The UK festival industry’s revenues have sharply dropped by 90%. This was the result of needing to cancel all shows due to the pandemic. With that, the future of festivals in the UK is now in the hands of MPs (Members of Parliament). The DCMS (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) Committee has launched an inquiry into examining the support needed for festivals to return safely in 2021.
The inquiry states:
“With the vast majority of festivals cancelled in 2020 owing to COVID-19, the sector’s revenues have dropped by 90%. The predominantly freelance workforce and other parts of the festival supply chain have been similarly affected. However, social distancing requirements and public health uncertainty present further risks for festival organizers. MPs will consider how to secure festivals in the face of these immediate pressures and other long-term challenges.”
The inquiry will consider the return of festivals next year if they are COVID-19 secure and comply with relevant legislation. Additionally, the economic and cultural contributions that music festivals make to the UK wil be considered as well.
Julian Knight MP, the Committee Chair of DCMS, stated that ‘the collapse of the vibrant music festival sector this year is a real cause for concern. 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.’
The DCMS Committee welcomes written submissions for this inquiry. Submissions will answer why the festival industry in the UK matters, and additional pressing questions.