DCMS Committee to examine the future of UK music festivals11 November 2020 - Press release
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 uncertainty of the public health situation and legal requirements next summer presents further risk for festival organisers.
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.”
Terms of Reference:
The DCMS Committee is inviting written submissions to be submitted by Wednesday 9 December addressing the following areas:
- What is the economic and cultural contribution of the UK’s festival industry?
- What has been the impact of cancellations on local economies and those who derive income from festivals during 2020?
- What are the risks to festivals taking place in 2021 and beyond, and how can these be mitigated?
- What measures are needed for audiences to attend festivals without social distancing, and how realistic are they?
- What has been the impact of the temporary VAT cut and Culture Recovery Fund on festivals and their supply chains, and what else can the Government do to secure their futures?
- How has the structure of the UK festivals market evolved over recent years, and what has this meant for consumers, artists and the wider industry? What further changes might be anticipated?
- How can festivals be supported to reduce their environmental impact and tackle the dangers of illegal drug use?