Boomtown Fair Cancels 2021 Festival Due to Lack of Insurance
Boomtown Faire has canceled for the second year in a row. The 66K person music and arts festival scheduled to take place in Winchester, England August 11-15, 2021 is postponed to August 10th - 14th, 2022.
In a statement released today, the organizers stated that “With less than four months to go until the event, and after almost half a year of collective campaigning to the government, sadly COVID specific cancellation insurance for events simply does not exist at this point in time.” They also pointed to the uncertainty of any events of similar complexity and size happening in 2021 due to uncertainty surrounding potential COVID-related shutdowns.
Without the safety net of government-backed insurance, the 2021 festival season may not be feasible or financially responsible for any promoters. The UK festival industry has spent several months campaigning for an insurance scheme to protect events this summer. Unfortunately, the government has largely turned its back on them, despite the financial boon festivals represent.
The news comes two months after Boomtown announced that tickets for this year’s event were sold out for the second year in a row. They’ve also received a generous grant from the Arts Council England for nearly £1M. However, this is the second year in a row that the event will not happen, and ticket sales and the grant only cover a portion of the operational costs needed to plan and execute an event of this size.
The statement issued on their website and via Twitter went on to say, “We had planned Chapter One: The Gathering with our values front and centre and the safety and comfort at the top of the agenda for all in attendance, those living in the local area, as well as those working on the event. However, it does not feel that at this critical point in time, we have enough of an understanding of what the conditions will be in order for us to safely operate, or the time left to be able to implement it all to put on the show we know we were all waiting for this summer.”
Boomtown admits that the tickets they’ve sold for the canceled 2020 and 2021 events have helped keep them afloat, “We are so grateful to everyone who has kept their ticket with us over the past year, you really did save the festival, and will continue to do so if you are able to roll them over for another year.”
Festival organizers intend to go forward with Boomtown Chapter One: The Gathering 10th - 14th August 2022.