Industry group Save Victorian Events has highlighted the cancellation of Bluesfest as further confirmation of the need for Governments to back an event cancellation insurance program covering COVID risks.
Citing insurance companies no longer offering coverage and the uncertainty over lockdowns making it difficult to even plan events as a result of businesses being unable to take on the financial implications of a last-minute cancellation,
the group is urging stakeholders and concerned parties to email the Federal Treasurer, Ministers and state and federal MPs to demand urgent action.
Save Victorian Events spokesperson, Simon Thewlis stated “the cancellation of Bluesfest is devastating for so many in our industry (but) sadly, it is just one of the many events cancelled due to the Brisbane lockdown.
“The Victorian lockdown a month earlier also saw a vast number of events cancelled – from festivals and community sporting events through to conferences and public events – causing huge losses.
“The Perth and Adelaide lockdowns also saw many events cancelled.
“But the biggest impact of the lockdowns has been the large number of events now cancelled through to the end of the year, and the vast number of events that are now not even being planned, because people cannot take the large financial risks of a last minute cancellation.
“It is not possible to get event cancellation insurance for COVID risks. Insurance companies are no longer offering coverage. This means that a lot of organisations from commercial promoters to not for profit groups that rely on events to generate much of their income, from schools and community groups through to large businesses cannot hold their events as they cannot risk the huge financial consequences of operating without insurance.
“This is the main reason why a large proportion of live events are not happening right across Australia. And it is causing business closures, job losses, and families losing their homes as well as all they have worked for, often for decades, right across the live event sector.
“We know that lockdowns are likely to keep happening for another year or longer, so this will remain a huge issue for a long time.”
Noting that “governments have traditionally stepped in to fill gaps left by the insurance market, Thewlis points out that the Federal Government is already providing ‘COVID cancel’ insurance for the film industry and that the Victorian Government is providing insurance for building surveyors.
He adds “after 9/11 the Federal Government established the $14 billion Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporate to underwrite terrorism insurance risks.
“We need the Federal and state governments to underwrite Covid cancellation insurance for live events so that people can get back to holding events without the risk of losing everything they have.
“We also need governments to finally act to provide desperately financial support to businesses in the event industry – especially the suppliers – so that they can survive until events really start to pick up again later in the year.”
Click here to access an email that can be sent to the Federal Treasurer, Ministers and state and federal MPs.
Save Victorian Events advise “you can change the subject line and the text of the email to better reflect your views”.
2nd April 2021 – Bluesfest cancellation to cost more than $10 million in losses
31st March 2021 – COVID-19 case sees NSW Health cancel Byron Bay Bluesfest
11th March 2021 – Bluesfest team share their excitement for the return of live music
18th February 2021 – COVID-19 Safety Plan approved for 2021 Bluesfest
30th March 2021 – Save Victorian Events calls for Industry Taskforce
5th November 2020 – Save Our Stages NSW calls on public to help save the state’s live music industry
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