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DCMS Committee chair Julian Knight, who is leading the inquiry into the future of UK music festivals, has urged chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) to announce support in the 3 March budget announcement to encourage more festivals to go ahead this summer.

The Treasury had earlier rejected a call, which had the support of more than 100 organisations and individuals in the performance sectors, to extend an underwriting scheme offered to other creative industries including film and TV.

In correspondence to Knight, which has been published today, John Glen, the economic secretary to the Treasury, suggested that the publication of a roadmap for the reopening of the events sector could be the ‘right point’ to consider potential support, including insurance-based options.

DCMS Committee chair, and Conservative MP for Solihull, Julian Knight MP said, “The Treasury rejected our earlier call for a government-backed insurance scheme that would have provided a safety net for festivals to go ahead, saying the time was not right.

“While we’ve seen welcome news for fans that the Reading and Leeds festivals will happen, the rest of the sector needs more than a roadmap to give them the confidence it takes to get events underway. For some, like Glastonbury, it’s already too late.

“We’re calling on the chancellor to review that decision now that the government has a better sense of the road to recovery. There’s still time ahead of next week’s Budget to give the festivals’ industry, which makes a significant contribution to the economy, the helping hand it needs.”