Festival promoters in Australia are reeling due to the coronavirus pandemic, cancellations across the board, and without insurance festivals might have gone under for good.
BluesFest 2020 was canned due to Covid, however by sheer chance were covered by insurance due to ticking a box that covered them for “communicable diseases” five years ago, when a cluster outbreak of gastro hit Byron Bay.
However, as we move past the pandemic, festivals are now concerned that insurance won’t offer cover for outbreaks of disease, and with insurance premiums already expected to skyrocket and the industry already facing hard times, festival promoters are worried the lack of insurance will remove any safety net for the events.
Groovin’ The Moo general manager Kathryn Halloway told ABC news the pandemic caused “huge financial loss and emotional loss” and “By the time we refunded tickets to patrons as well, the losses were substantial.”
Groovin’ The Moo was six weeks out from taking their festival around the country when the pandemic hit, and unlike BluesFest didn’t have insurance covering for such events as a pandemic.
“In terms of finances, there was all the costs that are sunk that you can’t recoup. Deposits to suppliers. Deposits to artists. Payments to insurance. Six weeks out you’re in the process of locking in finer details and putting icing on the cake.”