21 to July 19, giving Y Not bosses little time to react if it is delayed again.

The festival had been due to take place at Pikehall, near Matlock, from July 30-August 1.

Sheffield’s Tramlines festival will go ahead the weekend before, at full capacity, after it was selected for the ERP.

Y Not Festival has been cancelled this year.

A Government spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to work towards live events being able to reopen fully from July 19, as well as providing unprecedented support for the sector through our Culture Recovery Fund.

“We understand the challenges live events have in securing indemnity cover and are exploring what further support may be required from step four once the sector is able to reopen.

“Our ongoing, science-led ERP is also testing how Covid certification and other measures can help ensure events can take place safely.”

She said the government has issued “an extensive range of guidance” to sectors thinking of about how they can resume activities safely, while festival organisers have received more than £34 million from the culture recovery fund, “with more financial support on the way after a £300 million boost at budget”.

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