MP ASKS GOVERNMENT TO HELP FESTIVAL ORGANISERS

In a bid to help UK music festivals – such as the Isle of Wight Festival – restart when the time is right, Island MP Bob Seely has asked the Government to support festival organisers with a Government-backed insurance scheme similar to that in place for film and television.

Last month Mr Seely hosted a virtual meeting between Culture Minister, Caroline Dinenage, and some of the Island’s leading event’s organisers to discuss what could be done to support the industry this year.

This month the Island’s MP has written to the DCMS Select Committee Chairman, Julian Knight – who is responsible for the enquiry into the future of UK festivals – setting out the urgent need for support.

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Mr Seely said:

“Clearly events cannot go ahead until virus transmission rates are vastly reduced, however, the events industry needs to be able to plan for the future.

“The Government needs to understand that if event management companies do not get support, the Treasury faces lost tax revenue, mass unemployment in the sector, and widespread insolvencies.

“The vast majority of event management companies have received no income for almost a year now and they may not be there when we come out of the pandemic. They need help now.

“Insurance is essential to this industry. Organisers cannot plan with confidence without it and livelihoods are at risk.”

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Sarah Moss, Organiser of the Island’s Jack Up The Summer festival, said:

“Even with the much-anticipated vaccine roll-out, the entire Events Industry has lost a full year’s income therefore, particularly for independently run events, the stakes are incredibly high.

“Government-backed insurance would be the first key in the door to giving Event Organisers the necessary confidence to plan and kick-start the workforce, providing much-needed stimulus to the many small Island businesses which make up our extensive supply chains.

“Such a scheme will help ensure we can continue to provide enjoyment to both Islanders and Island visitors for many years to come.”

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Bob went on to say:

“Isle of Wight festivals and events generate well in excess of £45 million pounds to the Island’s economy each year and as the MP of Britain’s Festival Island, it is important that I champion the need for support.

“When the nation emerges from this crisis, festivals and events will be a critical component in rebuilding our local and regional economy. Islanders will need something to look forward to and visitors will require incentives to travel to the Island.”

Festival organisers on the Isle of Wight have been asked to make representations directly to the DCMS Committee too.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Chad_Mullun
Chad_Mullun
6 months ago

Who is going to buy tickets to an event likely to be either not happening due to yet ‘another’ mutant version of Covid, as has now been identified in Japan, or, the Ferry operators going to strike, meaning no way of getting here.

By the time the festival is safe and able to go ahead, the pinks thanks to their pals in coun cil will have likely built over much of the site.

Arthur Sausage
Arthur Sausage
6 months ago

Should be more concerned about dealing with virus!

Steve
Steve
6 months ago

Bob get a grip man there are far more important things than music festivals. People are dying for God’s sake

Old bean
Old bean
Reply to  Steve
6 months ago

Well said

Big Ben
Big Ben
6 months ago

I guess DS and his council chums must be missing the 65K in rent they get for the IOW Festival site, as for the festival returning this year well that is just pie in the sky.

Mygod
Mygod
6 months ago

Do me a big favour. God what is he on. Go and get tested for a brain. Not COVID.

Helen Highwater
Helen Highwater
6 months ago

Help! Mr Giddings is down to his last case of champagne!

Dave
Dave
6 months ago

They should end the Isle of Wight festival, not only is it a chaotic weekend for people getting to and from work, but also a weekend full of drugs and dealers.. and drunks… I do not understand why people have to get drunk to watch a live band ??

Janesville Read
Janesville Read
6 months ago

Is that all he has to think about, get real man

Les
Les
6 months ago

Seely…your one greedy tw at.as are council.Only reason you want too help festival is the profits.hiw about you work for us islanders and make actuall GOOD decisions for once

stephen bushell
stephen bushell
6 months ago

When Bob Seely askes the government to prop up wealthy festival organisers its us ordinary tax payers that foot the bill , and i for one can think of plenty of more deserving real island causes in these hard times .I hope people remember how badly our MP and Council have behaved through the covid crisis and vote accordingly

Squeaky Clean
Squeaky Clean
Reply to  stephen bushell
6 months ago

Spot on Stephen

Bek
Bek
6 months ago

I absolutely agree. Of course peoples safety is top priority but when we start to rebuild our economy the islands festivals will be so important to our community. Providing jobs and tourists to buy from our small businesses, its a chain reaction, we will all benefit from.

Terry
Terry
6 months ago

Living in Newport, and most of the small businesses here, don’t benefit from festy weekend, most complain of lost revenue due to normal customers staying away. Ferries, supermarket beer aisles, the council and some of the pubs. Oh and John Giddings are most likely to benefit.

YJC
YJC
6 months ago

I would like to see our MP also helping in two areas:

1) University students (and families supporting them) who are still paying exorbanent university fees and rent for accommodation. The students have been virtually abandoned and having to do it all online. They could be doing it at home but they are still stuck with paying rent as well.

2) As most of us have stayed at home for nearly one year now it would be nice to see the government compensating us for our higher electric/gas/water bills or at least, getting the utility companies to lower their charges. We are now in lockdown for three months during winter months – the most expensive time.

It is morally wrong for utility companies to be benefiting from a pandemic.

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